How To Propose A Book

How to Propose a Book

Since each editor has their own preference in how they select books, we suggest you start the conversation with a simple email telling the appropriate editor about the project and asking if they are interested. Your query should include a sentence or two about the subject of your book project, its field, and something about yourself. 

There is no need to send it to more than one editor. We work collaboratively and will share your project with the right editor if it is appropriate. Profiles of our editors can be found here.

After that initial query, the editor may ask for a book proposal, sample chapter, and cv. Your proposal should include six things about the project: 

  • Working title and a brief description    Tell us about the book. What is its subject, the problem you wish to address, and the question you hope to answer? 
  • Context and reason for writing    Why is this book important now? Who will want to read it? How will this book help them?
  • Competing books    What books is yours in conversation with? 
  • The proposed manuscript     Is the manuscript still an idea or nearly complete? When do you anticipate its completion? Estimate the length (in words). Tell us about any illustrations, tables, maps, or graphs that are editorially necessary for the book to make its point. 
  • You, the author    Why are you the right person to write this book? 
  • Table of contents     Annotate each chapter with what you plan to say in it.

Along with your proposal, Include your cv and a sample chapter if the editor requests one. 

Please do not send a full manuscript unless the editor requests it. For prospective authors whose disciplinary work falls outside the scope of our acquisitions program, we recommend using the Association of University Press resources to find a suitable publisher. 

Want more guidance about navigating the process? Here are two terrific resources we use ourselves.

  • William Germano’s Getting It Published, A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books Third Edition 
  • Laura Portwood-Stacer’s The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors