Pitching a book proposal

Finding the right publisher is the first step if you are planning to submit a proposal for a scholarly monograph or edited book. If you receive unsolicited invitations to have your thesis published as a book (or a conference paper published as a book chapter), be very cautious and investigate the reputation of the publisher (see page on publishing pitfalls and predatory practices) before proceeding.

When assessing a publisher, look for books they have published in your field on research. The type of books that have made it through to publication will tell you a lot about the editorial board's preferences. Once you have settled on a candidate publishers, download their book proposal forms. Your proposal will need to be robust and tempting. It should identify target readers, estimated word length. If possible, send a sample chapter or at least a developed plan.

Selection of publishers which accept book proposals:

For more information see How to get your academic book published (Ashgate Publishing Blog).

Open access books

Until recently, there were few options available for publishing open access books. Partly, this was due to the high fixed costs associated with providing editorial support, proof-reading, and type-setting services to book authors.

Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is a not-for-profit organisation which acts as a broker between book publishers and libraries. The deal offered to publishers is that they can sell the print version (and enhanced digital versions) of KU books provided they agree to allow open access dissemination of a basic digital (PDF) version. The model depends on libraries agreeing to fund the fixed costs up front.

Adding a book title to the KU list is at the discretion of the publisher. However, when you submit a proposal to a publisher for consideration, you could let them know that you would like your book to be part of the Knowledge Unlatched programme. Provide the contact details for Knowledge Unlatched ( in case they have not heard of the initiative.

Many publishers are already involved, including:

  • Routledge
  • Sage
  • Cambridge University Press
  • De Gruyter
  • Pluto Press
  • Monash University Press
  • University of Queensland Press

Digital self-publishing software

A number of licences for 3D Issue Flipbooks are available for QUT staff. This software enables you to create (or convert existing PDFs into) digital editions that can be viewed on desktops, tablets, iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices. A flipbook of your brochure, catalogue, magazine or e-book can embed videos, flash, and HTML5 animations and audio files.

For a login (QUT staff only), contact the Library Research Support Team.