How to Submit a Proposal

UPDATE JUNE 2015. We are now accepting new proposals through July 27th!!!!!!!!

Proposals are due by Monday, July 27th (7.27.15) at 11:59pm EST (that’s midnight at the end of the day Monday). As of today, June 1st, the submission period is open.

Please read the submission guidelines carefully to ensure that your proposal will be considered. This open call is ONLY for those who are 100% positive that if their proposals are selected, they will be able to turn in FINAL manuscripts within 6-12 months of contract. That means the whole book (all 30,000 words of it) will be due between January and August 2016. Missed deadlines will result in cancellation of the contract. There will be other open calls for delivery dates beyond August 2016 within the next 2 years.

If you are ready to go and have the time over the next year to write a full book, please submit your proposal by 11:59pm EST on Monday, July 27th, 2015. That’s midnight at the end of the day Monday.

If you are a college or high school student and under the age of 22, please consider submitting to our Under 22 ONLY open call, details can be found here.

Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit a proposal for a 33 ⅓ volume, please submit ALL of the following to 33proposals@gmail.com before 12:00am EST on July 27th, 2015. No exceptions. The word/page counts below are not exact but should point you in the right direction of what I’m looking for. Submissions that don’t include complete responses to the first 9 requirements below will not be considered.
Submit the content below in one single document as either .doc, .docx or .pdf. No .rtf files will be accepted. Please put your name, album and artist in the subject line of the email.

Proposal requirements:

1. Your professional CV/resume, including full contact details + a short biography (25-50 words).
2. A draft annotated table of contents for the book. This should include chapter titles and a brief 50-500 word summary of each chapter. If you plan on deviating from a chapter structure, please explain why in 500 words.
3. A draft introduction/opening chapter for the book, of around 2,000 words.
4. A concise description of the book (up to 250 words). This needs to be clear, informative and persuasive. It should be suitable for use as the book’s blurb. It should be written so that people who are unfamiliar with the album will understand what this book is about.
5. Your analysis of the most relevant competing books already published (or forthcoming) about the artist in question or the scene surrounding that artist – and how your book will differ. Are there any films or film projects in the works? 200 words or less.
6. At least 500 words about yourself and why you are qualified to write this book. Why are you the best person to do it? How you would help Bloomsbury Academic market your book? Please list websites/forums/listservs you’d contact directly; any artist involvement you might expect; any college-level courses on which you think your book could be used, and so on.
7. Which existing 33 1/3 books or other types of music writing you like or dislike. Why? 500-1000 words.
8. Describe the audience for your book. What are the fans like? Describe your target market. How large is this market? 200 words.
9. Please list the firm date on which you will deliver your complete and final manuscript and why you have chosen this date (Must be between January 2016 and August 2016).
10. Do you have any feedback? How is the series doing so far? What could we do better? Not required.

Upon submission you will receive an auto-reply message and you will be notified by email in 2-4 months if your proposal is selected.

If you have questions please post them as a comment on this post and they will be answered quickly. We are unable to respond to email queries.

Just in case you need a refresher, here are the first 106 books in the series and here are the ones currently contracted to come out in the next 3 years.

The following projects were contracted at some point but for various reasons are now cancelled.The following albums are now fair game:

Daniel Johnston-Hi, How Are You
Kate Bush-The Dreaming
Tori Amos-Boys for Pele
The Clash–London Calling
Wu Tang–Enter the Wu (36 Chambers)
Weezer-Pinkerton
Bjork-Biophilia
Pulp-This is Hardcore

If you are a member of the press and want to know more about the series or write about it, please visit our contact us page.

I hope the FAQ below will help and please ask additional questions in the comment form below this post.

I would like to preemptively thank all of you for taking the time to think about and draft these proposals. It is an immense joy and honor to read them.
xoxo Ally-Jane

