Simplifying the Book Proposal Submission Process: Tips for Increasing Your Chance of Acceptance

By Mikaela Felty on May 28, 2021

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IGI Global publishes emerging academic research and distributes it to libraries, researchers, and scholars who are interested in the vast selection of subjects covered in IGI Global’s collection of reference books. For editors and authors (henceforth referred collectively as “editor”) looking to add a new book to this extensive collection of premier references, the process starts with one simple yet essential chore: submitting a proposal form.

The purpose of the proposal form is to provide the Acquisitions Team with details regarding the book that are needed in order for them to conduct internal and external marketing analysis, as well as a build a case for the book. All books are presented to the Executive Editorial Board, who has the final decision on whether a book is approved for publication or rejected. While the proposal process may seem daunting, the Acquisitions Team is more than happy to support with the process. This article highlights the essential pieces of information that should be added to any book proposal and provides crucial explanations of the considerations that are taken during the review process. Using the information in this article, researchers can increase their chances of receiving an acceptance.



Editor/Author Information

This first section of the proposal form requests information on all of the editors organizing the book project. This section is an essential part of the proposal form as it exhibits the editors’ qualifications for leading a book project on their chosen topic. It is important for an editor to ensure that their CV/Resume is updated before attaching it to the proposal in either Word or
PDF format.

Proposals lacking CVs for each editor listed on the project will not be presented to the Executive Editorial Board.

It is essential to include the following information in the uploaded CVs:

  • Degrees earned including majors/minors, date received, awarding college/university, etc.
  • All professional and academic experience including dates and roles held (do not forget to include current position).
  • List of publications (highlighting or separating out led projects i.e., books, journals, guest editorships, etc. that were published is extremely helpful).
  • List of memberships, especially to international associations.
  • List of awards received.
  • List of conferences organized or attended, specifically pointing out conferences in which the editor participated as an organizer, chair, keynote speaker, presenter, etc.

Another important consideration to make when completing this section is the order in which the editors are listed. The first editor listed is the lead editor on the book project. Therefore, the first editor should be the most active and qualified of the group
of editors.

Editors, especially lead editors of the book should possess doctoral degrees or equivalents, plus the necessary academic and/or professional experience needed to be considered an “expert” in their field and thus qualified to lead research projects.


Tentative Titles

In this section, editors should list at least 3 title suggestions for their book. Should the book be accepted, the final title for the book will be determined by the Executive Editorial Board following best practices in the industry and to ensure maximum visibility of the title through discoverability systems. Because of these considerations, titles that the editor suggested are often manipulated to better fit industry models.

Certain book formats may also have specific title criteria. For example, books published in the “Handbook of Research” format will have titles that start with “Handbook of Research on”.


Indexing Keywords

This section contains specific keywords that describe the book and can be used to help their eventual categorization, should the book be accepted.


Synopsis

This section requests an overview of what the publication will be about, as well as an introduction to the subject itself. This is an editor/author’s first chance to broadly present the subject. It is essential that when writing the information for this section, the editor thoroughly yet concisely explains the topic of the proposed book. The more specific the information included in this section, the better help it will be for the Acquisitions Department to present the proposal to the Executive Editorial Board.


Tentative Table of Contents/Topic Coverage

It is this section that most differs per publication format being proposed. For an authored book, it is expected that this section will be very detailed and contain a comprehensive outline of the proposed book. It is important to show that an author has a good grasp on what he/she wishes to publish and in what order it will be covered. Naturally, should the book be accepted, this exact outline will not be expected to be followed completely, as we understand that during the final writing process, sections can be moved, additional sections added, or
some removed.

For an edited book, this section will look most like a list of topics covered. Unlike the author, an editor is recruiting chapters for the book rather than writing them all. In this section, an editor will provide a comprehensive list of the topics that they wish/expect to see covered in the final book. This not only shows better preparation for seeking contributors, but also gives insight on what they hope to have covered in the upcoming chapter submissions.


Objectives, Impact, and Value

This section differs from the synopsis because rather than discussing the topic of the book, it more specifically discusses the objectives and value that the book provides to the field of research. Ultimately, it asks editors why the book should be published. The objectives section should not be a repetition of the synopsis page, but instead, should deeply discuss the goals that this book hopes to achieve by being published. Is it to promote change within a specific field? Is it to provide valuable information to researchers? It is important that while answering this section, editors keep in mind the following questions:

  • How will this book impact current research?
  • How will this book further or continue research in the field?
  • How is this book going to benefit the research community?
  • How does this book differ from others like it?

