Proposal Guidelines

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.

Proposals should include the following:

  1. Proposed Title and Subtitle
    These will be tentative and subject to change.
  2. Brief Description
    In a paragraph or two, summarize the content of the book and its main argument(s) or thesis. This is your “elevator-ride” description: it should aim to explain briefly, including to educated nonspecialists, what the book is about, and emphasize its highlights.
  3. Full Description
    In one to two pages, articulate more substantially the purpose, thesis, approach, and general plan of the book. What key questions or problems does the proposed book address or answer? How will your book contribute to the literature of its field, and in what way is it distinctive?
  4. Proposed Chapter Outline
    Provide a list of planned chapters, including proposed chapter titles and a brief paragraph describing the contents of each chapter. Please indicate whether any of the material has been published previously.
  5. Author Information
    Provide a brief biography, including your current title and affiliation, previous books, and any other publications or experience relevant to your qualifications for writing this book.
  6. Readership
    Give us your sense of the audience for this book. Is it for nonspecialist, general readers; and if so, on what basis? Is it for scholars? If so, in which fields and subfields? Is it for students? If so, in which courses, at what level, and how will it be used (i.e., as a supplementary or main text)? Please bear in mind that few, if any, books fall into all three of these categories.
  7. Comparable Books
    Please list a few of the books with which your book is comparable, including title, author, publisher, and year of publication. Include a brief statement outlining how your book differs. If there is truly nothing comparable, feel free to say so, but please conduct the appropriate research and be absolutely certain. You may also include any similar titles that may appeal to the same audience you identified above.
  8. Additional Information and Specifications
    Include details on the expected length of the manuscript (either in total words, including notes, or in double-spaced pages); number of illustrations, figures, or tables, if any; and estimated schedule for completing the manuscript. Please let us know if the book has been submitted to other presses, and include any other information you would consider relevant to our consideration of the proposed book.
  9. Additional Materials
    Please attach your full CV. If sample material is available—whether a draft chapter or other writing sample—please include this as well. Do not send the entire manuscript unless specifically requested to do so.
  10. Accommodations
    Reasonable accommodations may be provided upon request; please include such requests in the covering email of the proposal submission.

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.

Thanks for your cooperation. We look forward to hearing from you.