FAQ

Q: How many proposals can I submit?
A: Only one proposal on one album per person will be accepted.
Q: How much will I be paid for writing a 33 ⅓?
A: Writing a 33 ⅓ will not make you rich. But it will bring you fame, glory and bragging rights. We are able to offer a small advance and a 10% royalty rate on each contract.
Q: My computer crashed at 2am last night and I lost everything, I’ve been putting the proposal back together but I’m not going to make it by 12:00am, can I have just 1 extra hour?
A: No. Please back up your work. In order for this process to work, it has to be fair for everyone.  Not a single proposal will be considered after 12:00am EST on July 27th.
Q: Do you have examples of successful pitches to share?
A: Yes, in our new textbook How To Write About Music there is a chapter titled “How To Pitch a 33 1/3″ that is worth reading.
Q: I submitted a proposal last time and it would be really helpful to hear some constructive criticism as to why it was rejected, can you quickly look at it and let me know what I can do better?
A: Very sorry but we just don’t have the time or resources to do that. While we carefully read every single proposal there are a multitude of reasons why many don’t get selected. This is not to discourage you from submitting again, but seriously consider extensive revisions.
Q: There is already a book in the series by the same artist as the one I’m proposing, will you consider two albums by the same artist?
A: Yes. There are two albums by Radiohead, two by the Beach Boys and two by The Rolling Stones in the series already.
Q: Why are so many of the books cancelled after they are signed up?
A: Because life gets in the way. There are many reasons some of the accepted proposals never become books. Some of the more common reasons: life change, health problems, artist refuses to cooperate/talk, there isn’t enough to say about the album. To try to circumvent this, 33 1/3 has a new publishing schedule in which contracts will be issued for books due within 12 months.

UPDATE JANUARY 2015

We are NOT currently accepting proposals.

For an update read: this.

The official open call will begin in late June 2015 with proposals due in August 2015. If you have a question, please carefully read the guidelines below or feel free to leave a comment. Unfortunately we are not able to respond to email queries due to the volume we receive. 

Update: July 2014

The submission window for this year is now closed and sadly we cannot accept your proposal. We hope to do another open call in Spring 2015 so please subscribe to this blog for updates. Remember that open calls are always announced on this blog so make sure you don’t miss the next one.

For more open call information and series updates please like us on facebook or follow us on twitter.

Open Call 2014 (now closed):

I have received hundreds of emails over the past year asking about this moment, and it is finally here.

I am happy to announce the next open call for proposals for the 33 1/3 series.

Proposals are due by Monday, March 3, 2014 (3.3.14) at 9:00 am EST. As of today, January 31st, the submission period is open.

Things are a bit different this time. Please read carefully to ensure that your proposal will be considered. This open call is ONLY for those who are 100% positive that if their proposals are selected, they will be able to turn in FINAL manuscripts within 8-12 months of contract. That means the whole book (all 30,000 words of it) will be due between January and June 2015. Missed deadlines will result in cancellation of the contract. There will be other open calls for delivery dates beyond June 2015 within the next year.

If you are ready to go and have the time over the next year to write a full book, please submit your proposal by 9:00am EST on March 3, 2014.

Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit a proposal for a 33 ⅓ volume, please submit ALL of the following to 33proposals@gmail.combefore 9:00am EST on March 3, 2014. No exceptions. The word/page counts below are not exact but should point you in the right direction of what I’m looking for. Proposals that do not include complete responses to the first 9 requirements below will not be considered.
Submit the content below in one single document as either .doc, .docx or .pdf. No .rtf files will be accepted. Please put your name, album and artist in the subject line of the email.

Proposal requirements:

1. Your professional CV/resume, including full contact details + a short biography (25-50 words).
2. A draft annotated table of contents for the book. This should include chapter titles and a brief 50-500 word summary of each chapter. If you plan on deviating from a chapter structure, please explain why in 500 words.
3. A draft introduction/opening chapter for the book, of around 2,000 words.
4. A concise description of the book (up to 250 words).   This needs to be clear, informative and persuasive. It should be suitable for use as the book’s blurb. It should be written so that people who are unfamiliar with the album will understand what this book is about.
5. Your analysis of the most relevant competing books already published (or forthcoming) about the artist in question or the scene surrounding that artist – and how your book will differ. Are there any films or film projects in the works? 500 words.
6. At least 500 words about yourself and why you are qualified to write this book. How you would help Bloomsbury Academic market your book? Please list websites/forums/listservs you’d contact directly; any artist involvement you might expect; any college-level courses on which you think your book could be used, and so on.
7. Which existing 33 1/3 books or other types of music writing you like or dislike. Why? 500-1000 words.
8. Describe the audience for your book. What are the fans like? Describe your target market. How large is this market?
9. Please list the firm date on which you will deliver your complete and final manuscript and why you have chosen this date (Must be between July 2014 and June 2015). Please indicate if you will grant us permission to publish your proposal online and if you would like to remain anonymous or if you would like us to print your name.
10. Do you have any feedback? How is the series doing so far? What could we do better?

Upon submission you will receive an auto-reply message and you will be notified by email in 2-4 months if your proposal is selected.

