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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. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

7. 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.

8. Manuscript Length and Special Materials: How many pages (assuming 250 words per page) do you expect that the manuscript (not the book) will be? What special materials (drawings, tables, figures, exhibits, and so on) do you anticipate will be included?

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

10. 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.

11. If you would like your materials returned, please include a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.

Please mail your proposal to:
Jeevan Sivasubramaniam
Executive Managing Editor
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94612.


Please allow 3-6 weeks for us to give a response.

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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.