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Book Projects

Many faculty apply for external funding to begin drafting or to complete a book manuscript (refer to the Sabbatical Funding tab for examples of funding sources). Some organizations offer book subventions to encourage publication of books on particular topics and/or to defray publication costs. Below are a few links:

Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)  To support of new book-length publications in the field of Classical Archaeology (defined as Greek, Roman, and Etruscan archaeology and art history). Deadlines: early March and early November.

American Musicological Society (AMS)  The publisher must have committed to bring out the volume before the application is made. Deadlines: mid-February and mid-August.

Association for Asian Studies, Inc. (AAS)  “The applicant must have a completed manuscript with a provisional contract from an established academic press stipulating the need for an outside subvention in order to ensure publication.” Deadlines: early March and early September.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Emerging Scholars Program  This program assists young scholars who are either writing their dissertations or working on postdoctoral projects to publish their first books. Deadline: refer to web updates.

While the book prospectus that you send to an editor largely focuses on content, audience, and contributions to the discipline, there are several additional types of information that should be included in funding applications:

  • A work plan for the proposed fellowship period that outlines what you have accomplished to date, what remains to be done, and where and when you plan to accomplish the remaining tasks. Some applicants aim as well to publish papers based on one or more book chapters during the award period. Ensure that what you propose is feasible within the proposed or allotted time period.
  • Be as specific as possible about the prospective audience and the unique contributions of your book. While it may seem desirable to target a very broad audience, proposal reviewers may not be easily convinced that you will be able to produce content and an approach that will appeal equally to undergrads, graduates, advanced scholars, and the broader public.
  • Include a concise yet comprehensive overview of what been published on your topic and how your work makes a unique and distinctive contribution to the literature. Explain how your findings might be used outside your own discipline, including any methodological or theoretical innovations.
  • Where appropriate, describe how this current project relates to the work you have done in the past, and the work you plan to do in the future (if this work is related to your current project).

Staff at the Vanderbilt University Press ( are available to advise authors on how to foster productive relationships with editors at publishing companies or presses.

  Other resources:

Haynes, Anthony. Writing Successful Academic Books. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010. Print.

Kaufman, Roy S. Publishing Forms and Contracts. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008. Print.