A blog about Bloomsbury Academic's 33 1/3 series, our other books about music, and the world of sound in general.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Time of the Season!

We're now accepting proposals for future 33 1/3 books, to be published in 2008 and 2009. Here are some rules, guidelines and ramblings:

* Proposals on artists already covered in the series (or under contract to be covered) will not be accepted. In other words, these people:

The Smiths
The Kinks
Neutral Milk Hotel
Pink Floyd
Joy Division
Velvet Underground
Rolling Stones
The Beatles
Neil Young
Beach Boys
Dusty Springfield
DJ Shadow
Jimi Hendrix
Led Zeppelin
The Replacements
David Bowie
The Band
Beastie Boys
Jeff Buckley
The Ramones
Bruce Springsteen
Bob Dylan
Elvis Costello
James Brown
Jethro Tull
Sly and the Family Stone
The Who
The MC5
The Stone Roses
Guided By Voices
Magnetic Fields
Joni Mitchell
Guns N Roses
My Bloody Valentine
The Byrds
Stevie Wonder
A Tribe Called Quest
Sonic Youth
Captain Beefheart
Steely Dan
The Clash
The Minutemen
PJ Harvey
Celine Dion
Nine Inch Nails
Richard and Linda Thompson
Tom Waits
Belle & Sebastian
Throbbing Gristle
Nick Drake
Brian Eno
Lucinda Williams
Patti Smith
Kate Bush

* The deadline for submission of proposals is Wednesday February 14th - how very romantic.

* Only one proposal per person. Seriously!

* If you've submitted before, you're perfectly welcome to do so again.

* All proposals must be submitted via email - the address is pitches33@yahoo.com Please don't send any proposals to my regular work email. I'm trying to concentrate on Biblical Studies for the next few weeks.

* Choice of album is important - we're here to sell some books, after all. We're more likely to accept a proposal on Odessey & Oracle than on Angels With Dirty Faces, as much as I love them both.

* Your proposal should take the form of a Word document attachment. Do not include your proposal in the body of your email.

* Your proposal needs to include these simple things: your name; a brief outline (up to 1000 words) of how you would approach your album of choice; a brief bio of yourself (up to 500 words), outlining why you're awesome, and why you're the best person to write about that album; a couple of sentences on which 33 1/3 book you've enjoyed the most so far, and why; that's pretty much it.


Last time around (towards the end of 2005), we received about 170 proposals, and ended up offering contracts to 21 of them. I've no idea how many we'll get this time, or how many we'll end up signing, but we do promise to read them all and to give them all equal consideration. Once we've narrowed it down to a shortlist (by the middle of March), we'll contact those authors to finalise manuscript deadlines, etc.

I hope this covers everything! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section to this post, and I'll do my best to answer them.


Anonymous said...

Q: Will proposals for solo albums made by members of groups that have been written about be considered (a Mick Jagger or Joe Strummer solo album, for example)?

David said...

Yes, solo albums or albums by offshoot bands are totally acceptable - Strummer, Jagger, New Order, Nico, even Johnny Marr and the Healers. That last one probably wouldn't be a wise choice, though.

Jugi said...

David, would you be willing to answer a question such as, "Which would you be more likely to accept, [Album A] or [Album B] by [Band]?" Or would you prefer to leave it up to us?

David said...

I have to leave the choice of album up to you. Had someone asked last time if we were likely to accept proposals on albums by Throbbing Gristle or Celine Dion, the answer would almost certainly have been no. But we signed those up because the pitches were so compelling.

Alan said...

I am a fan of the 33 1/3 series and I am a writer, but with little experience and NO contacts in the music biz. Can I simply SUGGEST an album that I'd LOVE to see you guys do a book on? Where do I do that?

David said...

Sure, Alan, of course you can suggest an album for the series - why not email it to the same address? pitches33@yahoo.com

Ned said...

Cool! I look forward to this! :-)

Anonymous said...

i know it's ok to submit if you've already submitted, but what if you've already written one? (Anonymous only out of mild embarrassment.)

Anonymous said...

Yo - is there a ruling on non-music albums - eg spoken word and comedy etc?

David said...

Hmmm - I was going to mention this possibility in the guidelines, but then thought better of it. It has to be one book per author, really, just to give everyone a fair shot.

As for spoken word/comedy, I could definitely see a case for a Bill Hicks or a Richard Pryor or an Eddie Izzard album...but I could also imagine a lot of people disagreeing!

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the date for a deadline?

Anonymous said...

nevermind. reading comprehension issues. sorry.

Aaron said...

I have the same situation as Alan, but I actually want to write a proposal.
I'm, uh, also still in high school (I'm a senior).
Should I bother? Am I actually allowed to write a proposal?

David said...