Books that have the highest chance of being accepted include forthcoming research that addresses gaps in the current literature available to the research community and is not on a theme that is already oversaturated with content.


Target Audience and Potential Uses

In this section, editors should be prepared to address the fundamental purpose of the book. Who will benefit most from its content? Who is the primary audience intended to use this book? Is there a secondary audience? Tertiary? It is important to consider academic as well as professional uses for the book.


Plan for Reaching Contributors (for edited books only)

When proposing an edited book, it is expected that an editor will have an established plan to reach potential chapter authors. This plan assures the Executive Editorial Board that the editor will have no difficulty receiving chapters on the relevant topics for the book. Acceptable venues for distributing the Call for Chapters and seeking chapter authors to invite include, but are not limited to:

  • Colleagues
  • University/College Departments
  • Research Centers/Laboratories
  • Conferences
  • Associations/Societies
  • ListServs
  • Research Groups/Forums
  • Social Media
  • Personal Websites

However, there is more that is examined in this section than just an assurance that the editor has a network that can be utilized. As an international academic publisher, it is important that IGI Global edited books showcase regional diversity amongst authorship of chapters. Thus, the review panel will also be looking for plans to reach chapter authors from all over the world. For example, a team of editors from the USA would want to include a plan to reach contributors which involves scholars from a diverse number of countries besides the USA.

IGI Global does not condone the discrimination of any contributor because of their age, gender, race, affiliation, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. Editors are encouraged to promote diversity of authorship yet remember to judge submissions solely on the merit of the research.


Publication Platform

Editors may choose the specific format they wish to publish their book as from the list available. Details about each format can be found on the Products page under book formats. Please also note the editor and authored format opportunities below.

The following publication types may only be published in the edited format:

  • Standard Edited Book
  • Encyclopedia
  • Handbook of Research (1 or 2 Volumes)

The following publication type may only be published in the authored format:

  • Standard Authored Book

The following publication types may only be published in the authored or edited formats:

  • Case Book
  • Protocol

Book Enhancement Projects and Journal Enhancement Projects are by invitation only. Editors should only select these publication types if they received a specific email from the Acquisitions Department inviting them to publish under
these types.


Publication Format Considerations

In this section, editors should consider the projected length, number of chapters, figures, equations, etc. that they expect for the book. Editors should understand that projected lengths should match format requirements. For example, a standard edited book is expected to be around 15+ chapters, 160,000+ words. Thus, when proposing an edited book, editors should be expecting to achieve this projection. The projected number of figures and equations is especially important for books dealing with topics that will likely heavily revolve around such data as these can be more work during the Production stage of the book and must be taken into consideration by the Executive Editorial Board.


Tentative Project Timeline

IGI Global allows flexible timelines for its books and provides three development plans for editors to choose from. Should the book be accepted, the final manuscript deadline and due dates leading up to it will be suggested based on the timeline that the editor chose in the proposal form.

IGI Global will not hold editors to the final manuscript deadline until the contract is signed and returned by all editors on the project.


Marketing Considerations

Editors should include venues where they would like to see their book potentially marketed in this section. Moreover, if there are books similar to the proposed book already published, editors are encouraged to list them and describe how their proposed book will differ.


Upload Additional Files

Editors are encouraged to upload any additional documents (Word or PDF format) that they believe will help the Executive Editorial Board with their decision. Those choosing authored formats for their book are encouraged to
upload sample chapters for the Board’s consideration.


Conclusion

There are many research books that need to be distributed to researchers around the world. The first step in ensuring that that information reaches the right people is to propose the book in the best way possible; thoroughly providing the relevant information and offering a diverse voice within the edited books. These practices will assist the Acquisitions Team in building the best case for the book to present to the Executive Editorial Board.

For those interested in submitting a proposal for a new book project, please fill out and submit the online book proposal form. Questions about the proposal process or to discuss potential book topics may be directed to the Acquisitions Team at Acquisition@igi-global.com.


About IGI Global

Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing process. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.


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