The first thing you as an author should do is to prepare an outline proposal for your new book and send it to the appropriate commissioning editor (see below for contact details). The outline proposal should be as full as possible to enable the most effective evaluation and feedback on the project. Ideally this should include the following:
1. Provisional title of proposed textbook
2. Brief synopsis of the book
This should be about 500 words long and summarize the topic, your aims, scope, and general approach.
Statement of intent: If you had to capture the essence of your proposal in one or two sentences, what would you say?
Topic: Subject of proposed book and level within the undergraduate curriculum.
Aims: Why is a new book needed? How will it meet the needs of lecturers and their students? That is, what challenges do lecturers face when teaching the course, and what challenges do students face when learning this subject? How will your book address these challenges?
General approach: How would you summarize your approach to the subject? How is it similar to or different from the approach(es) typically taken when teaching the subject?
Scope: What is included? What is left out, and why? What prior knowledge will the book assume?
What makes the book stand out? What benefits will the book offer to lecturers and their students that will make it stand out from the existing texts?
3. The Market
Please summarize what you consider to be the market for your proposed book :
- What is your target readership? (for example, ‘undergraduate computing students’, ‘students taking an optional third year module in cognitive neuroscience’)
For which courses will your book be appropriate? Suggest courses where:
- the book could be the sole or principal required text
- the book could be one of several required texts
- the book could be supplementary reading
Please give an indication of where, to your knowledge, such courses are and how many people take them. If you believe that there are few applicable courses at this time, but that the text will fit an emerging market (i.e. where courses are likely to start appearing in considerable numbers over the next few years) then please indicate this.
Where do you see the principal markets for the book (e.g. UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australasia and/or other)?
Where possible, please provide in a separate document names, positions, work addresses and e-mail addresses of people currently teaching courses for which this book would be appropriate. (This information will be for our own internal use only.)
4. Information on competing books
Please give a list of books (with as much information on length, date of publication, publisher, price, etc. as possible) that might be considered ‘competitors’ to your proposed book.
- What are their strengths, weaknesses and availabilities?
- How will your book differ from each? What advantages to lecturers and their students does the book you are proposing have over each of these titles?
5. Full outline
Please provide a list of chapters including the main subheadings in each, a short paragraph summarising the content of each chapter, and an estimate of the number of words in each chapter.
If illustrations are a major feature of your proposal, please specify the types (photographs/diagrams/tables) and approximate number in each chapter.
Please summarise the main pedagogical features that you anticipate including (for example, chapter summary, problems, glossary, further reading, web links etc.)
It is also useful to see some sample material which illustrates the writing style and the features you plan to use within the text. Please speak to the appropriate editor for more detail on this point.
Please provide details of any ancillary material that should be provided alongside the book, together with an explanation of why these materials would add to the educational value of the book. For example, do you think it would be useful for the book to be supported by online resources offered via an accompanying web site? If so, what material would you envisage including on the site? How would this be integrated with the book itself?
We offer online resources with many of our textbooks. To see the scope of material offered on these sites then feel to browse for yourself online.
Please indicate your expectation of the time required from the present stage to delivery of final typescript. Also, how quickly will the book date? How often would a new edition be required?
6. Author biography
Please include a brief author biography including:
- Full name and qualifications of author(s)
- Work address, telephone and e-mail
- Present appointments
- Career to date, including an explanation of why your career to date puts you in a good position to write the book you are proposing.