Resources for Authors
Types of books we publish
A monograph is a volume treating a single-subject, written by one or more authors. The primary purpose of a monograph is to document original research and scholarship in all its depth. It must have an overall thesis that constitutes an original contribution to the field. Free from the length limitations of journal articles, authors are able to examine complex ideas fully, support their analysis with multiple sources of evidence and explore the links between seemingly disparate arguments and insights. Unlike edited volumes, the monograph is a purpose-written book-length work and includes an appropriately weaved critical narrative, as a common thread from beginning to end. Monographs are usually longer than 80,000 words, but depending on the subject, shorter contributions of at least 50,000 words may also be feasible. In disciplines like art history monographs may be heavily illustrated, whereas in economics, linguistics, cognitive science, and sociology they may make extensive use of visual aids for the communication of quantitative or relational information. A monograph typically showcases its links to extant literature with a dense network of references and footnotes.
Handbooks (or other works of synthesis)
Handbooks are book-length works that combine insights from state-of-the-art literature into texts suitable for graduate instruction. Originality is not as important as breadth and representativeness of the content. A balanced structure, clarity in writing and layout (including extensive use of tables and visual aids) as well as comprehensive references to relevant literature (including further reading), are hallmarks of this type of academic book. A strong case can be made for a handbook when there is a clear gap in existing offerings with respect to the topic, the level of instruction (introductory, intermediate, advanced) or perspective. Handbooks also respond to the need to take stock of recent, disparately published advances in a specific topic or the need to approach it from diverse points of view.
Multiauthor works (or Edited Volumes)
Multiauthor works (also known as edited volumes) are edited collections of chapters centered on a specific topic brought together by one or more specialist editors. Chapters are written by various authors and are weaved together by numerous cross-references. Multiauthor works are often the result of joint research projects or papers presented under a common theme in conferences. Multiauthor works make particular sense when the topic strays outside the scope of one of the main journals in your area, making it difficult to justify a journal special issue. The editors are in charge of shaping the boundaries of the book’s content, select chapters for inclusion (using peer review and any other criteria they deem appropriate), directing its development ensuring consistency across chapters and finally collating the combined book-length manuscript for submission to Vernon Press.
Submitting a book proposal (proposal preparation guidelines)
We welcome proposals for monographs, handbooks or multiauthor works. Your initial proposal should contain the following basic information, in addition to the title, authors'/editors' name, and affiliations:
- A summary of the proposed book (approx. two pages). This summary should center on your book's subject, give an idea of how that subject is/will be developed and how your work relates to existing literature on the subject.
- A succinct author/editor's biographical statement mentioning relevant qualifications and experience. It would also be helpful to know how the proposed book relates to your current and future research plans. Please note, we require a biographical statement from each author/ editor involved in the proposed publication.
- The market rationale for your book describing its prospective readership and positioning it against any competing works. If there are no competing works, then a stronger case must be made for your book's readership, its relevance to recent research or contemporary debates. If there are many and recent competing works, then a stronger case must be made for your book's originality.
- If available, one or two sample chapters, a preliminary table of contents and list of references would be helpful. If your manuscript has been already completed, specify if it contains color images as well as the total number of words, including index, references, and annexes. If your project is in progress, give us an estimated date of completion and approximate total length. Please do not forward complete manuscripts as part of a proposal.
- Please complete this form with all the information we require to consider your proposal: Proposal Form
Please send all proposals to: email@example.com We are committed to replying to all complete proposals and endeavor to offer constructive feedback wherever possible.
In keeping with our mission to support pluralism and intellectual diversity, we are now accepting proposals for books written in Spanish (for the time being only on the subjects of art, economics and cognitive science). We aim to be in a position to accept proposals in other languages, including French and Portuguese, in the near future.
If you are submitting a proposal for one of our Spanish-language series, your proposal may be written in either English or Spanish.
Additionally, our Bridging Languages and Scholarship (BLS) initiative aims to further the reach of selected titles by facilitating or financing translations into other languages and to support the production of multilingual and translingual texts. You can find out more about it here. If you would like your manuscript to be considered for inclusion to our BLS initiative for a possible translation into Spanish (or for Spanish texts, into English) please mention this as part of your proposal.
What we look for in a new book proposal
- The book should be the product of original research and scholarship. It may reflect an original idea or the application of an existing idea to a new setting. Alternatively, it may draw from and unite existing approaches into a comprehensive or cohesive whole, resulting in a volume suitable for reference or student instruction.
