Publish with us
In common with all publishers, there are standard processes and procedures underpinning the commissioning of a book. The following is an outline of what happens when you contact UWP with a book proposal. Please note that whether you need a “traditional” print publication or an Open Access publication, the same high standards apply across all UWP departments.
For details of UWP’s Open Access Policy, please click here.
Commissioning and Editorial
Before contacting us, we recommend that you take a look at our publishing programme to consider whether your proposal fits our lists, but we are always interested to investigate new subject matters and approaches. Click here for a list of our current Series.
Please do feel free to contact us either by phone or email to discuss a proposal. A useful starting point for discussion is a brief outline of the proposal, to include the following information: a working title; abstract/overview of the proposal, including a description of contents, aims and objectives; draft Table of Contents, with brief description of contents of each chapter; target market/interested audience; how it will contribute to scholarly debate; how it differs from any similar works (if any); number of words, including all text, notes and bibliography.
Please note that we will not consider unrevised theses for publication. If you wish to submit a book proposal based on your thesis, please include details as to how you will convert it from a thesis to a monograph, and how any resulting monograph will differ from the thesis.
A typical workflow is as follows:
- All proposals are presented at the monthly Commissioning Meeting, attended by departmental representatives and UWP’s Director, where proposals are evaluated.
- We will provide feedback to you with our initial views, thoughts, observations and questions.
- If it is agreed to further consider your proposal, we will ask you to complete a formal proposal questionnaire (if you haven’t already done so), and we will send it for peer review. We normally allow peer reviewers 4–6 weeks to complete their reviews.
- If the peer review recommends publication, we will then proceed to the formal approval stage, which in the first instance involves submitting a summary of the proposal to UWP’s Editorial Panel, whose function is to endorse the peer reviewer’s recommendation. If there are any questions from the Panel, we will discuss them with you at this stage.
- If the recommendation from the Panel is positive, we will proceed to UWP’s Executive Board, where the proposal is presented together with a viable budget for the book. A viable budget means that net income from sales will cover the costs and overheads of your publication. If the subject matter is niche, or has a requirement for full colour production, a subvention may be required; we will discuss the budgetary aspects with you during the commissioning process. At the Executive Meeting, the contents, peer review and budget for the proposed book will be evaluated.
If the proposal is approved, we will advise you of this and prepare a contract for you. Among other matters, the contract sets out the agreed particulars of the manuscript regarding title, word extent and submission date. A copy of UWP’s style guide will also be sent to you at this stage.
- On submission, the manuscript is sent to the reader who peer reviewed the proposal, to prepare a report on the manuscript.
- The manuscript also undergoes an editorial review to ensure that it conforms to house style; if the manuscript differs fundamentally from UWP style, the author will be requested to make the necessary revisions prior to the final manuscript being submitted.
- The peer review and editorial report will be sent to you, and any necessary matters will be discussed at this stage, with the aim of finalising the manuscript ready to hand over to begin the production and editorial processes. At this stage, you as author should ensure that any required permissions for copyright material included in the manuscript are cleared for print and e-formats, and world rights (in English for quotes.) If your work is to be OA, you will also require clearance for OA. Please note that there is no statutory definition of “fairdealing”, other than that any quotes must be short and relevant to illustrate a point.
- Once the manuscript has been formally handed over at the Press, you will receive a production schedule from the Production Department along with a marketing questionnaire from the Sales & Marketing Department. During production, the manuscript will be copy-edited, page-proofs will be prepared and proof-read, and the book cover will designed and prepared through proof stages. When all editorial and production requirements have been undertaken the book will be sent to print. If it is an OA publication it will be uploaded to various platforms.
For a more detailed description of our Commissioning Procedures, including more information on the peer review process, please click here.
We oversee the critical process of transforming a manuscript into the final published product – be it a printed academic monograph, a colour art or reference book, a dictionary, a textbook, a printed or electronic journal or an e-book.
As the main point of contact for authors during the production of a book, we provide an expertly informed and efficient yet personal service throughout each stage of the editorial and production process – ensuring that the process runs as smoothly as possible by working to pre-empt and solve any problems along the way.
If at any stage of the production process you have questions you would like answered, or would like to understand more about the process itself, we are here to help navigate the way. Please contact us and we’ll do our very best to help.
Marketing and Sales
How will UWP market my book?
The Author Questionnaire
As an author with UWP, our first and arguably most important step will be to send you an author questionnaire. This comprehensive document is an essential tool to ensure that we promote and sell your book to the appropriate audience and target as widely as possible.
The output of this questionnaire forms the basis of the marketing and sales plan for your book, so please take time to complete and return it by the deadline. If you have any specific queries, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help.
