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

How Can I Submit a Proposal for a 33 1/3?

Update December 2012: We are not currently accepting proposals. Please check back in Summer 2013 for more information on the next submission period or feel free to get in touch by visiting the contact us page.You can read about our last call for proposals below.

February 2012
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