Sunday, November 2, 2008

So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Writer?

David Barker, editor of Continuum’s “33 & 1/3” series of books on classic rock albums, announced yesterday on his blog that Continuum is now accepting proposals for future 33 & 1/3 books, to be published in 2010 and 2011. A significant change in this year’s submissions policy is that the “one book per band/artist” rule no longer exists. Therefore, the review board will consider proposals for books about any album that hasn’t already been covered in the series, or isn’t already under contract.

For those interested, one can find a list of titles already published in the series here, which also lists those titles “Coming 2008” and “Titles Announced for 2008 and 2009.” Apparently the “Unknown Status” list consists of proposed titles that are no longer under contract (with the exception of the books about Kate Bush, Lucinda Williams, and the Clash). The deadline for submission of proposals this go-round is midnight, December 31st, 2008.

Last year I proposed a book on Wall of Voodoo’s classic album Call of the West (1982) for which I had the full support of Stan Ridgway. Not only did he provide me some great material for the proposal, but he also enthusiastically endorsed the proposal, saying he would be happy to sell the books at his concerts. Foolishly believing the proposal would be accepted, I began writing it, only to learn about halfway through the manuscript that my proposal had been rejected. That incomplete manuscript now resides in my file cabinet. The same thing happened to my friend Tim Lucas, who in fact completed his manuscript on Jefferson Airplane’s Crown of Creation (1968). His proposal was also rejected, but he’s announced on his blog that he intends to re-submit his proposal—which he may, in fact, already have done. I have been strongly considering submitting a proposal on The Zombies’ 1968 album Odessey and Oracle—an album specifically mentioned by David Barker as one he would like to have in the series—but there is another title I’m also considering, more outré and avant-garde, that I think should be in the series also. If I don’t do it, who will? (No, it’s not for Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music—that’s been proposed already.)

I own roughly half the titles in the 33 & 1/3 series, primarily those on albums that strongly interest me. It is a splendid concept for a series, of course, and while I think the series appears to have at this point given up too quickly on classic albums, that may change now that the “one book per band/artist” rule is no longer in effect, opening up proposals for other Beatles albums, for instance, or different albums by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, and others. I for one would sure like to see a book on Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night (1975), as well as a book on the Brian Jones era of The Rolling Stones—Aftermath, for instance (hint, hint). And no book on Elvis Presley in a series on rock albums? That's shameful. Someone should write up a proposal on From Elvis in Memphis (1969), one of the great albums of all time.

Good luck to everyone submitting this time! Wish me luck as well.

1 comment:

Tim Lucas said...

I wish us both well, Sam!