A book pitch to a university press editor should communicate the following elements:

  • Thesis or argument forwarded and scope of the project.
  • Convey the significance of argument/interventions: this should be conveyed, not in terms of a lack, or absence of, but in terms of what is fresh and unique about your work that you are bringing to the field (for a quick book pitch, this will be the most important element to be able to articulate)
  • Questions asked
  • Methodology used
  • Briefly describe the case studies, “objects,” or data. Rather than detailed chapter summaries, you should be able to provide a succinct and compelling sense of the project’s arc and how it all comes together.

 

The book pitch should also:

  • Situate the project in relation to scholarly fields / discourses it engages
  • Indicate intended audience: most first books are rather focused and written for scholars; is your work multi-disciplinary?
  • Logistics: estimated length and analytic materials (archival documents, screen grabs, fine art, music examples, etc.)