Of course you're allowed to write a proposal - send one in, if you want to!

Anonymous said...

I am all fired up about the possibilities here. Thanks for the chance. The two books I have read in the series were both done by folks in a interview/research form. Very good and knowledgeable but is that all you are looking for. Are you also interested in more of a personal author connection collection or how an album relates to and follows and participates in the crazy exploits of a clan of fools. So to speak. Have I said too much.... o

Anonymous said...

1,000 max on the proposal? But I have so many points to propose!

Ned said...

Quick query that might not be able to be answered easily, but: would there be any bias towards a resubmitted proposal from a previous time, or is starting fresh, with another album (or another group) the way to go?

Anonymous said...

Ah, this is all very exciting.

Aaron said...

Alright, thanks. I'll give it a go.

David said...

Ned - that's a tricky one. No inherent bias against resubmitting a proposal that didn't make the cut last time, but my hunch is that choosing a fresh album might make a stronger impression this time around.

David said...

And as for the anonymous question a few comments back, we're open to all manner of proposals - memoir, fiction, graphic novels, screenplay, epic poem...if it's good, we'll consider it!

John said...

I have a Mac. I don't think we have Word on it. Mac calls its version of words AppleWorks. Would that program be OK to submit on?


David said...

Yep, should be fine!

Anonymous said...

Hey, is there a specific word count you guys are aiming for in the books themselves? Or a set minimum or maximum?

David said...

Anywhere between 25,000 and 40,000 words, although we've had a few that have stretched the upper limit recently...

Anonymous said...

If a proposal is accepted, can Continuum be expected to help secure an interview with the act who made the album? (Within reason, of course. I wouldn't propose, say, a Captain Beefheart album and then expect Continuum to be able to make an interview happen.)

David said...

We tend to rely on authors to secure interviews for these books, as we don't have the time to do it ourselves. But if, through our existing contacts with the series, we know someone who knows someone who knows someone you might need to interview, we'll certainly do our best to help.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about this crass question but can you talk about the contract and what kind of money might be expected if you accept a proposal?

David said...

I'd rather not broadcast that stuff on here, but if you email the pitches33@yahoo address, I'll happily get back to you on that.

Tao Lin said...

i have a question, how notable does the band have to be?

can you tell me if this would be an album that could have a chance, if i pitched it well?

ballade from the revolutions, by good riddance


Anonymous said...

You have about as much chance of playing badminton in the Olympics with Fat Mike from NOFX than Continuum publishing a book that has anything to do with any artist on Fat Wreck Chords.

Anonymous said...

As far as proposals go, do they need to be polished, professional and formal proposals or more of an informal explanation?


David said...

The more polished proposals stand a better chance, on the whole. Unless you're proposing a concept book about a slacker album, or something.

Anonymous said...

That's funny - that made me laugh! What I meant with the proposal question has more to do with the content. Do the proposals have to follow a certain format, such as a in-depth explanation of plot, etc., or is it more of a general overview with a "this is what I plan to address" explanation? Does anything fancy need to be included, or is it just a straightforward general overview of topic. Does this make sense? I apologize for rambling!

David said...

No set format, it's up to you really. We're just looking to learn how you would approach the album, and we'd love to get a sense of how well you might do it.

Tao Lin said...

what about choking victim, no gods / no managers, which was released by hell-cat records?

david, i'm serious, are these not notable enough? i mean i earnestly want to know

David said...

Hi there. Bottom line is that we need to feel vaguely confident that we can sell 4000 or 5000 copies of these books, and we don't always get it right. (I was sure that the MC5 and James Brown books would sell much better, for example.) But if you can make a case in your proposal that's persuasive enough, we'll certainly consider it seriously.

Anonymous said...

I sent a message to the pitch e-mail addy about this as well, but I thought I'd ask here too: What about compilations? (The specific comp I'm referring to is mentioned in my e-mail.)

David said...

Yes, we'll certainly look at proposals for compilation albums. Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

From the suggested brevity of your guidelines, I'm assuming you have no interest in seeing a sample chapter in the proposal. Is that correct? Thank you.

David said...

Yes, that's correct. But by all means inject a bit of flavour into your proposal, if you want to.

Anonymous said...

What exactly are you looking for in a proposal? Do you want part of the book? A few detail? An outline? Some details would be nice.


David said...

As it says above, "a brief outline of how you would approach your album of choice". (Plus the other things - bio, and which book, if any, you've enjoyed the most so far.) It's really just a chance to convey some enthusiasm, knowledge, and writing prowess - precisely how you choose to do it is up to you.

Alfred said...

David, any preferences as to single or doublepspace, HTML, tabs, etc?

Jef said...

Whoo-hoo! Done!

Now it's time to cross my fingers for a month and a half.

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