Information for Authors

If you have a proposal for a book on some area of the creative arts, please send it to commissioning@laurenceking.com. If your proposal looks attractive, we will consider it in more detail and might come back to you to ask you make changes to it. The following guidelines are meant to help you in preparing your proposal.

We don't currently take content submissions, as we leave it to our authors to select the images to feature within our books. This may change in the future, so do check back later! If you are an illustrator and think your work would fit nicely with our style, we'd love to see your work. Please send some samples to commissioning@laurenceking.com

Submission guidelines

The proposal should provide an overview of what will be contained in your book. The proposal will not only be read by the editor here, but also may be sent out to expert reviewers. It is important, therefore, to provide enough detail to give readers a strong sense of what the book will be about. Please keep in mind that the proposal should be written at a level that would be appropriate for the book’s intended audience. Please also make sure that the book you're proposing fits well within our areas of publishing.

What you should include in your proposal

The first step is to put together a proposal explaining the approach you will be taking to the subject and providing a detailed outline of the organization and coverage of the book. In addition, you will need to discuss any existing titles on the subject – their strengths and weaknesses – and to indicate how your book will differ and why there is a place for it in the market.

The initial proposal should consist of:

1. Overview of approach, market and competition

This is a key part of the proposal and as far as possible should follow the format below.

  • a) Overview and approach. In one or two paragraphs describe the work, its approach and your purpose in writing such a text.
  • b) Outstanding features. List briefly what you consider to be the outstanding or unique features of the work.
  • c) For student books: Pedagogical features. Indicate what features will be included. These may cover illustrations, maps, boxes, extracts, charts, etc.
  • d) Market/level. What is the primary market for which this book is intended? What other markets could it serve? Please indicate the intended level of the book.
  • e) Summary of competing books. How does your book compare and/or contrast with the top three books in the field? Please discuss each competing book in a separate paragraph and include author, title, publisher, publication date, length, number of illustrations and price (if known). Focus on comparing coverage, organization, level, writing style, etc.

 

2. Chapter outline

This outline is very important and should provide an overview of the entire work. It must enable readers/reviewers to assess quickly the proposed coverage.

This outline should provide a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the contents of the book. Chapter heads should be followed by subheads that explain the content at a greater level of detail. Paragraphs should be used as needed to clarify the outline. The more detail you can provide, the more useful the feedback will be on the proposal.

It is also helpful to include a description of the types of illustrations that will be required - for example, photos, plans, sketches, technical diagrams etc - and how they will need to be obtained or created by yourself and/or the publisher. 

For any special features within chapters, such as boxed inserts or excerpts from primary sources, you should include examples or list topics, if possible. Any additional features such as glossary, bibliography or appendices should be listed at the end of the outline.

3. Curriculum vitae

Please supply a recent résumé of relevant qualifications and publications and an explanation of your suitability to write the book.

Some considerations when putting your proposal together