Submitting a Proposal

Here are our guidelines for submitting information on a prospective book project.

Please note that each of our literary competitions has its own submissions process, and the standard proposal guidelines below do not apply. Submission to a literary competition outside of its established process may disqualify an entry.

Learn more about our literary competitions:

To submit a book outside of our literary competitions, please include as much of the following materials and information as you deem appropriate for the kind of book you wish us to consider for publication:

  • Title
  • Overview (1–2 pages) explanation of the scope, focus, and purpose.
  • Significant or unique features (e.g., new subject area, distinguished contributors, unique structure). Provide information that will help us answer the question, “Why does this book represent a needed new contribution to your field?” Also tell us what other books or resources already are available on your topic or closely related topics and how your proposed book differs from these.
  • For monographs and other single-authored works: Book outline, listing each chapter with a one- to two-paragraph narrative description of what will be covered in each chapter. Authors submitting an already completed manuscript should submit, in lieu of a book outline, a table of contents with each copy of the manuscript.
  • For edited collections: Book outline, with abstracts (one or two paragraphs apiece) for all essays, a draft introduction, and brief notes on the contributors.
  • Two sample chapters or, in the case of edited collections, two sample essays.
  • Authors submitting an already completed manuscript should submit, in lieu of two sample chapters, one electronic copy of the manuscript.
  • Proposed format—if you are proposing a book of unusual size or format, please describe it and tell us why you think this format is the best way to present your content to the intended audience.
  • Describe any photographs, illustrations, charts, etc., that will be part of the book.
  • Estimated length—we are looking for manuscripts that are a minimum of 160 manuscript pages, ranging from 40,000 to 100,000 words.
  • Tentative schedule for completion of draft manuscript.
  • Preliminary bibliography / works cited.
  • A copy of your current résumé or CV.

Please also provide details and, where relevant, data about the following:

  • The book’s target market, the audience and relevant demographics. Who needs this book? Scholars? Students? If students, which classes?
  • The book’s selling points; that is, what might motivate someone to purchase the book, what the reader will gain from the book.
  • Positioning your book in the current book market: What books on the same subject are currently in print? How is your book different from those books?

Address your proposal, and any requests for further information, to the appropriate editor via email. If you are unsure about whether your project fits the editorial program of the press, please feel free to send a brief initial query email to an editor.

Please allow us one month to consider your proposal before you make any followup inquiries. We make every effort to give prospective authors a clear indication of their project’s suitability for our publishing program within this time.