Thank you for your interest in publishing with PennWell Books! These are our guidelines for book proposal submission.
Please answer the attached questions and upload the following (all documents required):
Your project outline or table of contents
A sample chapter, or if not available, another writing sample related to your topic
Your current professional resume, including past publications and speaking events
Our minimum word count for publication is 50,000 words in the final manuscript. Our maximum word count is 200,000 words.
In manuscript pages, this would be a range of about 200 to 800 manuscript pages. An average-size softcover handbook will be in the range of 62,000 to 100,000 words. An average hardcover textbook will have a range of 100,000 to 150,000 words.
If you expect your word count to be smaller or larger than these parameters, we will ask you to justify the special size with any unique attributes that demand a smaller or larger publication. An undersized or oversized manuscript can possibly mean the topic is too narrow for a textbook, or in the case of larger books, the topic is too broad or might be over-written.
Your potential book budget will be based on the word count range you include in this questionnaire. If your proposal is accepted and a publishing contract signed, your contract will require that your final manuscript be at or below your projected maximum word count, or you will be asked to edit your final submission down to the contracted maximum word count.
If your proposal requires color printing, please note this in your answers. We try to accommodate author color requests if necessary for graphic communication. However, color print costs can terminate a proposal if costs outweigh market potential for the book.
To qualify as required color, your photos or graphics must depend specifically on color to communicate correctly. A good example of color dependency would be a thermal image photograph, or similar images where color communicates the meaning of the image, rather than shapes or other distinctions. In our experience, photos that require color for communication are rare. Graphics, such as charts and line art, can usually be adjusted to communicate through shapes and text
As author, you are responsible for creating or gaining permission to borrow all photographs, tables, and graphics in your book. ALL images must comply with recognized safe practices according to NFPA, NREMT or other guiding public safety organizations.
Timeline. If you feel your proposal requires a certain publication date to be marketable, please make that clear in your answers. We can only accommodate critical timelines if our production workload allows at the time of submission. For instance, if you propose a project in April for the following year's FDIC conference, it's highly unlikely that we can accommodate that timeline unless your manuscript is complete, is peer-reviewed to PennWell's satisfaction, and there is an opening in the production workload at the time of proposal.
Promotion. Please hold any self-promotion of your project until your proposal is accepted and publishing agreement signed.
Again, thank you for your interest—we look forward to seeing your proposal!