How to Submit a Proposal

Submission Guidelines

Update: We have been accepting submissions up until this point on a rolling basis. We’ll continue to do so until October 20th, 2017. So if you would like to submit a proposal, please send before that date! If you’ve been working on a proposal but won’t be able to submit by then, not to worry – we will be announcing a new open call for submissions soon. So please keep an eye out for that!

If you would like to submit a proposal for a 33 ⅓ volume, please submit all of the following to

Submit the content below in one single document as either .doc, .docx or .pdf. No .rtf files will be accepted. Please put your name, album, and artist in the subject line of the email.

Proposal requirements:

1. 2–3 pages that describe the book.

2. A concise description of the book (up to 200 words).

3. A 5-page sample from anywhere in the book.

4. A 1-page table of contents for the book with chapter titles and light annotation if desired.

5. Your professional CV/resume, including full contact details and 200 word bio.

6. A 1-page marketing plan (with comparable titles and suggestions for finding an audience).

7.  The amount of time it will take you to complete your manuscript.

Upon submission you will receive an auto-reply message. Unfortunately we are not able to respond to each submission individually, but we will reach out to you as soon as we can if we would like to move forward with a project.

Just in case you need a refresher, here are the other books in the series and here are the ones currently contracted to come out in the next 3 years.

If you are a member of the press and want to know more about the series or write about it, please visit our contact us page.

Q: Do you have examples of successful pitches to share?
A: Yes, in our textbook How To Write About Music there is a chapter titled “How To Pitch a 33 1/3″ that is worth reading.
Q: I submitted a proposal last time and it would be really helpful to hear some constructive criticism as to why it was rejected, can you quickly look at it and let me know what I can do better?
A: Very sorry but we just don’t have the time or resources to do that. While we carefully read every single proposal there are a multitude of reasons why many don’t get selected. This is not to discourage you from submitting again, but seriously consider extensive revisions.
Q: There is already a book in the series by the same artist as the one I’m proposing, will you consider two albums by the same artist?
A: Yes. There are two albums by Radiohead, two by the Beach Boys, and two by The Rolling Stones in the series already.
Q: Why are so many of the books cancelled after they are signed up?
A: Because life gets in the way. There are many reasons some of the accepted proposals never become books. Some of the more common reasons: life change, health problems, artist refuses to cooperate/talk, there isn’t enough to say about the album. To try to circumvent this, 33 1/3 has a new publishing schedule in which contracts will be issued for books due within 12 months.


  1. Quick question for you. I’m slimming down my introduction’s word count. But I think it’s still a bit too beefy. What’s the upper end of the word count you’d be willing to allow….? Thank you!

  2. Mike

    Hello. I sent my submission this evening (@10pm). Didn’t get an auto reply. Checked email a few times and got a bounce back from AT&T (my provider) saying that the email wasn’t delivered. This came around 10:45 and I saw at about 11 when I sat down to work. I quickly saved the PDF down to a smaller size (wondering if the file size was an issue—sometimes is with AT&T) and resent it.
    I just now (11:08) received an auto reply saying that it was too late.
    Is there anyway this can still be accepted?
    As I’m sure you know, there was an awful lot of time put into this and to now have it not accepted because of $!@(#$^*#-ing AT&T seems unfair

    Thank you for the consideration

  3. John Nugent

    Great Books. I now know how much time and effort a proposal involves. I think any of the following would be great additions to the series.

    Kate Bush – Hounds of Love ( Including exceptional B sides )
    Talk Talk – The Spirit of Eden
    Peter Murphy – Love Hysteria
    Derrick May – Innovator (1991 Version)
    Pigeonhed (1993)
    The Young Gods – Only Heaven
    The God Machine – One Last Laugh In a Place of Dying
    Carl Crack – Black Ark
    Spiritualized – Pure Phase
    Trashmonk – Mona Lisa Overdrive
    Saul Williams – Amethyst Rock Star

    Good Luck with all current projects.


  4. Mark

    How do you let people know whether their proposal has been accepted/rejected? The reason I ask is because I’m moving to a new state, so if it is by mail, who should I send my new address to?

  5. How do you let people know whether their proposal has been selected or rejected? The reason I ask is because I’m moving to a different state in a few weeks. So if it’s by mail, I wanted to know who I should send my new address to, as the one on the proposal is no longer good.

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  7. Hi,
    I see it now says above “Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.” Does that mean there’s no cut-off date this year, and that I can just submit at any time? I just want to be absolutely sure.

    Thanks for your time.

  8. Craig

    I’m wondering the same as Greg and Ben Winch as indicated above, regarding the “rolling basis” of proposal reviews,and in addition, if the 2017 print schedule is finalized (I’ve seen what’s on the docket for 2016 through 2018 at this point). Posting inquiry here as I see others are interested. Thanks!

  9. So when are you going to tell everyone? what you got this time around? and what you going to publish in the near future? Your readers would like to know! Cheers 🙂

  10. trisquith

    Is there a policy against any portions of a 33 1/3 book publishing elsewhere prior to publication? If a segment has already been published in a magazine or website, would that disqualify the proposal?

  11. shotofcompassion

    One thing that I hope the editors clarify is whether or not the series is still considering non-academic proposals. I have always liked that the 33 1/3 series welcomes a variety of approaches. There are ‘Making Of’ books like “69 Love Songs” and “Chocolate and Cheese.” There are literary approaches like “Master of Reality,” “Meat is Murder,” and Let it Be.” And, of course, there are the academic/analytical titles like “Let’s Talk About Love” and “Dangerous.”

    While I respect Carl Wilson’s writing, his “Let’s Talk About Love” was actually one of my least favorite titles in the series so far — simply because I found it too academic for my personal tastes. Luckily, 33 1/3 has always had many other styles that did more closely match my tastes. However, in the three interviews with the new editors so far, all seem to favor Wilson’s approach and to lean toward future proposals having a clear “argument.” But “69 Love Songs” and “Let it Be” couldn’t really be said to have made an argument per se and “Chocolate and Cheese” and “Master of Reality” weren’t overtly that interested in analyzing where those albums fit into the social landscape or taking a particular stance.

    This isn’t meant as snark. I’m genuinely curious to hear the new editorial staff make a statement about this because it will greatly determine my future interest in the series and, more importantly to me as a writer, whether or not I submit.

  12. In the wake of David Bowie’s death, have you found there’s been an uptick in submissions for his albums? If so, would you be willing to share which ones are currently under consideration? I’m in the early stages of putting together a proposal for Lodger, but before I get too deep into research it would be useful to know if it’s essentially a fool’s errand right now. Thanks!

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