Bloomsbury Academic Proposal Guidelines

Thank you for thinking of approaching us with your proposal.

Below are guidelines designed to help you put together the specific information we need to consider it for publication. They raise questions about the book, the market and the competition. Answering them as fully as you can allows us and the reviewers to understand what makes your proposal distinct. Please complete the relevant proposal form which you can download here.  You can find the Editor in your subject area here.

Information about You

1. Your details

  • Title, name and affiliation/job title together with your contact details. Please do not provide us with any sensitive personal data.

2.  Biographical note:

  • Please provide a short (up to 50 words) biographical note on your current position and any other positions or details of previous books that are relevant to the proposed project.
  • Include details of any personal websites or social media activity relevant for your book and its promotion.

Information about Your Book

1. Book Title and Subtitle

Keep in mind this is how the world discovers your book. 

  • How will people will search for it? 
  • Is there one key, critical phrase? Is your title already taken by a key competitor? 
  • Does it clearly indicate what your book is about? Which course/s it might be used for?

2. Summary

  • Please supply a one-line description of the book summing up its scope and content. Please focus on what is unique about the book.

3. Description

  • Please write a concise overview of the book in no more than 250 words.
  • Would people with only a basic knowledge of the field understand what this book is about from your description?
  • Will your text serve as a core/required text or as a supplemental/recommended one?
  • Remember this needs to be clear, informative and persuasive, suitable for use as the book’s marketing copy.
  • Please think about the type of descriptive copy which would make you want to purchase the book

4. Key features

  • Please highlight three key benefits the book offers.
  • Make these short, pithy and think: are these the three reasons why someone would read this book? Focus on what is unique about the book and include specific details. For example, information about case studies, topics or geographical areas covered in the book.

5. Table of Contents

  • Please provide a detailed table of contents that include chapter sub-headings.
  • For contributed volumes, please include contributor names AND their affiliations.

6. Chapter by chapter descriptions

  • Please provide detail on each chapter including a summary of content, angle, purpose and relevance.
  • Think about your descriptions as a whole: is there a logical progression?

 7. For Textbook proposals only: Additional Online Resources

If your book is intended as a textbook for use on undergraduate courses please think about any additional digital resources it might need.

  • Would you plan for this book to have online resources?
  • We have a range of full-featured Companion Websites that accompany key textbooks and we can include links and audio/video content on the individual book page on the Bloomsbury website if appropriate. Please give details of any relevant learning and teaching resources you think will add value to your textbook. Possible resources might include PowerPoint slides, videos, multiple choice questions and links to useful websites.

8. Word count

  • Please give the anticipated length of the final manuscript, to the nearest 5,000 words (including notes and bibliography). 
  • Please include details and approximate word length of Companion Website resources if appropriate.

9. Submission date

  • Please give a realistic date by which you would expect to be able to deliver the complete draft manuscript and any companion website materials, if relevant.

10.  Additional information

  • For textbooks, please provide details of the pedagogical features you plan to include. For example, will there be case studies, a glossary, further reading suggestions?
  • If you are including figures and illustrations, list the approximate number required including tables, charts, line diagrams and photographs (black and white and/or colour). If colour, are you able to secure external funding/grants to contribute to the cost of colour printing?
  • Do you require the book to be made Open Access as part of our Bloomsbury Open programme (monographs and edited collections only)? If so, please provide details. Further information on our Open Access policies can be found here
  • Is your book being proposed for a series? Please explain why it is suitable for this series.
  • Please give any further information that may affect our decision: Are you receiving funding for the book (see above, in relation to colour images/printing)?  Has any of the material been published before? If so, what proportion of the proposed book, and where has it been published?

11. Peer review suggestions

  • Would you be able to identify 5 people in the field who are familiar with the topic/teaching relevant courses and would be well positioned to peer review this proposal? If possible, please include their affiliation, their professional email address, and whether you have checked with them if they would be willing to peer review your proposal. We are looking for people in each of our core markets: US, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

12. Sample Material

  • In addition to the information provided in this proposal, a sample chapter or sample of your writing at this point, would also be helpful. If you’re unable to supply this now, you may be asked to supply this at a later stage.
  • For textbooks we will usually require a complete sample chapter including examples of each of the pedagogical features you plan to include.

13. Other submissions

  • Please let us know whether you have submitted, or intend to submit, this proposal elsewhere and, if so, to which publisher(s).

Competition and Market

  • What is the market need for this book?
  • What unmet need does it fulfil for its readers?
  • What will they be able to achieve as a result of having read it?

1. Competing or comparable books

  • Please provide the title, author, publisher, date of publication and price of three to five comparable books that compete directly for a reader’s attention.
  • How do major competitors meet the needs of your target audience, and how do they fail to meet those needs? How will your book differ from its major competitors? How will it be similar? What are you doing that improves upon and sets your work apart from each of these books?
  • For textbooks, please list those texts that you think are the best sellers for the course where your book will be adopted, and those texts that you feel most closely resemble the text you are proposing. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the books yours would compete with or replace (including projects in development, if any)?
  • If there is no direct competition, explain why. Has the topic only been covered in a chapter elsewhere? Is this the first book-length treatment of it?

2. Market and Readership

  • What are the primary and secondary markets for your book? 
  • Which institutions would be most interested in your book? 
  • Does your book have global appeal?  What features of the book would help us to market the book overseas? Please be as specific as possible. Consider content, case studies, references, contributors, preface, foreword.
  • Is it likely to have adoption potential for courses?  If so, for which courses and at which level?
  • For textbooks, please specify the academic level e.g. introductory/advanced, 2nd/3rd year, undergraduate/postgraduate and identify any courses for which your book would be essential or recommended reading, giving specific examples (course names and titles) if possible.
  • For scholarly research and reference books, please give some information on the research context and any relevant organisations, associations and networks.

Please date your proposal and return to the relevant Editor

Evaluating and Reviewing your Proposal

Your proposed project will be evaluated first by the subject editor. They will consider how it fits with our current publishing plans and if a suitable market exists that we can reach before deciding to have it reviewed. If the proposal and accompanying material goes out for external review it will be sent to a minimum of two anonymous reviewers. They will be asked to comment on the quality of the content and the potential audience of the proposed book. The length of the review process can vary depending on the project but we aim to have new proposals reviewed within three months. If the reviews are positive and there is evidence to support the need for the project, you will be asked to respond to the reviewers’ comments where needed.

The next step is for your proposal to be presented to our Publishing Board where it will be reviewed internally. We must have the approval of our Board before we can offer a contract for a new project.

For information on how we process your personal data, read our Privacy Policy

Further guidance for authors and more information about Bloomsbury’s Academic Publishing can be found here.