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Home / Books / Information for Authors / What your proposal should include



Do not submit your full manuscript unless we request it. Instead, send your curriculum vitae or résumé together with a prospectus responding to the questions below. We would also welcome the introductory chapter and one (but not more than one) additional chapter.

Unless invited to submit your proposal via email, please mail it in hard copy to the appropriate acquisitions editor. As we cannot be responsible for lost or damaged materials, please keep all originals and send us copies only. It is not our policy to return proposals or manuscripts, nor do we retain them at our offices.

Please note that we will not open files from third-party sites except by prior arrangement.


Your prospectus

Your prospectus should give UW Press staff, most of whom will not be specialists in your area, a clear sense of what your planned book will achieve, what audiences it will appeal to, and what its publication will entail. You need not follow the exact sequence below, but please be sure to respond to all questions that pertain to your particular project.


Basic description

In a few paragraphs, explain the essence of your proposed book. What is the main point you want to make? What findings do you want to share, or what untold story do you want to tell? How will your book add new knowledge, new breadth, a new perspective, or a new approach to the topic? Do you draw on previously untapped sources? Does your book intersect with public debates or current issues? How will it contribute to existing work in the field? Why might the University of Wisconsin Press be a good fit for your work? Is your book appropriate for one of our active series?


Chapter-by-chapter outline

Under the title of each chapter, offer a paragraph summarizing its contents. If this is a work of scholarship, make clear how each chapter serves to support and advance the book’s central thesis.


Audience and market

Who, principally, will buy and read your book? What other readers might it attract? Does it include insights of interest to people outside your own field—scholars in intersecting areas or intelligent readers beyond academe? Would your book lend itself well to use in college-level courses? If so, in what courses and at what level(s) of instruction? What are typical enrollment numbers for such courses? Would professors be likely to assign the book as required reading? Might they assign it as optional reading? What books already exist on the topic, and what will set your book apart from these competing or complementary titles? What special promotional activities might you be willing to undertake, and what would you expect your publisher to undertake?



Please make us aware of any considerations related to editing and production. What is the expected length of the manuscript (in either words or double-spaced pages), including notes, bibliography, appendixes, and any other textual matter? Would the book benefit significantly from the inclusion of illustrations, maps, tables, or other graphics? If so, approximately how many do you envision, and do you have or can you easily obtain the rights to use these materials? Is this a book that would call for special typographical features, such as boxed text or notes in a side margin? Do you foresee accompanying audio or visual materials, and if so, in what format?



Share with us any background that may affect the publication prospects of your proposed book. Has your manuscript, or any part of it, already been made available to the public, in print or digital form? If the work contains translated material, have you ascertained the availability of the English-language rights? Did the manuscript begin as a dissertation? If so, how have you revised it to attract the much larger audience needed for a book? (If your manuscript began as a dissertation, we urge you to consult one or more of the following guides before submitting your work to us: From Dissertation to Book, by William Germano, University of Chicago Press; The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time Academic Authors, ed. by Eleanor Harman et al., University of Toronto Press; and Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors, ed. by Beth Luey, University of California Press.)


Peer review

As a university press, we aspire to the highest editorial and scholarly standards. Toward that end, we send each manuscript under serious consideration to at least two outside readers for their evaluations. To encourage candor, we offer these readers full anonymity. In selecting peer reviewers, however, we are happy to consider an author's suggestions. Please list any subject matter experts qualified to serve in this capacity. Include if possible e-mail addresses, academic or professional affiliations, and phone numbers. (Please note that as a general rule, present or former teachers, advisors, students, close colleagues, close friends, family members, employers, employees, supervisors, or supervisees, may not serve as reviewers.)


Current status

Is another publisher presently considering your manuscript? If so, has that publisher invited it for peer review? Is your manuscript finished yet? If not, when do you estimate that you will have a complete draft ready to share?


Contact information

Be sure to provide complete contact information (name, address, telephone number, e-mail, and fax if any) for yourself and any coauthors/coeditors.