- It should be in an area in which you are an expert, as attested by studies, research or professional experience. It should be of a sufficiently high academic standard to stand the test of peer review by other experts.
- It should seek to make a valuable contribution to the field, enlarge upon existing research, or fill a market niche. In all cases, it should be of interest to a large enough community of researchers and practitioners to justify publication in book format.
For topics of current interest see our latest Calls for Proposals.
The Selection Process
We will acknowledge your proposal within a week of receipt (see here for instructions on how to prepare a proposal and what we look for in a new book proposal). If your proposal fits our list, we will then proceed with the initial assessment. As part of our initial assessment, we may send samples of your work (the summary, one or more sample chapters, list of references) for peer review, in addition to our own internal assessment. At this stage we consider:
- The reviewer(s)’ brief assessment in terms of academic originality (or of other scholarly value, e.g. as synthesis), methodological rigor and possible social impact.
- Our internal assessment of how well the proposal matches the interests of our audience, the readability of the sample material, production needs (use of color or special formats) and the economic feasibility of publication.
It usually takes about 2 weeks to consider your proposal. If initial assessment is positive, we will then invite you to submit your full manuscript which we will send out for peer review. At this stage we may offer suggestions to refine your concept and shape the manuscript’s development.
Contract or Agreement to refrain from simultaneous submissions
As peer review of the full manuscript implies a cost for us, we will only proceed with it when we expect there is a realistic publication prospect. Therefore before sending out your manuscript for peer review we would expect you to either:
- Refrain from simultaneous submissions to other publishers until peer review concludes and a decision is taken;
- Agree on a contract, subject to successful conclusion of peer review later.
In most cases your simple acknowledgment to refrain from simultaneous submissions will suffice. Provided our initial assessment is unreservedly positive, we may offer a contract conditional on the successful conclusion of peer review of the full manuscript later. The offer of a contract at this early stage can be particularly useful when development of the full manuscript requires agreement on the scope and terms of publication, e.g. making the necessary work arrangements (sabbatical/field trips), applying for research funding or requesting copyright permissions. While the contract signals our confidence and provides a measure of reassurance to encourage you to develop and finalize your manuscript it is important to emphasize that publication cannot be guaranteed until peer review concludes successfully and any required revisions have been implemented.
Upon submission of the full manuscript, Vernon Press will send out the manuscript for peer review and may also request additional changes before considering the manuscript acceptable for publication. Peer review ensures we only select works of a high academic standard. It also helps authors receive constructive feedback on their work. Peer review of full manuscripts is usually conducted on a single blind basis, meaning that the reviewers remain anonymous but not the authors. Individual chapters in edited volumes are commonly reviewed on a double blind basis meaning that both the reviewers and the authors remain anonymous. Depending on the origins of the manuscript (unsolicited or commissioned) and the availability of in-house expertise on the topic, one or two reviews will be sought.
Vernon Press maintains a growing community of trusted independent reviewers (see here for details). Our reviewers are both qualified and sufficiently motivated to offer high-quality reviews promptly. Reviewers are instructed to evaluate the manuscript in terms of originality, rigor, readability and likely impact and provide constructive comments for its improvement. We guide reviewers to focus on substance and be as helpful as possible (see here our guidelines for reviewers). Altogether, this ensures that peer reviews are thorough, constructive and respectful of your effort as an author.
We aim for as quick a turnaround as possible. We ask reviewers to provide us with a short report within 45 days. However, peer review is not entirely within our control and may take longer. Once the reviewer(s) produce their report(s), Vernon Press together with the advisory editor(s) of the series (as appropriate), will decide on one of the following outcomes:
- A request for you to revise and resubmit, implementing changes suggested by reviewers and editors or offering a detailed rebuttal.
- A final decision on acceptance or rejection of the manuscript for publication.
While we are happy to offer constructive guidance during the revision process, we expect you to produce a revised version of your manuscript and submit it in its entirety when ready.
We expect all manuscripts submitted for publication to be original works, not previously published elsewhere. When occasionally previously published material is reused we expect you to, in addition to providing appropriate citation, either hold copyright or have obtained suitable copyright permissions for publication in book form. All our books include a short statement on the history of their development indicating whether they are original monographs, edited dissertations, the outcome of multiauthor research projects or collections of papers originally presented at a conference. In co-authored works, we ask for a brief statement explaining the nature of the contribution of each of the authors. Research dealing with human subjects must respect their privacy and any other individual rights. For sensitive research, we may request clearance from your institution's scientific ethics committee (or equivalent) prior to publication.
