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Publishing in English: Monographs

An upcoming guide to English-language publication for Japanese scholars


SAMPLE Guidelines for Writing a Book Proposal

Please write as clearly as possible.  Please include all the points below, despite their apparent redundancy.  It is not necessary to duplicate the order and numbering of items. Use single space formatting with one-inch margins.  Remember that reviewers will judge the proposal solely on its contents and how it is presented.



  1. Narrative Summary

    500 words summarizing the book and its context

  1. Summary

    A single sentence that clearly communicates the 3-4 key selling points for your book to a general bookshop browser or student clarifying why they should buy this book

  1. Full contents list

    A list of the book’s contents  (to aid in production planning; sections and chapters, visual and statistical content, and contributors, if any)

  1. Contents summary

  • A full contents list with each chapter summarized in 100-200 words

  • Please ensure that if this is a synthetic work rather than an original research work reference is made to secondary literature in the chapter summaries— a brief mention of two or three key texts per chapter and how these will integrate into the principal argument

  • If an edited volume, please supply departmental and university affiliations of all contributors and note if they have or have not already agreed to contribute

  1. Writing schedule / word length / artwork (If artwork needs to be included please specify number and type, please specific any permissions fees that may need to be paid

  1. Readership

  • Specify the target disciplines and the level of readership

  • Specify possible secondary disciplines and their readership

  • If your book is designed for undergraduate use, describe courses for which it might be required or recommended text, and whether it is designed to cover a whole course or part of it. For example: the book is designed to be an introductory in anthropology covering the theoretical and historical background of the field, and it may also serve as secondary reading on 2nd/3rd year courses in sociology, cultural studies, and social work.

  1. Related/Competing titles

  • Include a brief précis of books that have a similar readership (include title, author, price, length and publication date).

  • It is essential to note both the strengths and the weaknesses of any competing texts.

  1. Author’s Biography

  • Brief biography including the current title and affiliation, major published works, focus of research and teaching interests (written in narrative form, not as a CV).

  • Current (and fastest) contact information (postal address/email)

  1. Suggestions for international reviewers

  • Please supply a brief list of possible reviewers, preferably those who actively teach in the field, please include their affiliations and email addresses 

    Please note that individual publishers will have somewhat varying requirements, follow their guidelines carefully and do not assume that one publisher’s format will be ideal for another.  

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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