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Scholarly Communications

Book Proposals

Book proposals are short documents that are submitted to publishers to pitch a book for publication. 

They typically include information such as a short description of the book, a detailed outline with chapter headings, supplemental material such as images or graphs, a statement of intended readership, and an approximate number of pages. The required information may vary between publishers and will be indicated in a publishers proposal guidelines. 

Here are some examples of publisher proposal guidelines: 

Proposal Writing Tips

Keep the book title simple and relevant to the subject. Consider what would make a reader select your book from a library catalogue or bookshelf. The title should be easily searchable within a database. 

Keep your summary concise and to the point by focusing on a few key ideas. Remember that the editor receiving your proposal is not necessarily an expert in this field. Set your book into the appropriate context by explaining the scope and methodology. 

Be realistic and specific about your intended audience. Consider whether your book is interdisciplinary or targeted to a specific field, and if it could be relevant to a particular course. 

Publishing is a business. Think about why it would make sense for a publisher to invest in your book. It may help to cite similar books that have been recently successful or to demonstrate a gap in the current market. 

Consider why you are the right person to write this book. Mention any other relevant work you have done and list related accomplishments or research. It may help to state a unique connection that you share with your work. 

Selected Library Resources