Preparing a Proposal

It is usual for each proposal to go through a process of independent peer review (the opinion of 2–3 colleagues working in the same area will be solicited). It is important therefore that the proposal is sufficiently detailed for the evaluation process to prove both useful and constructive.

Although peer review is an important part of our evaluation of a publishing proposal, our reviewers inform our publishing decisions, they do not make them for us. As an independent – and independently minded – publisher we back our own publishing instincts.

We do not wish to be overly prescriptive in our requirements for a book proposal, but it should be between 6 and 10 pages in length and we would expect it to contain, at least, the following information:

  • A clear statement of general aims and objectives (similar perhaps to that required for a research grant application).
  • A chapter plan with at least two paragraphs on each chapter detailing content, argument and approach. A simple list of chapter headings is not sufficient.
  • In the case of edited volumes, a list of contributors and their affiliations (and an indication of whether this is a wish-list, or confirmed participation).
  • An assessment of competing books, if appropriate, and how your work differs and adds to the literature.
  • A consideration of the intended readership, including level, and how your book would meet its requirements. If the proposal is for a textbook, you will need to go to town here. At the very least, we will need details of courses for which it would be appropriate.
  • An estimate of word length (we will publish long books, but there needs to be a compelling reason to go beyond 100,000 words on any subject).
  • A realistic schedule for completing the manuscript, including any intermediate dates for submitting draft chapters if required. We appreciate that writing at book-length is a considerable undertaking and has to be balanced with other commitments, whether teaching, administrative, or personal. We would much rather have you hit your deadline first time than miss several earlier ones.
  • A recent (short) CV should accompany the proposal.