How to submit a proposal:
The proposal you submit is the basis on which we judge the book’s suitability for publication. We will normally send the proposal for peer review by specialists in your field. It therefore needs to be organised in such a way that the reviewers are given the right amount of information on which to assess the suitability of your work for publication and to offer constructive feedback.
The following notes are designed to help you prepare your proposal and to aid the task of evaluation.
We emphasise that these are intended as guidelines; some of the sections may be inappropriate to your particular project so do not worry if you feel unable to provide information on all the points.
The proposal should ideally include the following sections:
1. Book title
2. A statement of aims
3. A detailed synopsis, including table of contents and chapter summaries
4. Definition of the market
5. A review of the main competitive books
8. A Curriculum Vitae
9. Notes on the contributors (if this is to be an edited collection)
10. Third party material
11. Suggestions for transforming your thesis into a book
12. Two sample chapters, if available (or more)
13. Details of academic referees
On the following pages, please find a more detailed explanation regarding the sections.
1. Book title: Please state your proposed title and subtitle for the book.
2. Statement of aims: Briefly and concisely state the main themes and objectives of the proposed book. Please give a one or two paragraph summary of the content of the book.
3. A detailed synopsis: Please list a full table of contents for your book. Also, please provide chapter headings and at least one paragraph of explanation on what you intend to cover in each chapter. Indicate the basic structure and features of each chapter, e.g. introduction, argument summary, case studies etc. If the book is an edited collection, please also provide a list of the expected authors and their affiliations and indicate whether they have agreed to contribute.
4. Definition of the market: Identify as accurately as possible the intended market for your proposed work. List the main readership first, stating as specifically as possible the courses or modules your book could be useful for. This may include, for example, introductory undergraduate core courses, upper-level undergraduate options or modules, or post-graduate courses. For research monographs, it will also include the international academic library market. If there are particular international markets for your book outside your own domestic market, please also outline these.
5. Review of competitive books: Briefly review each of the main competitors to your work. These could be books covering the same subject matter or books that would be used as set texts on courses where you hope your book could be used as a substitute or additional text. Please give details of author, title, publisher, price, date of publication, length, hardback and/or paperback. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each book, and how your book will be different/better. If different books are used in domestic and international markets, please give details of these. For research monographs, where there are no direct rivals, review the books which are most similar to your proposed book.
6. Format: Please indicate how long you think the manuscript will be, giving a total number of words (most of our manuscripts are between 80,000 and 100,000 words in length) and, if you plan to include illustrations in the book, please state how many, and whether they will be line-drawings – figures, tables, maps etc. – or half-tone illustrations – photographs.
7. Timing: Please provide a realistic date when you intend to submit the final manuscript. If this is an edited collection, remember to allow time for revisions to individual chapters once these have been delivered by contributors.
8. Curriculum vitae: Please list the academic and relevant professional posts which you have held and your main academic qualifications and publications. If there is more than one author, please supply a CV for each author. Please list any books or chapters of books you have written for us or other publishers.
9. Edited collections: We will only publish these if it can be clearly demonstrated that the book is of a consistent academic quality and that the chapters are integrated around a coherent central theme. We will NOT publish poorly prepared conference volumes. Please supply details of each contributor’s affiliation, their main publications and if they have already agreed to contribute to the project.
10. Third party material: Please give a clear indication of content to be included in the book which will come from another source i.e. previously published material or illustrations.
11. For books based on a thesis: your suggestions for transforming your thesis (narrow purpose, select readership) into a book (broader purpose, wider readership). Questions and issues to consider include
– Which parts will you cut or modify?
– How will you draw out and expand the main findings and conclusions?
– What specifically are the aspects of the work as it stands which are designed to satisfy your examiners, but which you think are not suitable for a book and which you plan to change?
– How you will be adapting the language and style, as well as annotation and references? This would include reducing any unnecessary jargon and footnotes.
– Would you say that the thesis in an area of increasing academic and research interest?
– Most people find it necessary to streamline the argument and the writing to reduce repetitions and overlaps, and to lighten the empirical material.
– You may wish to restructure the content, changing the order of the chapters.
– If some time has passed since the PhD was written you will also need to ensure the book is up-to-date.
12. Sample chapters: If you have any sample chapters prepared please submit them with your proposal. If you have versions of chapters available in the form of journal articles, conference papers or even lecture notes, please send these, as we prefer to send reviewers as much material as possible in order that they can assess your writing style and approach.
13. The names, affiliations and addresses of two academic referees whose comments on your proposal and script you would truly value and we would benefit from. Their understanding of the market will be as important as their academic status. We may or may not use the referees you suggest, and will most probably use at least one anonymous reviewer.
If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact:
Alison Ohta Director
Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD
Telephone: 020 7391 9425 direct
Telephone main: 020 7388 4539, dial 4
Fax: 020 7391 9429