1. Brief Description – In one or two paragraphs, describe the work, including its rationale, approach, and methodology.
  2. Outline – A detailed outline of the book’s chapters, with chapter headings and sub-headings, with explanations as necessary.
  3. Outstanding Features List – Briefly explain what you consider to be the outstanding, distinctive, or unique features of the work.
  4. Apparatus
    • Will the book include photographs, line drawings, a bibliography, references, appendices, etc.?
  5. Competition
    • Consider the existing books in this field and discuss specifically their strengths and weaknesses. Explain how your book will be similar to, as well as different from, competing works.
    • Consider what aspects of topical coverage are similar to or different from the competition. What topics have been left out of competing books and what topics have been left out of yours? Please discuss each competing book in a separate paragraph. (Please provide us with the publisher and date of publication as well.) This information will provide the reviewers and the publisher a frame of reference for evaluating your material. Remember, you are writing for reviewers and not for publication, so be as frank as possible regarding your competition. Give credit where credit is due, and show how you can do it better.

Market Considerations

The Primary Market

  1. What is the major market for the book—scholarly/professional, upper-level undergraduates, etc.
  2. For what course(s) is the book intended? Do you offer this course yourself?

Status of the Work

  1. Do you have a timetable for completing the book?
    • What portion or percentage of the material is now complete?
    • When do you expect to have a complete manuscript?
  2. What do you estimate to be the word count of the completed book?
    • Double spaced typewritten pages normally reduce about one-third when set in type; e.g., 300 typewritten pages make about 200 printed pages. There are about 450 words on a printed page.
    • Do you plan to include material requiring permission (e.g., illustrations)? To what extent? Have you started the permissions request process?
  3. Do you or your contributors plan to test the material in a course? (Any material distributed to students should be protected by copyright notice on the material.)

Sample Chapters

Select one or two chapters of the manuscript that are an integral part of the book. They should be those you consider the best-written ones, and do not have to be in sequence. For example, you might submit chapters 3, 7, and 14 of a 20-chapter book, so long as these chapters represent the content and reflect your writing style and methodology in the best possible light. It is also advisable to submit any chapter that is particularly innovative or even unique. Sample chapters may contain rough sketches, charts, hand-written equations or photo-static reproductions, and description of photographs to be included. The material need not be in final form, although it should be carefully prepared and represent your best work and the best work of your contributors. In your preparation, emphasis should be on readability. Be sure all pages are numbered either consecutively or double-numbered by chapter.


If you wish to suggest the names of experts in your field whom you believe to be ideally suited to evaluate your proposal, you may provide their names, titles, and email addresses.

Author Background

Please include a current CV or brief biography of your writing, teaching, and/or educational background and experience, and a brief description of the professional positions of your proposed contributors. Be sure to list any books that you have previously published, and any other information concerning your qualifications to edit this book.

Response Time

Please allow at least 6-10 weeks for the manuscript proposal evaluation and review process. We will contact you as soon as we have had a chance to thoroughly examine your manuscript proposal. Thank you for your interest in Oxford University Press. We look forward to reading your materials.


An editor should first submit a draft proposal to Christia Mercer (cm50 [at] columbia [dot] edu) and Melvin Rogers (Melvin_Rogers [at] brown [dot] edu) and then (upon their recommendation) to Peter Ohlin, philosophy editor at OUP, who will have it peer-reviewed (Peter [dot] Ohlin [at] oup [dot] com).


Editors should feel free to contact the series editors, Christia Mercer (cm50 [at] columbia [dot] edu) and Melvin Rogers (Melvin_Rogers [at] brown [dot] edu) with questions.

OPC Pages