Rural Studies Series

Preparing a Book Prospectus

In order to submit a book proposal to the series, we ask that you provide a book prospectus to our editors, along with an author CV and 2-3 sample substantive chapters. While the format of a prospectus may vary somewhat depending on the content and aims of a given book, the following are common parts of most proposals:

  1. Overview: explains the book’s main points, purpose, argument, research methods, unique features, and engagement with existing literature. Should speak to the book’s main contributions, as well as what might distinguish it from other existing books on similar topics.
  2. Audience: describes types of audiences to which the book will appeal, as well as larger debates within which it may be situated. Think in terms of both academic and nonacademic audiences.
  3. Series Fit: a brief statement on how the manuscript fits into the Rural Studies Series.
  4. Timeline, Length, and Illustrations: estimations of all. Estimate the total word count of the completed book, including the main text, footnotes, bibliography, and any appendices. Provide a realistic timeline for completion and explain the current status of the work in progress. Also list any possible illustrations (charts, graphs, photographs, etc.).
  5. Chapter Outline and Descriptions: A list of all of the book’s proposed chapters, with prose descriptions of each chapter (generally 1-2 paragraphs per chapter).
  6. Comparable Volumes: Describe existing works that are similar and explain how the current manuscript expands or extends what is out there, or differs from existing books. Explain what makes the current project special and new.
  7. Potential Reviewers: list of three to four ideal reviewers, as well as any potential conflicts of interest.
  8. Author Biographical Statement: brief bio that includes author’s credentials, current position(s), and selected relevant publications and/or honors. If multiple authors/editors, please indicate which authors are committed and which may still be negotiating.
  9. Note on Previously Published Pieces: If any pieces of the current project have been previously published elsewhere, please list when and where.
  10. Reference List

In addition to the prospectus, please attach a full CV for all authors, as well as 2-3 sample substantive chapters in relatively polished draft form.