press proposal template

clearly written proposals best enable us to determine whether books are suitable matches with our publishing program. your proposal may be read at various points by a wide range of people within the press—including marketing, sales, publicity, foreign rights, and production staff—as well as by outside reviewers. being as clear and succinct as possible will help all involved best understand the content and significance of your work. owing to the volume of submissions we receive, it is the policy of the press not to return proposals or manuscripts—including those submitted with a self-addressed stamped envelope—nor do we retain such material at the press. princeton university press is not responsible for any lost or misdirected manuscripts, photos, or artwork, so please do not send originals unless specifically requested. princeton asia (beijing) consulting co., ltd. unit 2702, nuo centre 2a jiangtai road, chaoyang district beijing 100016, p.r. china phone: +86 10 8457 8802 directions




press proposal overview

mit press began publishing journals in 1970 with the first volumes of linguistic inquiry and the journal of interdisciplinary history. the mit press has been a leader in open access book publishing for over two decades, beginning in 1995 with the publication of william mitchell’s city of bits, which appeared simultaneously in print and in a dynamic, open web edition. collaborating with authors, instructors, booksellers, librarians, and the media is at the heart of what we do as a scholarly publisher. established in 1962, the mit press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. the inquiry, which may be sent by post or email, should simply describe the project, the author, and the reasons for writing the book- in a few paragraphs. in preparing your proposal, bear in mind that the mit press needs to know as much as possible about your book, including its scope, its intended audience, and how we can promote the book to that audience.

the table of contents should be complete and detailed. this enables the reviewers to understand the structure and content of the manuscript. if you are invited to submit sample chapters, they should be in sufficiently good condition to allow a valid assessment of your capability, but they need not be in final form. ideally, about one-fourth of the work should be submitted, but the chapters need not be in sequence. the material submitted should reflect your writing style and pedagogy in the best possible light. advice from an experienced book editor and literary agent on how to write a proposal and a manuscript that will appeal to editors at trade publishing houses as well as at university presses.

send the appropriate acquisitions editor a single query with a brief description of the proposed book and the book’s intended audience in the body of the email. if your project is a good fit for uc press, we will notify you of our interest and request any additional materials, if necessary. please be sure to include all of the information below, as it is critical for evaluating your project and its fit for the program. please also include the relevant themes, arguments, contribution to scholarship, and place in the literature.

please include a separate pdf of sample illustrations with your materials (do not embed images in the proposal or manuscript). please discuss each book in a separate paragraph and provide the publisher and date of publication. for works that will be used in the classroom for a primarily student audience, discuss how your project’s coverage, approach, scholarship, or pedagogy provides a different perspective on how the topic is taught. if your work is intended for use in the classroom, have you or other instructors assigned your materials to students? as part of our mission to amplify diverse perspectives and represent an inclusive spectrum of voices, please provide five to ten names of a diverse pool of scholars with the relevant expertise to evaluate your project for its intended audience.

press proposal format

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press proposal guide

if your book is under contract and you are getting ready to submit final materials, please consult our manuscript, art, and permissions guidelines. (be sure to uncheck the box next to “distributed presses.”) if you are interested in publishing with one of our distribution clients, please contact that press directly. a. editors want to hear from you when you can give them a detailed picture of what your book is about, why it will be interesting, who will want to read it, and why chicago would be a good home for it. a. write to the editor who you feel is closest to your work’s subject area, but do ask if another editor might be better suited to it. do take a look at our list of series, though, since you might find a good match there. a. yes, but if you are sending your proposal to multiple presses, please mention that in your cover letter. if the editor is interested in your work, you can discuss with them whether to offer exclusive review and for how long.

for poetry, our phoenix poets series is open to submissions each october. a. please submit your materials to the appropriate acquisitions editor via email. a. you may embed images in the text with your initial submission, as long as the document is not so large as to be cumbersome to email or edit. a. it helps to provide at least one sample chapter with your proposal, though it is not required with an initial submission. we prefer endnotes in our published books, but it is sometimes easier for peer reviewers to assess text with footnotes. a. we use single-blind peer review for both proposals and completed manuscripts: the readers know who you are, but we won’t reveal their identities to you. a. we welcome your suggestions for possible readers before peer review begins, though your editor may choose different readers than the ones you suggested. you should also let us know if, for whatever reason, we should avoid someone as a potential reader.

first and foremost, a good book begins with a good idea and a clear sense of who you are writing it for. whether your book idea is speculative or fully-formed we would be delighted to discuss it with you. while experienced authors may prepare perfectly constructed proposals, more frequently book ideas are raised and developed in discussion – by email, on the phone or in person. please don’t hesitate to contact your relevant commissioning editor to discuss your ideas. you will find details here. your proposal allows you to summarize your book, its aims, its goals and main features, telling us the market that the book is going to be written for, and also the existing books that form the central competition to your proposed one. in short, the more you can tell us about the book at this early stage, the better the feedback and guidance we will be able to give you. your commissioning editor will be happy to answer any questions you have as you work on your proposal.