We are committed to responding swiftly and appropriately to any allegations of plagiarism, libel and copyright infringement. If a major error is discovered in one of our books, we will work closely with the author(s) to either correct or withdraw the manuscript in question, maintaining a public record of its revision history.
To facilitate reproducibility in research, we ask that you make available any data or software code linked to your analysis, whenever possible. We are happy to host this on your book's page on our website or to link to any institutional repositories for this purpose. This enhances the reusability of your work and can lead to more citations and opportunities for collaboration.
We undertake to publish your work at our own cost. As we have a policy to never charge authors for publication, if you require additional services which we do not provide (e.g. translation, licensing for images, author promotion services etc.), you should seek these with an independent provider at your own cost and discretion.
You can choose to maintain copyright or transfer copyright to us. By transferring copyright to us it allows us to market your work in secondary rights markets (authors would receive 50% of any licensing proceeds) and protect it more effectively in case of infringement. An Open Access option is available at a cost, subject to institutional funding.
All authors of monographs and editors of multiauthor volumes receive complimentary copies of their book. All authors receive free PDF offprints of their contribution and can purchase copies of any print edition at a 40% discount.
We offer fair royalties and believe our terms to be among the best in academic book publishing. Depending on the relation between the cost of your book’s publication and our assessment of its market potential, we may offer a modest royalty advance to authors of monographs and handbooks. Editors of multiauthor volumes may be offered a nominal honorarium.
After the revised manuscript has been accepted, it will be assessed by our production editor for compliance with our formatting guidelines (see PDF here) and for possible issues such as: suitability of the title, structure, references, index, copyright permissions, figures, etc. Our editor may at that point request additional changes.
Once approved, we consider your manuscript to be final and complete. From this point onward, unless requested, please do not send us further revisions of your full manuscript. If you spot errors or find there is a need for minor edits or additions please keep a separate record of these and return them to us together with any corrections of your book's final proofs.
Our production editor will take care of non-substantive changes, coordinate proof-reading, the cover design, typesetting/visual reproduction, and final author approval. The production editor has a turnaround time of approximately 7 weeks though this depends on the length of the manuscript.
During typesetting your manuscript will be reformatted according to our house style: fonts, certain layout choices, the design of tables and figures are all subject to change, in keeping with the functional, standardization and stylistic needs of production. If you believe that your manuscript requires special attention please let us know providing as much detail as possible. Our typesetting templates use a single font (usually "Utopia" or similar) throughout the book. While we will be glad to adjust to the needs of individual projects, please note that we cannot setup books with fonts for which we hold no copyright license. Unless otherwise agreed, your book will be set up for printing in Black & White. If you think that full color is important, please let us know early on. Color printing costs more to produce and will inevitably have an impact on the book's sale price.
Finally, you will receive the camera-ready proofs of your book for your corrections or approval. Please bear in mind that only minor corrections (typographic errors, spelling, etc.) can be made at this late stage and no substantive revisions are allowed after the completion of peer review, editing and typesetting.
Typical turnaround times
The total turnaround time is difficult to predict with certainty due to the time needed for peer review and the implementation of any revisions. Here are some indicative durations for each stage:
Peer review: 2 months
Revisions by Author: 2-3 months
Production: 7 weeks
Proof approval by Author: 4 weeks (max)
Final setup and printing: 2-3 weeks
Production may take longer for works with complex production requirements. The shortest possible total turnaround time (assuming peer reviewers produce their review in a matter of days, request no or very limited revisions, the manuscript is impeccably written and edited, and the author approves the digital proofs in a few days) would be around 4 months from full manuscript submission. A more typical total turnaround time is 6-8 months.
We believe that a publisher plays an important role in enhancing a book’s impact in academic communities and beyond. We work closely with advisory editors, academic associations, and information specialists to understand current trends and market our titles appropriately. Early on in the publication process, we draft, with the help of the authors, individual marketing plans for each of our titles. As part of our marketing efforts we do the following: design marketing materials (cover jacket, flyers, catalogs), procure endorsements, comprehensively index your work so it finds its way on several ordering platforms and to our distributors and resellers, support any launch events with flyers and copies at discount, send announcements to relevant academic associations, seek reviews in academic journals and in major book review outlets and send inspection copies to academics who are likely to adopt it as a course text.
