How to Propose Your Book
Guidance for New Authors
Research the Market
Get to Know the Competition
Even if you’ve had them sitting on your shelves for years, it’s worth taking a fresh look at any competing texts on the market and recording the strengths and weaknesses of each. If you’ve got time, it would be useful to get input from a few colleagues – do they share your perception that there’s a gap in the market for a new text? What would they want from a new textbook in this field?
How does your proposed text compare with what’s on the market in terms of content, structure, level, approach and use of features? Be realistic about what’s distinctive about your proposed book. You don’t necessarily need to offer something unique on all of these fronts, but the need for a new book in this space should be clear to your Commissioning Editor – and to reviewers. Think about what will convince lecturers to switch to using your book. It’s important that at this early stage you have a clear idea about this project’s unique selling points.
How Will You Engage Your Reader?
Think about the kinds of in-text features (e.g. case studies, short exercises, interviews, tables) you could include to enliven the text and engage the reader. For instance, in lectures and seminars you have a better opportunity to check that students follow what you’re saying whereas this isn’t necessarily the case with the written word. You might decide to incorporate questions or activities which help readers to consolidate their understanding of the material. Finally, you might also consider developing online resources such as videos which either accompany the print version of the book or could be integrated into an electronic version.
Have You Included Enough Detail?
Most editors at Red Globe Press would say you can never provide too much detail in your proposal. As a rough guideline, we’d recommend devoting a least a page of your proposal to laying out the overarching description of your project, as well as a minimum of half a page per chapter synopsis.
Polish Your Document
We’re editors and we can’t help but pick up on typos and poorly constructed sentences. The success of a textbook rests on an author’s ability to communicate complex ideas and information as clearly and concisely as possible. If your proposal is poorly written and looks rushed, it’s unlikely to create a positive impression on whoever reads the document.
Submitting Your Proposal
If you are ready to submit your proposal but don’t know who to get in touch with then you can access our list of editors here.
Upon receipt of your proposal, the appropriate editor will let you know their thoughts on its potential to work for us as well as if it is ready to go out for external review to those teaching and researching in the same area as the subject of the book.
As to what happens beyond this point, see here for an overview of the whole publishing process.