Penguin.com (usa)


Dear Writer:

If you are interested in submitting a proposal or manuscript, we hope the following information will help you and answer your questions.

We do not accept unsolicited full manuscripts. We do accept unsolicited proposals, in printed or in electronic form, submitted by regular mail or by e-mail.

If you submit a proposal in electronic form, please use a standard word processing program such as Microsoft Word, and send the proposal as a file attachment to your e-mail. If your proposal is longer than 25 pages or includes photo or illustration files, zip the file(s) before attaching. Do not type your entire proposal as e-mail text.

If you submit a proposal in printed form by regular mail, do not submit handwritten material. Do not send a sole, original copy. Proposals must be typewritten or letter-quality computer generated, on 8-1/2" x 11" good white paper, double-spaced with at least 1" wide margins all around.

Please include the following information in your proposal:

  • Description of the Book. Include background information on the subject, details on the particular approach you intend to take toward the subject, approximate estimated length of the book (in words), and anticipated special features such as photos, illustrations, sidebars, tables, charts, checklists or other elements. Let us know how much time you will require to complete a full manuscript.
  • Market Overview. Describe who will buy this book and why. Try to quantify the size of the market and the extent to which it is growing. Include any available demographic information on your target reader. Keep in mind that it is a rare book indeed whose audience is "every American."
  • Competition for Your Book. List other available books that the reader for your book might purchase as an alternative. Describe how your book will offer the more appealing alternative. Do not include competitive books that are widely different in scope or format from your proposed book.
  • Your Author Credentials. Provide a brief bio or CV, including education or experience in the subject, writing experience, and previous publications. Let us know of your availability and/or willingness to participate in promotion and publicity efforts, and any special media contacts or promotion opportunities you bring to the project. Be sure to include your contact information.
  • Outline of Content. At a minimum, include chapter titles and a brief description of each chapter. Include major subheads if you have them. Make sure the subheads are clearly descriptive of the content, and not merely clever.
  • Sample Material. Include a sample chapter or chapter segment from the proposed book. The sample should be at least five pages long, but no more than 20 pages. If you will be supplying photos or illustrations with your manuscript, include a sample of such. If you do not have any sample material available for the proposed book, include another sample of your writing that has not been heavily edited by a publisher.
Send your proposal to:
Editorial Coordinator
Alpha Books
800 East 96th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
E-mail your proposal to:
Submissions@idiotsguides.com

When we receive your proposal, our editors will review it and we will let you know if we are interested in pursuing it further. It may take our editors up to three months to complete their review and come to a decision.

Please understand that Alpha Books does not assume responsibility for any unsolicited proposal or manuscript that we may receive, and specifically we are not responsible for returning your proposal, nor do we guarantee a response. If you mail a proposal and want to be sure we have received it, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard, which we will return when your proposal is received.

A proposal may be rejected for a number of reasons, including but not limited to quality of writing, market need for the subject, appropriateness for the series or imprint, author credentials, and duplication of idea or concept already published or under consideration by Alpha Books. Even though we might reject your proposal, we reserve the right to publish a book by a different author based on a similar idea or concept.

If you do not hear from us within three months, you should assume that your proposal has not been accepted. If your proposal meets our high publishing standards, we will contact you to discuss the project in more detail.


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