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Proposal guidelines

The proposal you submit will be the basis on which we judge the book's suitability for publication.

Therefore it needs to be organized in a way that provides the right information to us and to referees.

The following notes are designed to help you prepare your proposal; your cooperation in following our recommendations will allow the evaluation process to proceed smoothly. We emphasize that these are intended as guidelines: some of the sections may be inappropriate to your particular project so don’t worry if you feel unable to provide information on all the points.

A proposal should generally be three to six pages, although it may be supplemented by other documents as noted herein.

Please send all proposals in the first instance to the Secretary, St Mary's University Press,

Main areas of your proposal

Your proposal should address five main areas:

  • Briefly and concisely state the main themes and objectives of the proposed book. Please give a one or two paragraph summary of the content of the book.
  • What are its main themes and objectives?
  • What are you doing differently, in a more innovative way, or better than existing books?
  • Please also provide a concise (150-200 word) and compelling abstract for the book.
  • Please include a proposed table of contents with chapter titles and subheads.
  • Please list chapter headings and provide at least one paragraph of explanation on what you intend to cover in each chapter.
  • Indicate the basic structure and features of each chapter (e.g., introduction, argument summary, case studies, etc.).
  • If the book is an edited collection, please also provide a tentative list of the expected authors and their affiliations and indicate whether they have agreed to contribute.
  • Please discuss the intended audience for your book. Is it written primarily for scholars (if so, what disciplines), professionals (if so, which fields), or students (if so, what level)? Please be as specific and realistic as possible and remember that few, if any, books appeal to all of the above simultaneously.
  • List a few specific journals, publications, and/or relevant organizations and societies, to which you think this book would appeal most.
  • Will this book have international appeal? If so, where?
  • Is the subject area of the proposal widely taught or researched?
  • List any courses (including the level) for which this book would be relevant.
  • List the main competing titles (3-5) and provide a few sentences of explanation on each. These could be books covering the same subject matter or books that are related in terms of field of research or cutting-edge argument. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What distinguishes your book from the existing competition?
  • Please provide a realistic date for when you intend to submit the final manuscript. If this is an edited collection, remember to allow time for revisions to individual chapters once contributors have delivered them.
  • Roughly how many thousand words in length will your book be, including references and notes?
  • How many diagrams, illustrations, or tables will there be (approximately)?
  • Third party material: Please give a clear indication of content to be included in the book that will come from another source (i.e., previously published material or illustrations).

Additional details

Please list the academic and relevant professional posts that you have held and your main academic qualifications and publications. If there is more than one author, please supply a curriculum vitae for each author. Please list any books or chapters of books you have written for us and other publishers.

List three to five people who would make qualified reviewers for the manuscript. Be sure to include affiliations and email. Though we do not always use these suggestions, they help give us an idea of where you think your ideas fit into current debates.

  • It would be helpful if you could provide one or two sample chapters (preferably the introduction and another chapter). Please indicate if an entire draft manuscript is available.
  • Please tell us whether or not your proposal has been submitted to other publishers and, if so, to whom.
  • We only publish edited collections if it can be clearly demonstrated that the book is of a consistent academic quality and that the chapters are integrated around a coherent central theme. We will NOT publish poorly prepared conference volumes.
  • Are the chapters structured logically and integrated around a coherent central theme?
  • Will you be providing a detailed introductory chapter and a conclusion?
  • Is there a balance between theoretical/methodological and empirical chapters?
  • Has any material been published before?
  • Please supply details of each contributor's title and affiliation and indicate if they have already agreed to contribute to the project.
  • When submitting your dissertation for review, we prefer to see the entire manuscript, or thesis, as well as a proposal.
  • We need to know: Which parts will you cut or modify? How will you draw out and expand the main findings and conclusions? What specifically are the aspects of the work as it stands that are designed to satisfy your examiners, but you think are not suitable for a book and that you plan to change? How will you be adapting the language and style, as well as annotation and references? Is the thesis in an area of increasing academic and research interest?