24 August 2005

- The Book Proposal -

As I reported last week, I sent my book proposal off. The guidelines for submission were very clear: send a detailed proposal and one chapter. The chapter is in good shape. I showed the proposal around to get feedback, and everyone liked it. So I really felt good about it, not the least because I knew that I wouldn't have to deal with it until the readers' reports came in.

At least that's what I thought.

I opened my email yesterday morning and found a letter from the press saying they really liked what I sent them, but could you, ah, send more of the manuscript please. Well, that sucks, especially at this time of year, when I'm trying to get courses up and running. In fact, I have about half the manuscript completed. The problems: (1) none of it has been adequately sourced; (2) each of the other chapters has significant gaps in it; (3) while there are significant chunks of coherent material, the large-scale organization of the material for most of the chapters remains less than clear; (4) none of the writinng has been edited for consistency and repetition; and (5) much of it at this point would be quite obscure to anyone who hasn't dealt in a very detailed way with this material.

So I'm really wondering what I should do. I plan to spend today—my last free day before school starts—going over the extent material to see exactly what state the various chapters are in. Given that I have to give a talk on something I know essentially nothing about in mid-October (ah, the things you do for friendship...), will it be possible for me to pull together another chapter by the end of September? If so, which chapter is in the best shape?

Yes, I've got a long day ahead of me.