Playing the field: Is it ok to submit a single book proposal to multiple publishers?

Textbook StackBuilding a relationship with a publisher, for many authors, is a lifelong commitment, so the decision of which publisher to work with shouldn’t be taken lightly. How do you know that you’ve found “the one” for your book? We sought the opinions of seven TAA members on whether or not it’s acceptable to submit a single book proposal to several different publishers. Here are their responses and reasoning. [Read more…]

Textbook proposal submission tips: How to evaluate the competition

Study competing textbooksWhen submitting a textbook proposal, most publishers will expect you to provide information on two to four of the closest competitors in the market and identify how your book will be different and better than the competition.

Three veteran textbook authors share their advice on how to study competing textbooks and which elements should be reviewed in making the case in a textbook proposal. [Read more…]

Textbook proposal tips: Read publishers’ author guidelines

TextbooksMost textbook publishers provide instruction on their website in the form of author guidelines for developing a book proposal that includes detailed information on how you can become an author for their company.

TAA has compiled this list of author guidelines for many of the major textbook publishers. [Read more…]

How to write a book proposal for an academic press

So, you want to turn your dissertation into a book? Or, perhaps you want to write your first academic book on an entirely different subject. Unless you are famous and have publishers soliciting manuscripts from you, you likely will have to submit a formal academic book proposal to an academic press to have a hope of publishing a book with such a press.

Many university press websites have guidelines that can help you through this process. UC Press has a good set of guidelines as does Harvard. Be sure to check the websites of the press where you plan to submit to find out if they have specific guidelines.

Here I provide generic suggestions for what should go in an academic book proposal, and then suggest a method for writing such a proposal. [Read more…]

How to pitch your textbook proposal to a publisher

Jean Lukesh (Ed.D., Teaching, Curriculum, and Instruction), author of the award-winning history textbook, The Nebraska Adventure, says she learned how to pitch a textbook proposal by attending the Denver University Publishing Institute (DUPI), from pitching her own multi-award-winning textbook to a publisher, and from doing a bit of publishing for others. She shares what she has learned:

Do your research: Find a textbook publisher (by looking online, in school catalogs, on school shelves, at teacher references, in writers’ market/resources, etc.) who publishes textbooks that best match your educational philosophy and your chosen layout or style. “Start first with the ONE publisher who matches you and your book best,” she says. “Go to others, one at a time, if you need to do so.” [Read more…]

Is it acceptable to submit your proposal to multiple publishers?

Q: “I’m trying to avoid a misstep. I’ve been working on a textbook for about a year and recently severed ties with my publisher and they agreed to release my materials. My question is this: When seeking a new publisher, do I only talk to one acquisitions editor at a time (wait for them to send my materials out for review and either other a contract or not) before sending material out to any other editor, or is it acceptable to send materials out to 2 or 3 at once? My concern with the latter is that these editors put in a fair amount of time and, if they decide to send materials out for review, some money investment. Am I being unfair to them (or potentially burning bridges) by trying to deal with more than one before a contract is signed, or prudent?”

A: Richard Hull, Executive Director, TAA:

“Self interest indicates you should send the proposal out to as many publishers as you can, trying to maximize your chances of getting an acceptance. But this may lead to other moral dilemmas: what if you get an early response, accept the offer, and just as you are about to close the deal you get another, better offer? [Read more…]