Associate Professors - University Press Books Workshop
On-Ramps to full professor
a. Morning, grow it from a seed, 9:30-12. Books can seem like such a big prospect. We’ll start small by designing a short but powerful “About the Book” essay using material recommended by university press editors at Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Georgetown, Cambridge, Chicago, Cornell, and many more, You’ll learn how to speak to editors using their own language, while still sounding like yourself and staying true to your research. PLEASE NOTE: If you have had previous success with a top publisher in your field, be sure to indicate that in the pre-seminar survey so that Dr. Sargent can discuss it with you, and perhaps incorporate your book as an example for the group.
b. Working lunch, 12:15-1:00. You will have the opportunity to share your about-the-book essay during structured roundtable discussions over lunch. If you prefer to just listen in while others present, you may do that as well. The working lunches are a highlight of the workshops, however, so be sure to plan to stay for lunch.
c. Afternoon, expanding your book essay to a full prospectus. 1:15-3:00 Sticking to Dr. Sargent’s mantra that can actually be easier to publish at the higher-ranked presses, you’ll meet editors Sargent knows are particularly open and approachable, including some at Cornell, Duke, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford who want to receive proposals from UMBC.
Then we’ll unfold the elements of a good prospectus, item by item: (1) Comparison Titles; (2) Table of Contents; (3) Chapter-by-Chapter Detailed Outline; (4) Sample Chapter (or Chapters); (5) Audience; (6) Marketing Plan; (7) Things to remember when sharing your prospectus and discussing it with interested editors; (8) Negotiating a book contract.