I am happy to announce the next open call for proposals for the 33 1/3 series.
Proposals are due by Monday, July 27th (7.27.15) at 12:00am EST (that’s midnight). 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 12:00am EST on Monday, July 27th, 2015.
If you would like to submit a proposal for a 33 ⅓ volume, please submit ALL of the following to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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)
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.
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.