If you have questions please post them as a comment on this post and they will be answered quickly.
Just in case you need a refresher, here are the first 89 books in the series and here are the ones currently contracted to come out in the next 3 years.
The following projects were contracted at some point but for various reasons are now cancelled.

The following albums are now fair game:
Tori Amos- Boys for Pele
The Clash – London Calling
Wu Tang – Enter the Wu (36 Chambers)
Weezer- Pinkerton
Bjork- Biophilia
Pulp- This is Hardcore

If you are a member of the press and want to know more about the series or write about it, please contact Tanya Leet (tanya.leet@bloomsbury.com) in the US and Charlotte Rose (Charlotte.rose@bloomsbury.com)  in the UK and Europe.

I hope the FAQ below will help and please ask additional questions in the comment form below this post. If you have a burning question that you are absolutely sure that no one else will want to hear the answer to, you can email me at ally.grossan@bloomsbury.com and I’ll do my best to respond.

I would like to preemptively thank all of you for taking the time to think about and draft these proposals. It is an immense joy and honor to read them.
xoxo Ally Jane

FAQ

Q: How much will I be paid for writing a 33 ⅓?
A: Writing a 33 ⅓ will not make you rich. But it will bring you fame, glory and bragging rights. We are able to offer small advances on a case-by-case basis and a 10% royalty rate on each contract.
Q: My computer crashed at 2am last night and I lost everything, I’ve been putting the proposal back together but I’m not going to make it by 9:00am, can I have just 1 extra hour?
A: No. Please back up your work. In order for this process to work, it has to be fair for everyone.  Not a single proposal will be considered after 9:00am EST on March 3rd.
Q: I submitted a proposal last time and it would be really helpful to hear some constructive criticism as to why it was rejected, can you quickly look at it and let me know what I can do better?
A: Very sorry but we just don’t have the time or resources to do that. While we carefully read every single proposal there are a multitude of reasons why many don’t get selected. This is not to discourage you from submitting again, but seriously consider extensive revisions.
Q: There is already a book in the series by the same artist as the one I’m proposing, will you consider two albums by the same artist?
A: Yes. There are two albums by the Beach Boys and two by The Rolling Stones in the series already.
Q: Why are so many of the books cancelled after they are signed up?
A: Because life gets in the way. There are many reasons some of the accepted proposals never become books. Some of the more common reasons: life change, health problems, artist refuses to cooperate/talk, there isn’t enough to say about the album. To try to circumvent this, 33 1/3 has a new publishing schedule in which contracts will be issued for books due within 12 months.

89 comments

  1. Quick question for you. I’m slimming down my introduction’s word count. But I think it’s still a bit too beefy. What’s the upper end of the word count you’d be willing to allow….? Thank you!

  2. Mike

    Hello. I sent my submission this evening (@10pm). Didn’t get an auto reply. Checked email a few times and got a bounce back from AT&T (my provider) saying that the email wasn’t delivered. This came around 10:45 and I saw at about 11 when I sat down to work. I quickly saved the PDF down to a smaller size (wondering if the file size was an issue—sometimes is with AT&T) and resent it.
    I just now (11:08) received an auto reply saying that it was too late.
    Is there anyway this can still be accepted?
    As I’m sure you know, there was an awful lot of time put into this and to now have it not accepted because of $!@(#$^*#-ing AT&T seems unfair

    Thank you for the consideration

  3. John Nugent

    Great Books. I now know how much time and effort a proposal involves. I think any of the following would be great additions to the series.

    Kate Bush – Hounds of Love ( Including exceptional B sides )
    Talk Talk – The Spirit of Eden
    Peter Murphy – Love Hysteria
    Derrick May – Innovator (1991 Version)
    Pigeonhed (1993)
    The Young Gods – Only Heaven
    The God Machine – One Last Laugh In a Place of Dying
    Carl Crack – Black Ark
    Spiritualized – Pure Phase
    Trashmonk – Mona Lisa Overdrive
    Saul Williams – Amethyst Rock Star

    Good Luck with all current projects.

    JN

  4. Mark

    How do you let people know whether their proposal has been accepted/rejected? The reason I ask is because I’m moving to a new state, so if it is by mail, who should I send my new address to?

  5. How do you let people know whether their proposal has been selected or rejected? The reason I ask is because I’m moving to a different state in a few weeks. So if it’s by mail, I wanted to know who I should send my new address to, as the one on the proposal is no longer good.

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