Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal
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- Send Us an Inquiry First
- Send Us a Proposal
- One Publisher at a Time
- A Final Decision
- If Your Proposal Is Accepted
“I have an idea … an outline … a few chapters … a complete manuscript. Would NAEYC be interested in publishing it?”
NAEYC publishes books for early childhood professionals who work in diverse settings with different populations. We strive to publish books for those who have years of experience and those who are new to the field. Before you send us anything to review, read NAEYC’s Publishing FAQs and browse our current print or online catalog to learn about the books that we publish. Compare NAEYC books to your book idea.
Determine whether NAEYC or another early childhood publisher has published a similar book. If so, explain how your book would be different or better.
NAEYC-published books are closely identified with the Association, and our members and other readers expect them to reflect NAEYC’s core position statements on practice and policy, such as developmentally appropriate practice and respect for all children and families.
NAEYC is a publisher of professional materials for teachers. Our publications support good practice from a research base of the best current knowledge of the early childhood field.
If your research reveals a niche in the marketplace that your book could fill, send an inquiry to the NAEYC Books Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with your plan for the book. Exploring topic, tone, and audience with us before you take your idea too far saves both of us time, and makes it more likely that you might develop a manuscript that NAEYC would publish.
In your inquiry, please provide:
- outline or table of contents
- narrative description of the project
Your description of the project will let us sample your writing. But if you have other writing samples available (e.g., a published article or book, link to a blog or forum you’ve posted to), you could send that along, too.
Give us a few weeks to respond. If the fit is promising, we will invite you to submit a formal proposal for review. The instructions below describe how to prepare such a proposal.
A Proposal Letter is your chance to show your enthusiasm for your book project! Tell us:
- What will this book be about? What will readers learn from it?
- Who are your potential readers (be as specific as you can)? How would this book meet their specific needs?
- Are there other books (by NAEYC or other early childhood publishers) already published that are similar to yours in both topic and approach? If so, what are those publications? How would your book be different or better?
- How will your project address NAEYC’s mission and the principles and practices we advocate in our position statements (e.g., developmentally appropriate practice)?
- What will your book be based on: the research literature? your own experience or direct observation? a combination?
- Have the suggestions, activities, or strategies you will propose been tested in the field? What evidence do you have of their effectiveness?
- What expertise or credentials do you and any coauthors bring to this specific project?
- How long will your manuscript be when it is finished? (Estimate total word count.) If you are submitting a complete manuscript now, what is its actual word count?
- What do you imagine the finished publication might look like? Would it have any special design features?
- Do you have video or other digital resources that could support and/or expand on the book?
- Are you planning to include material from published sources that will require permissions? If so, what? (If you’re not sure what permissions entail, consult our guide to Obtaining Permissions).
- We typically provide illustrations and/or photographs as needed from our extensive image library, but sometimes authors have their own photographs or children’s work available. Will your submitted manuscript include any illustrations, photographs, or figures? If so, will you be their creator, or are you planning to use images from another source (e.g., samples of children’s work, work by an artist or photographer, reprints from a book or website)? … For safety, do not enclose any original artwork or photographs now with your proposal; instead, just describe what you plan to include or send photocopies.
- Also, please provide contact information (mailing address, daytime phone, email) for the person(s) we should correspond with about this project.
With your Proposal Letter, please also provide the following:
- Title you are proposing, and the names of all authors exactly as they should appear in the book (correct spelling, in order).
- An annotated table of contents—describe the topics that each chapter will cover. List the major subheads inside each chapter.
- A sample of the manuscript for a book. Three complete chapters. The chapters you send need not be the book’s first three (i.e., not Chapters 1, 2, and 3); instead, select chapters that collectively will give us a picture of what the whole book will be like (i.e., chapters that sample each major type of material in the book). If you have already written more than three chapters or even the entire manuscript, please go ahead and send us everything you have written.
- A sample of the manuscript for a booklet or brochure. A significant portion, sufficient for us to get a sense of the content and your writing.
NAEYC offers detailed guidance on writing and formatting in our Style Guide. At minimum:
Please double-space everything, including any references, notes, and tables. Number all pages. In anticipation of the manuscript being sent for blind review, please use the names of the authors on the title page only, not anywhere else in the manuscript (e.g., not in headers or footers).
Send your Proposal Letter and Manuscript Sample to email@example.com. Make sure you keep copies of everything for safety.
As a small publisher, NAEYC cannot afford to invest staff time in reviewing a proposal that at the same time is being considered elsewhere. If your project is already under consideration by another publisher, please do not submit it to NAEYC unless you first withdraw it from consideration there or until the other publisher rejects it.
While your proposal is being reviewed by NAEYC, please don’t submit it elsewhere.
NAEYC editors make the decision regarding review, revision, acceptance, and publication.
First, staff in the Books department will give your proposal a preliminary in-house review. This initial review typically takes several weeks. We will contact you as soon as we come to a decision about next steps.
A proposal that makes it through our initial staff review is sent for blind peer review to experts in the early childhood field. Because these reviewers are volunteers, it may take six weeks or longer for NAEYC to receive their feedback.
Some proposals we accept or reject after peer review.
Others we encourage the author to revise, incorporating our feedback and the feedback of the outside reviewers. Such encouragement means that we believe the project has potential. However, an author who revises and resubmits is not guaranteed an acceptance. Some authors go through several rounds of review-revision-review before we can make a final decision.
If we accept your proposal, we will invite you to submit a complete Project Package (more on that below). Actual publication is always conditional on our (1) obtaining a final, editable manuscript that we judge to be complete and acceptable in form and content, and (2) receiving a signed Author Agreement from each author.
- Our standard Author Agreement grants to NAEYC the exclusive right to publish your manuscript and transfers all rights (including copyright) to the Association.
If we reject your proposal, we will send you a written confirmation.
If your proposal is accepted on the basis of a partial manuscript, then now will be the time to finish writing. If your manuscript is already complete, then the next step is to prepare your Project Package for submission to editing and production. For help, please see our author guides.
For help in preparing an inquiry or proposal, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org