Prospective Authors

Purdue University Press is dedicated to disseminating scholarly and professional information in several signature areas of interest. We welcome submissions of book proposals in these core subjects:

We are happy to receive proposals with sample chapters or, preferably, full manuscripts. Because we receive a large number of submissions, please follow the guidelines below to prevent any delay in receiving our response. As publishing involves a matching process between manuscript and publisher, please consider carefully whether or not your project fits our particular strengths. Most proposals are turned down because they do not fit the profile of the Press’s publishing program.

If you want to submit a proposal to a particular series, please mention this in your proposal. Details about our series can be found on the Browse by Series page. 

What to include in a proposal

Proposals should be single-spaced Word, rtf, or PDF documents and should be sent to Leah Pennywark, Acquisitions Assistant, by e-mail, lpennywa [at] purdue [dot] edu or mail:

Purdue University Libraries – PUP
504 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2058

A proposal should give members of the Purdue University Press Editorial Board—most of whom will not be specialists in your area—a clear and detailed idea of what your book will be about. Please include a cover letter, your curriculum vitae or resumé, and a proposal as outlined below. Please be concise in your proposal and keep it to four single-spaced pages (this limit does not include sample chapters or other supplemental materials).

  1. Title, Subtitle.

  2. Author or Editor Name(s). In the order you expect them to appear in the book.
  3. Biographical information. For main author(s) or editor(s).

  4. Brief description. In a few paragraphs (no more than 300 words), describe the work. Include what you consider to be the outstanding, distinctive, or unique features of the work. Consider the following questions: What problems do you set out to solve? What confusing issues do you clarify? What previously unknown or neglected story do you tell? Why does it matter? To whom? We sometimes refer to this as the "Amazon blurb."

  5. Competition. Describe existing books in this field and spell out how your book will be similar to, as well as different from, these works. Discuss specifically their strengths and weaknesses and how your coverage may vary from theirs. Please discuss each competing book in a separate paragraph and provide the publisher and date of publication. This information will provide us with a frame of reference for evaluating your material.

  6. Length. What do you estimate to be the length of the book? Note that double-spaced pages normally reduce by about one-third when typeset, e.g., 300 typewritten pages will make about 200 printed pages. If the book is complete, divide the number of words by 350 to get a page count. Will the book include photographs, line drawings, graphs, glossaries, a bibliography, an appendix, and so on? Please give an estimate of the number and kind of images, graphs, charts, and other items.
  7. Status of the work. What portion of the material is now complete? When do you expect to have a complete manuscript to submit for review? Please give us a date.

  8. Audience. For what type of reader is your book intended, that is, what is the primary audience for the book? Are there secondary audiences for the book? If a textbook, for what educational level is it intended? The more specific you can be, the better.

  9. Reviewers. Please provide the names and contact details for three or four people you feel would be competent to review your material and whose opinion you would find valuable. We will try to use some of these along with our own selection. We do not reveal your name to the reviewers or the names of reviewers to you without their permission.

  10. Sample chapters. Select one or two chapters of the manuscript that are an integral part of the book, if you have them ready. They should be those you consider the best-written ones, and do not have to be in sequence. The material need not be in final form, although it should be carefully prepared and represent your best work. In your preparation, emphasis should be on readability. You can also send the full manuscript if you have it.

Response time

We will contact you as soon as we have had a chance to thoroughly examine your manuscript proposal. Thank you for your interest in Purdue University Press. We look forward to reading your materials.