Submission Guidelines for Authors

APA Planners Press accepts unsolicited proposal submissions. If you have an idea for a book and would like us to consider publishing it, we ask that you review our titles to become better acquainted with our offerings and our focus as a publisher. If we seem to be a good fit for your book, please follow our proposal guidelines below.

Submit your finished proposal to senior editor Camille Fink at cfink@planning.org. She will confirm receipt of the document as well as the time frame for reviewing your proposal and responding with feedback. In general, the proposal-review committee of APA Planners Press gathers to discuss submissions every four to six weeks.

If you are submitting your proposal simultaneously to us and other publishers, please note this in the body of your e-mail and notify us immediately if your proposal is accepted for publication elsewhere.

If you have questions about crafting or submitting a proposal, please contact us.

Proposal Guidelines

In order for us to consider your proposal fully and adequately, please prepare a single document that includes the following information:

1. Title page

This page will include the book's working title (and subtitle, if appropriate), your name, and your contact information.

2. Synopsis (no more than three pages)

The synopsis gives our proposal-review committee an overview of the work. It should inform the committee of the book's central idea or thesis, the main points you will make in the body of the work, and the conclusions you will draw by the end of the work. Also be sure to note whether the idea for the book came from a published journal article or other type of published work.

3. Target audience

This section should identify a clear market for the book and offer a thorough description of this audience. Oftentimes the more targeted the book is to a particular book buyer, the better. Your description of the audience will answer questions such as: What type of person will pick this up? What needs of theirs does it address? In what context(s) will the book be used (for example, as a way for practicing planners to develop their skills or in colleges and universities as a textbook for planning students)? Would this be book appeal to an audience outside of planning? If so, why?

4. Competing titles

Discuss the existing titles in your book's subject area. Be sure to focus on how your book differs from each competing title — that is, what sets it apart from the competition — as well as what the two titles have in common. As you are writing each description, keep in mind the following questions:

  • What will compel someone to buy this book instead of (or in addition to) the others?
  • Where does the book fit in with the literature on the subject? Does it fill a gap?

Rarely does a book have no competition in marketplace. However, if you believe that your book has no competition, explain why.

5. Marketing

Do you have any ideas for marketing the book? If you have specific plans, describe them, outlining how you will make the book known to its core audience.

6. Brief author bio

The author bio should be a narrative summary of your qualifications that are most relevant to the topic of the book and will be most effective in helping us position you as an authority in your subject area. Be sure to highlight work and academic history, publications, awards, and societies in which you are active — any and all credentials and connections that we can use to help sell your book.

In this section, also note whether (1) you have previously published anything related to your book's topic, such as a journal article, and (2) anyone in your field has read the proposal and would be able to comment on it from the perspective of someone who intimately understands the subject matter.

7. Resume or CV


8. Annotated table of contents

The annotated table of contents should offer proposed chapter titles and a detailed paragraph for each chapter about what it will cover. Along with the sample chapters (which are discussed next), this section is the most important one in the proposal. It gives the proposal-review committee a clear idea of what each chapter in the book will contain, thus providing them with a detailed, fleshed-out blueprint for the work.

9. Two sample chapters from the body of the work

Introductions can be submitted, but they must be submitted in addition to these two body chapters.

10. Date of projected manuscript completion

When do you expect to have a complete manuscript ready to deliver?

11. Specifications of the book

Provide us with the following details:

  • Expected word count
  • Number and types of graphics (black-and-white or color photographs, illustrations, tables)
  • How much content (graphics, quotations) you will borrow from other sources
  • Any other information on the book's makeup you think might be relevant

Formatting

Proposals should be typed and double-spaced and have one-inch margins on all sides. Send only one file; do not submit multiple files.