GUIDE FOR AUTHORS - submitting a proposal for consideration
Preparation of a book proposal synopsis
Saint Andrew Press receives many proposals each week. While we look at every one and give it due consideration, we are able to select only a very small proportion for publication.
What to send
Please contact us by e-mail regarding new proposals. Messages should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Unfortunately, it is not possible (for logistical reasons) for initial proposals submitted by telephone or by letter to be considered. While all proposals received by e-mail will be considered carefully, please note that the review period is 10-12 weeks and that no acknowledgement can be sent earlier. Please also note that it is not possible to give interim progress reports. We are sorry that we cannot publish every book proposal that we receive or give detailed feedback on those that we have decided not to publish. In order to ensure the fastest response from Saint Andrew Press and to ensure that we understand your proposal fully, it would be most helpful if you could send your proposal in the following format, filling, in total, no more than two A4 pages:
A short single paragraph description from you that explains very straightforwardly what your book is about. Imagine the person that you feel will buy the book and describe the book in a way that you feel will make it clear to them what the book is about
2. Why you are writing the book?
Explain the purpose of the book and why you want to write it. It is useful to know in brief why you feel that you are the best person to write on this topic and also what has motivated you to write about it at this time. Is there a date in the future with which you feel that the book should be particularly tied in for the sake of increased sales and profile in the media?
Please include a one-page synopsis, telling us about the structure and content of the book as you envisage them at this point. It would be helpful if you could address the following questions:
- What issues, themes or approach will be prevalent?
- In what ways does your book differ from other titles that might sit beside it on the bookshelves?
- What makes your book unique?
- What is the existing competition for your book? It would be very helpful if you could list the titles, publishers and authors of the most direct competition. It would be particularly useful to have your brief assessment of these books' strengths and weaknesses in relation to your own.
- Roughly how long (in terms of number of words) you expect the book to be?
- Illustrations and images are by no means necessary in every book and you should not feel that we are particularly encouraging you to include images; but, if you do feel that they would add real value to the text, please say how many you would expect to include, whether you feel that they need to be in colour and give a summary of the kinds of illustrations that you will want to include (e.g. photographs, graphs, maps, diagrams, line drawings).
- Please give a list of chapters and a few words about the intended content of each. We prefer not to receive whole typescripts at this early stage but, if you have already written a draft of your typescript, one sample chapter would be very helpful.
4. Your readers
This is an important question. Please give the clearest profile you can of the kind of people to whom your book will appeal - what will motivate them to pick your book up? What sort of age might they be? What will their interests be and do they come from a particular viewpoint? Does the reader need specialist knowledge or a specialist interest? What newspapers and blogs might they be most comfortable reading?
Who would be likely to endorse your book? List, for example, experts in the field or respected well-known names that would respond well to what you are writing and who would give your readership added confidence that they will like this book if they buy it.
6. International market
Please give your assessment of the book's value beyond Scotland. Although a title of interest only to a Scottish market will certainly be considered, we are particularly interested in titles that not only have a market in Scotland but that also are entirely relevant in the rest of the UK and overseas.
7. Typescript availability
Please indicate when you expect, realistically, to complete work on the typescript. It is much more important to be accurate about this than it is to give an early date.
8. Receiving a response to your proposal
We are a busy office, working on live publishing projects. The increasing number of proposals that come to Saint Andrew Press take up time, and we are not always able to respond as soon as the proposal arrives. Unfortunately we cannot give progress reports while your proposal is under consideration. We strongly advise you to always retain the original of your sample text. Every proposal is considered and we will try to reply within ten to twelve weeks of receiving your proposal. You will hear from us, whatever our response to your proposal. Please note that the sheer volume of proposals and the time factors involved mean that we are not able to enter into correspondence about proposals that are not being taken forward.
Finally, we very much appreciate your decision to submit your proposal to Saint Andrew Press and we will give it careful consideration.