We do everything within our control to get your book noticed. Your book would be included in our catalog, print copies of which are sent to thousands of academic libraries, booksellers and conferences in the US and Europe, as well as to other select markets. We work with academic associations in targeted mailshots designed to reach many of the most relevant scholars. We also make extensive use of digital marketing tools (such as those provided by Amazon and Google) to advertise either individual titles or our entire frontlist. To increase your book’s visibility we use the Amazon Look Inside The Book (LITB) feature, our website uses web meta tags that ensure your book is indexed by specialized search engines such as Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic, we make sample chapter(s) of your book freely available and we work with you to make complementary material (such as datasets, software or extended appendices) available through our website. Vernon Press is among the select academic publishers that are part of the YBP Approval Plan, which means that all our titles get the distinct benefits of profiling by the largest academic wholesaler globally. Our titles are purchased by academic libraries worldwide, as shown by holdings of our ISBNs reported in WorldCat.
Self-archiving and personal use
We always make a chapter of the author's choice freely available for everyone to read. Subject to justification and approval we could make available more than one chapter. The entire book is searchable and partly viewable using Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” functionality. You are welcome to post earlier drafts of some of your chapters in institutional or personal websites providing it is not the exact same version as the one used in the book (i.e. following peer review revisions, proofreading, typesetting). We would only ask that they do not amount to more than half of the main chapters and that a short statement with a URL link to the final book is also included as follows:
“This is a draft version of a chapter in the book [TITLE IN ITALICS] edited by [EDITORS NAMES] published in [YEAR] by Vernon Press, link: [STABLE URL ON VERNON PRESS WEBSITE]”
You are welcome to post pre-prints (i.e. not the final proofread/typeset version) of the entire manuscript in your institution’s internal repository accessible to students and staff only. The entire manuscript should not be distributed further without explicit permission.
You are free to reuse parts of your book in derivative works (e.g. follow on journal articles, edited collections of your own work, or books you are editing yourself) without seeking permission, provided it does not exceed one chapter and full bibliographic acknowledgment is made.
Vernon Press is included on the Finnish Publication Forum's list of scholarly book publishers with a classification 1 (“peer-reviewed publication channels that are specialised in the publication of scientific research outcomes and have an editorial board of experts of the discipline”). The Finnish Publication Forum (JUFO in Finnish) is a rating and classification system to support the quality assessment of research output. It maintains a list of publishers classified by Expert Panels of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV). The Publication Forum/JUFO list is used extensively in formal research evaluation exercises in Finland. You can download the list (in excel format) here.
Vernon Press is included on the Nordic List (Norwegian Register for Scientific Publishers) as a Level 1 scientific book publisher as determined by the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD). To become a Level 1 publisher, it is required that you comply with the NSD’s definition of scientific publications, have an academic publishing program with an external peer-review process and have a national or international authorship (meaning that a maximum of 2/3 of your authors belong to the same institution). Operated jointly by the National Board of Scholarly Publishing (NPU) and the NSD on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, this prestigious list strives to develop a common registry of authorized research publication channels that will be referenced both nationally and internationally. Countries that have no national lists of approved scholarly publishers are already using or planning to use the Nordic List. For example, Sweden, Greenland and the Faroe Islands all have plans to use the Nordic List as a tool to make their own national registries. In addition, from January 2016 the Nordic List has been used to accredit research publications in South Africa.
Vernon Press is included on the list of scholarly publishers maintained by The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC in Spanish) with a detailed classification of its procedures for manuscript selection and peer review (see entry for Vernon Art and Science). According to BOE the aforementioned CSIC list (Selección de originales) is used in formal research evaluation exercises in Spain.
Proposing a new book series
We will be glad to hear from prospective editors and discuss the possibility of a new book series.
Please send a short (1-2 page) proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org . Your proposal should contain the following information:
- Rationale for the series: contribution to literature, similar or competing series, intended audience, marketing opportunities, potential pools of contributors
- Editor(s): short biographical statement and a list of publications
- Title or theme of first book(s) in series
- (Optional) Any special publication formats or other production needs: e.g. print dimensions, electronic formats, use of color, heavy use of images
Page last updated on November 18th 2021. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.