Authors - Proposal Submission
How to Submit a Proposal
Choose a working title that is as explicit as possible.
Aims and scope
Why is the book being written? Why is it needed? What will it cover? How much depth? What is special about the style? What is special about the approach? What is special about the writers and editors? This section is the heart of the proposal and should be as detailed as possible.
State the group for whom the book is intended, and add any group for whom it may be of interest. Any statistics known to you on the size of the target market will be welcomed.
Table of Contents
List the chapters in the sequence in which they will appear.
Devote about 30-100 words to each chapter to spell out what it should cover, either by writing a synopsis or by listing headings and subheadings.
In the case of a very large project, a textbook of 20 or more chapters, for instance, one would normally have discussions with the publisher on the basis of a much less detailed outline of contents before embarking on this amount of description.
Approximate number of words
You may find it helpful to think in terms of the number of typewritten pages you think the book will occupy, or the number of pages it will run to when typeset, using an existing book as a yardstick. You can arrive at the total extent by multiplying the number of pages by the number of words on whatever typical page you are using.
Illustrations and tables
Give a brief description of the content and purpose of the illustrations and tables, and indicate roughly what proportion of the whole book you think they will make up. A sentence or two will normally cover this amply.
Feedback from reviewers
Do be prepared to rework the outline at a later stage in the light of feedback you may get from us and our reviewers.
To supplement the description of the aims and scope of your proposal, provide a list of other titles on the same subject as your proposed book, including any you believe may be in preparation. Give the usual publication details, including the price, year of publication and number of pages each, and note in a few sentences how your book would differ from it. Do make this review a thorough one. Not only will it demonstrate that your knowledge of the literature is up to date and complete, but also it will greatly help to give a clear picture of what you want to achieve.
Author(s) or Editor(s)
Please also include the names and appointments of the author(s) or the editor(s) and, if known, intended contributor(s), showing who is writing what. We do not normally reveal the identity of potential authors or editors to our reviewers without first asking their permission. It is therefore preferable if the names of authors or editors are not shown on the outline itself.
A very brief curriculum vitae of each of the editors, or the authors if it is not an edited book, together with a bibliography of published work, can be helpful. These details will not be seen by the reviewers.
Note that it is advisable not to approach contributors, unless on a very tentative and informal basis, before we invite you to do so. Until then, we are happy to regard the list of contributors as being provisional.
Be prepared to produce a sample chapter (or part of a chapter), if asked, to show the level, approach and style of writing of the whole book. We, or our reviewers, may select a particular chapter we would like to see. If so, we shall ask you for this. For some books, more than one sample chapter may be needed.