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« How forthright should cover letters be? | Main | Job-Market Boot Camp, Part 27: common mistakes with teaching statements »

07/17/2019

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Junior Anon 2

I've got two edited volumes in progress, and at different stages of completion. Basically what Marcus said was my experience. In both cases, I approached the editor for the publisher first to see if there was interest in general. After they said they were interested, I wrote a full proposal that talked about chapters, authors, the state of the literature, competing books on the market, and what teaching (if any) that the books might be used for. This last part basically is saying why the book will sell copies, and make the publisher money.

Only additional information I have is that be aware that different publishers are looking for different things. The university presses are not (in general at least) run 'for profit' and so require less of a commercial case for the volume than for profit publishers (Springer, Routledge for example). University presses still want something to sell of course, but this was less of an issue, and philosophical value was a higher priority in my experience.

My overall advice then would be just to drop the editor of the series or some relevant person working for the publisher an e-mail. Doesn't need to be much at first, but just an introduction and brief overview of the suggested volume to test the water - they don't want to waste time reading and referring a proposal that does not fit with their publishing programme anymore than you want to spend time writing that proposal.

Peter Furlong

Hi Junior Anon 2,

Thanks for the info. Just to be clear, did you get the list of authors to agree before you even tentatively approached the editor? Did you just informally ask people if it would be the sort of thing they might be interested in contributing to and iron out the details once a publisher showed some interest?

Anon

My experience is similar. We first contacted a few publishers. Next, we wrote a detailed proposal (with abstracts, information about authors, etc). We had list of authors and abstracts because we hosted a workshop.

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