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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Call for Proposals for the 33 1/3 Series

Bloomsbury is thrilled to announce a call for new proposals for the acclaimed 33 1/3 book series, previously published by Continuum. (Bloomsbury acquired Continuum in July 2011).

The series – each volume of which focuses on one popular music album of the last several decades – started in September 2003 and has published 85 titles to date. Books in the series so far have taken a wide range of approaches, on subjects ranging from albums by the Kinks to James Brown, from Bob Dylan to Prince, from the Pixies to Public Enemy, and from the Beastie Boys to Celine Dion.

In these new proposals, we’ll be looking for original research, for stories in the history of popular music (recent or otherwise) that haven’t been told too often (if at all), and for perspectives that will broaden and develop the discipline of writing about music, as read by a global readership of music scholars and fans.

Proposals will be considered for books about any album that hasn’t already been covered in the series, or isn’t already under contract. (The Wikipedia page on the series can help with this.) Your choice of album is precisely that: yours. Titles in the series typically sell 4-5,000 copies or more: if you’re convinced that enough readers around the world would rush out to buy your book, then go ahead and persuade us!

All resulting books published in the series as a result of this call for proposals will be published under the Bloomsbury Academic imprint during 2013 and 2014. (All existing titles in the series will also be re-branded as Bloomsbury Academic titles, in due course.)

We will be accepting new proposals between the dates of March 19th and April 30th, 2012. Nothing sooner, nothing later.

Interested authors should send in one proposal, about one album. Multiple submissions cannot be accepted.

All proposals must be submitted via email. The address for submissions is as follows:


The subject line of your email must use this format: “Proposal for Madonna’s Ray of Light”. (That’s an example only, of course…)

Only proposals sent to 33proposals@gmail.com will be considered – no exceptions! Any questions about the proposal process should be posted to the comments section of the 33 1/3 blog , or on the wall of the series facebook page: we will answer them there.

All proposals will receive an automated reply, acknowledging receipt. Once the window closes at the end of April, we will need around 3 months before our publishing decisions are made: everybody will be notified in person at that point.

Word count on the books signed up will be between 30,000 and 40,000. No exceptions allowed.

There will be royalties payable on all print and electronic editions of your book, as well as foreign rights deals, etc – but no advances will be paid against those royalties.

Your proposal must contain all of the following in order to be considered:

1. Your professional CV/resume, including full contact details;
2. A draft annotated table of contents for the book and an approximate date of completion;
3. A draft introduction/opening chapter for the book, of around 2,000 words;
4. Your analysis of the most relevant competing books already published about the artist in question or the scene surrounding that artist – and how your book will differ;
5. A one-page sheet of how you would help Bloomsbury Academic market your book – 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;
6. Up to 1,000 words on which book, or parts of books, already published in the series you would aim to emulate on some level;

You should attach all of this in a readable format to your email as a PDF or .doc or .docx file – if you could include it all as one full document rather than several attachments, we would appreciate that enormously.

Finally, please do share this call for proposals on message boards, listservs, facebook, twitter, blogs, and with any interested colleagues – thank you. We look forward to receiving and reading your proposal!

David Barker PhD
Publishing Director, Bloomsbury Academic US

Monday, January 23, 2012

Le Blues de Memphis

From The Observer's Very Short List...
“Le Blues de Memphis” is an incredibly cool 11-minute video tour of two iconic music studios. Made for French television forty-some years ago, it starts off at a Brook Benton session in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and then (after a quick stop at Elvis Presley’s Graceland) takes us behind the scenes at Stax Records—where Booker T. and the MGs are recording “Time Is Tight” and a slicker-than-silk, saxophone-playing Isaac Hayes is putting the studio’s horn section through its paces.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On Point with Aretha

Aaron Cohen was recently on WBUR's On Point discussing Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace with Alexander Hamilton (the choir director on the album) and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drummer extraordinaire). Even if you aren't in a spot where you can listen to the archived audio at the moment (but you should bookmark it, because it's fantastic), the page here is well worth visiting for the photos, embedded videos, excerpts, and all the other bells and whistles.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A collection of 33 1/3 author interviews

Rock Cellar Magazine's debut issue arrives in style, with an interview with our own David Barker about the 33 1/3 series, followed by six interviews with 33 1/3 authors who are also musicians or artists from other fields, namely...

Elizabeth Vincentelli (ABBA's ABBA Gold)
Warren Zanes (Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis)
Bill Janovitz (Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street)
Franklin Bruno (Elvis Costello's Armed Forces)
Joe Pernice (The Smiths' Meat is Murder)
LD Beghtol (Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs)

(NOTE: you have to click on the album covers at the top or bottom of each interview to get to the next one.)

I've read my share of interviews with 33 1/3 authors over the years, and I have to admit that I learned a thing or two reading these interviews. Well worth your time!

Early '70s Radio event in Austin

Kim Simpson will be talking about and signing copies of Early '70s Radio in Austin at Book People on Wednesday, January 25th at 7pm. It is worth noting that St. Arnold Brewing Company will be supplying free beer.

Early '70s Radio was also featured in the Austin American Statesman recently. You can read that here.

And there's some more info on the book at the Continuum Film & Media Studies blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Clips of the day roundup

David is going through the series posting a video (or two) from each volume of the series over on the series Facebook page... Here are the first six days presented without comment!

Pink Floyd BBC1 1967 Astronomy Domine Unedited (embedding disabled)

and for good measure, here's Echoes Live at Pompeii...

Keep up with the facebook page for your daily dose. I believe we are due for ABBA today...

Friday, January 13, 2012

RIP Lou Rawls

Thought this particular video might be Friday the 13th-appropriate.
We've hit a bit of a dry patch over here at the blog, but over on Facebook, David is posting a music video per day for each of the volumes in the series.

And just for kicks, here's a tumblr of album covers recreated using clip art and comic sans. And here are some mundane stories about meeting pop stars.