Proposal Guidelines for Berrett-Koehler Publishers

    Berrett-Koehler Publishers' mission is to publish books that support the movement toward a world that works for all. Our titles promote positive change at personal, organizational and societal levels. With this in mind, please prepare a proposal that covers the following topics:

    1. Need: Why is a new publication on this topic needed at this time? How is this topic of increasing rather than passing or declining interest?

    2. Purpose: How is the publication designed to meet the need? What are the primary and secondary purposes of the publication? What new contribution does the publication make to the field?

    3. Goals: What are the goals that you want to achieve through publication of your book?

    4. Audiences and Uses: Who are the intended audiences and how will they be able to use the publication? Be specific and realistic, rather than claiming that people or managers in general will be interested. Distinguish between primary and secondary audiences. Identify specific professional associations that are audiences.

    5. Impact: How will your publication have a positive impact on individuals, organizations, communities, and/or society? Please be specific about the intended positive impacts that you expect to result from your publication how you will measure those impacts.

    6. Knowledge Base: Describe your knowledge base of academic and/or professional experience, research, and theory. Attach biographical information, including the titles of previously published works. Please include name of publisher, date of publication, and number of copies sold.

    7. Related and Competing Books: What are the five most competitive or similar publications, and how - specifically-does the proposed publication differ from and go beyond each of them? Please describe your proposed publication's new contribution in considerable detail - this is a central issue.

    8. Outline: Attach a detailed chapter-by-chapter outline of the publication's planned contents.

    9. Sample Chapters: Please send entire draft manuscript if it is available; otherwise, please submit two to four sample chapters with the publication proposal indicating when complete draft manuscript would be available.

    10. Manuscript Length and Special Materials: How many words do you expect that the manuscript will be, including all references, appendices, or other materials? It would be fine to give a range (such as 40,000 to 50,000 words). What special materials (drawings, tables, figures, exhibits, and so on) do you anticipate will be included?

    11. Timetable: What is your schedule for completing the manuscript?

    12. Marketing Support: Please attach a separate document detailing the ways in which you, as author, will be able to support the publisher's marketing of the book.
    Marketing resources might include:

    - How often you speak and/or train, and to what numbers in what venues.
    - If you teach professional or college-level courses, please provide courses and names of institutions.
    - Membership in professional associations or association with membership organizations. Please include membership numbers.
    - Media contacts.
    - If you publish a newsletter or e-newsletter then indicate frequency of mailings and size of mailing list
    - Columns/ other publishing (internet or print) or regular appearances on radio or television.
    - Please also list names of prominent individuals who are likely to endorse your work and/or provide a Foreword.
    - Attach any interviews with you, stories about you, or articles by you that have already appeared in local or national media.

    Due the enormous number of proposals and manuscripts we receive, we are unable to reply to all of them or send individual responses to each submission. We will, however, review and consider every submission, but cannot give status updates. We cannot answer questions about proposals by phone or email. In most instances, you will receive a response from us within 4-6 weeks if we decide to pursue your book idea.

    PLEASE NOTE: We only accept proposals in .pdf form. Word documents and other file types will be deleted without being opened.

    Please e-mail your .pdf proposal to: 

    Anna Leinberger, Associate Editor

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    If you want some guidance on what makes a great book proposal, check out the "Write Right" section of our BK Magazine!

    To learn more about us as a publisher, and the kind of projects we prefer to take on, you can join our mailing list.  

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    If you are an author living outside of the United States, please review our preferred Criteria for Authors Based Outside of the United States.