Book Proposal Guidelines

A good book proposal includes the following elements. Please click here for examples.

Title and Summary

Provide a concise description of the book (250 to 400 words), including your arguments, main topics, themes, and goals.


Tell us why your book is important, what makes it unique, and why it matters at this time.


Identify your audience and indicate how you will tailor the language and presentation of your ideas for those readers. The following groups represent the main audiences for UBC Press books:

Scholars or specialists: If writing for this audience, please describe your project’s distinctive contribution to current scholarship and its place in the larger disciplinary conversation.

Students: If your book is intended primarily for students, detail the courses and the student level (undergraduate, graduate). What are the key learning outcomes for the course? Are most required readings from scholarly texts or from a textbook with pedagogical features?  Please list a handful of courses across the country in which your book could be adopted.

Professionals, practitioners, or policymakers: If writing for this audience, describe your book’s value in applied settings.

General readers without specialized knowledge in your field: Please give us your elevator pitch, with your hook and three selling points.

Comparable and Competing Volumes

It’s important to consider how your book fits alongside existing works. List books that are comparable to yours and describe how yours differs, whether in coverage, approach, or style. 

Table of Contents

Provide a table of contents and a one-paragraph description for each chapter.

Edited Volumes

If you are editing a volume, explain what you will do to ensure that the chapters cohere, are thematically or conceptually integrated, and stylistically consistent.

Revised Dissertations

If the manuscript is based on your dissertation, describe what major revisions you will undertake prior to submitting the manuscript. Before sending us a proposal, please consult the Thesis Revision Guidelines.

Permissions and Previously Published Material

If you plan to use published material or quote from any texts for which you are not the copyright owner, indicate roughly how much you will be using, the source of the material, and whether you have started the permissions process.

If parts of your manuscript have been previously published or will be published elsewhere, provide the relevant details and describe the changes you intend to make to the material for inclusion in the book. Note that no more than 25% of your material should have appeared elsewhere.

For more information about permissions, related to both text and images, please see the Permissions Guidelines.

Length, Illustrations, Delivery Date

Indicate the approximate length of the manuscript as a word count, including endnotes, bibliography, glossary, or any other scholarly apparatus, if applicable. If you are planning to include illustrations, tell us of what kind (photographs, diagrams, maps, artwork), how many, and summarize why they are essential or complementary.

Note the current state of the manuscript (planned, drafted, partially completed) and when you expect it to be completed. Please be realistic.

Author Information

Tell us why you are the best person to write this book. Summarize your professional experience, background, and past publications aimed at explaining why you are the best person to write the book. If you are co-authoring or co-editing the book, please provide a narrative bio for each contributor author/editor. For scholarly proposals, please provide your CV or résumé.

Sample Material

For proposals in the On Point Press or Purich Books imprints, please provide a sample chapter or a portion of the work (no more than fifty pages).

Note that we accept simultaneous proposals but ask that you inform us if you are submitting the proposal to other publishers.

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