What I Wish I Knew: Book Proposals

When and Where

Tuesday, May 02, 2023 10:30 am to 12:00 pm


In this new webinar that is part of CRIS’ popular Book Publishing Series, published faculty authors discuss their experiences in developing, writing, and submitting their book proposals. The faculty panelists will reflect on the role their proposals had in securing their publishing agreements and what they will do in the future when crafting and editing their book proposals. This session will explore lessons learned, be it their first or fourth book, monograph or an edited collection. The range of faculty-author experiences with publishers across disciplines will offer participants a chance to learn how to approach their own book proposals. The timing of the session is designed to jumpstart summer writing projects for faculty working on book projects.

The researchers will share their experiences, insights, advice, and tips on book proposals and the role of this document in the overall publishing process. Researchers in the University of Toronto community interested in academic monograph publishing can learn from the collective wisdom presented in this panel. Panelists will also offer concrete steps for collecting relevant information and data needed in today’s book proposal: comparative titles, target audiences, and press fit.

Session Moderator:

  • Elizabeth Legge, JHI Acting Director


  • John Ricco, Professor, Visual Studies (U of T Mississauga)
  • Aisha Ahmad, Associate Professor, Political Science (U of T Scarborough)
  • Yurou Zhong, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies (U of St. George)

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of the book proposal in securing a book contract
  • Conceptualize the elements that make up a successful book proposals
  • Identify the key steps required to move forward towards the publication of a monograph
  • Identify common researcher/author challenges in the book proposal stage of the publishing process
  • Employ strategies to mitigate challenges arising during the book proposal process