Your individual marketing plan will vary depending on the subject matter and the audience for your book, but key activities will include the following:
We produce a number of different catalogues each year that have print runs of 500–2,000 copies and are sent to the book trade, libraries, academic organisations and individuals on our mailing lists. In addition, subject catalogues and flyers are produced and mailed to targeted audience groups and key conferences.
We can provide you with individual flyers for your own use at conferences, launches and other promotional events; we also supply electronic versions of these in PDF format, which you can e-mail directly to your contacts and colleagues in a timely and environmentally friendly manner. Please let us know well in advance to ensure that materials can be produced with the maximum care and attention, and mailed to you in time for specific events.
We will send Advanced Information and review copies of your book to relevant press contacts. Some journals can take a long time to review, and reviews don’t readily circulate – but as the Press publishes texts from a wide variety of subject areas, your recommendations of suitable journals for reviews are invaluable, especially if you are able to supply contact names and details.
We are committed to promoting your book, so please inform us of anything you discover that you think could be useful.
Press and media publicity
We hold an evolving media contact list at UWP and we will send press releases, advance information sheets and order forms to relevant bodies. Again, your help in identifying suitable associations, professional or scholarly societies, and conferences can be a great help.
We advertise in relevant journals or specialist magazines where appropriate.
Direct links from the UWP website to our distributors worldwide ensure ease of ordering, and the links with academic and professional organisations encourage traffic through the site. Additionally, a series of individually tailored website promotional campaigns will be put to work in targeting audiences.
We use discussion lists to promote your book, and your help with this will be encouraged. We also offer an e-mail alerting service to our customers and target e-mail alerts to relevant networks, organisations and associations with direct ordering links to our site.
Our UK distributor, NBN International, based near Plymouth, provides a thorough and efficient service for the ordering and despatch of our publications worldwide, except where we already have established local distribution contacts in key overseas territories.
Our distribution in Wales is managed by the Welsh Books Council, who sell to retail through their experienced team of sales representatives, as well as through their established website www.gwales.com.
Additionally, the University of Chicago Press provides a professional marketing, sales and distribution service to customers in North and South America, Canada,Australia and New Zealand.
At UWP, we use specialist UK-based book representative companies to visit key book trade accounts.
These experienced representatives call at high street and academic bookshops, head offices and wholesalers throughout the UK, as well as running a programme of academic calling with relevant textbooks. They are all issued with UWP sales packs including full details of forthcoming titles, cover images and promotions plans to promote UWP publications at the bi-annual sales conferences, and present titles to their trade customers 4–6 months ahead of publication to generate advance orders.
Advance title information is also sent to the main UK-based library supply companies 4 months prior to publication.
We also use Durnell Marketing Services for representation throughout Europe.
Advance information distribution
As detailed above, we ensure that advance title information is provided to key trade contacts worldwide well ahead of publication. In addition, all bibliographic information is sent to the key data agencies, including Nielsen Bookdata.
We have a comprehensive conference schedule allowing us to promote your book at relevant events. In addition to the larger conferences at which we will have our own displays, we are often able to supply publicity material for smaller meetings for distribution to delegates. Please inform us on the author questionnaire of any relevant conferences you may attend.
We are also keen to support any speaking engagements you have by providing promotional literature – please give us adequate notice of any events you plan to attend.
We provide inspection copies to academic course tutors, where appropriate, free of charge. Regular mailings are sent to relevant academics and to academic libraries.
Our marketing and sales service doesn’t stop on publication. We have an ongoing policy of promotion through subject-based flyers and catalogues for our titles. Please advise us of any new avenues for promotional activities throughout the life of your publication, and we will follow up these opportunities for you.
Purchasing copies of your publication
At UWP authors, editors and contributors to our books currently receive a 35% discount on the purchase of UWP titles when ordered through our website or directly over the phone.We will send you instructions on how to claim your discount, which is strictly for your own use only.
Customers can also order your book from our distributors in their territory, as detailed below:
For North and South America University of Chicago Press Chicago Distribution Center 11030 South Langley Avenue Chicago, IL 60628 USA Tel: 1-773 702 7000 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-books Where rights allow, we sell e-books worldwide through a range of e-book online retailers, facilitated by NBN Fusion.
We will market your book to a range of overseas publishers sometimes via the services of rights agents. If you have ideas for languages that we should target or overseas publisher contacts, please let us know and we will follow up accordingly.
If applicable to your title, your royalty statement will detail sales of your book. Royalties are paid on net receipts (the actual sums of money received after any discount is subtracted). Statements are sent out annually 3–4 months after the end of the financial year (31 July).
We encourage you to keep in touch with us after your work has been published, and we will always be pleased to receive your proposals for any new projects. Please also let us know of any subsequent changes to your contact details, including name, address, job title or affiliation, to ensure that we are still able to contact you.