Getting Published

Author Proposal Guidelines

If you are thinking of making a proposal to DAP please:
  • Realise that we are an academic publisher and do not consider proposals for fiction, poetry or children’s books.
  • Look at the subjects in which we are actively publishing before you approach us to see if your book fits our list, we are less likely to accept a project outside these areas.
  • Remember that it is good manners to approach one publisher only at a time – we are understandably irritated when we spend time and effort considering projects that an author has submitted to other publishers at the same time as to us.
  • We do not guarantee to respond to every proposal made to us or to return any materials submitted to us, so don’t send us the only copy of your material (see guidelines below) as we will not accept any responsibility for it. Please make your initial approach to us by email to mail[AT symbol]
Please consider the following points which are intended to help you, as an author, structure your proposal and to assist you in thinking about important factors such as size, contents, structure and market. Your answers will help us, as the potential publisher, formulate a publishing plan for your book that makes commercial. Please then write a proposal for your project responding to these various points and submit it to us.

1. About your project
  • Your (book) title.
  • Will you write it alone? If you plan to involve a co-author how is the work to be divided between you? What proportion will each of you write?
  • Do you intend to get the mss peer reviewed before you finally submit it? If so do you know by whom? (If interested in your proposal, we are likely to have your manuscript read by at least one of our own advisers in any event)
  • How long do you expect your manuscript to be? Very roughly, 400 words will make one printed page (disregarding tables and illustrations) so 45,000 words will make a book of around 120 pages (once prelims and an index have been added).
  • Can you provide an outline contents list? Have you a sample chapter? (We will only ask to see a full ms if we are interested in what you propose).
  • Will your book require specialist editing by someone familiar with the subject matter?
  • Do you intend to use illustrations? If so, how many and of what kind (colour or black & white, photographs, drawings, tables or whatever)? Are these your own copyright? Will we need to employ a designer to translate your ‘roughs’ into artwork? Can you deliver them in digital form? If so, in what formats and at what resolution?
  • Will you be quoting from other publications? If so, is permission needed from the copyright holder see ? (There is very clear guidance at
  • When would you be able to deliver the final mss? Will you be able to deliver the manuscript in one file in MS Word format?
  • Does the book need an Index (or Tables)? If so, would you wish to prepare the index yourself?
  • If your ms is complete already, are you prepared to revise it (if asked to do so) to comply with our house Style Guide?

2. About you:
  • Why do you want to write this book?
  • What are your particular qualifications for so doing?

3. About the market for the book:
  • Who will the book interest or be used by? Are there special interest groups who will want it? What are they? How should we contact them?
  • What, if any, are the competing or alternate titles?
  • If the book is intended for use as a course textbook: Do you know which institutions teach the courses for which it is intended? Do you know how many students study the subject in the British Isles each year?
  • Are there price constraints? Is there a maximum price that you feel your readers will pay for what you publish? If so, what is that price? What is your ideal price?
  • Is there an event before which the book should be published (such as a conference or anniversary)?
Finally, please summarise your project in the style of a publisher’s ‘blurb’ such as you would read on the back cover of the book once published (250 words or thereabouts).