Thank you for your interest in Career Press. Following are our editorial guidelines. If you determine that your proposal or manuscript meets these criteria, we welcome your submission. If you are interested in submitting work for our New Page Books imprint please see www.newpagebooks.com for details.
Editorial Mission Statement
It is our mission to publish and distribute quality, nonfiction books for adult readers seeking practical information to improve themselves in careers, college, finance, parenting, retirement, spirituality, and other related topics. We strive to deliver well-written, comprehensive books that inform, advise, and educate the reader.
Our readers are a diverse group, representing many age, job, and demographic categories. Yet they all demand the same high level of quality in the books they buy from Career Press; these characteristics will be identified below under Content Standards. Our primary markets include:
Students working through school and/or toward a career.
Adults seeking to improve themselves in their work environment.
Adults—singles, couples, families, seniors—seeking to improve their financial situation.
Parents striving to enhance their role as parents and maximize their children’s opportunities.
Seniors, as well as adults approaching retirement, seeking help in meeting their financial and lifestyle needs.
Anyone seeking information, a fun read, or interested in somehow bettering their lives
Book categories published by Career Press include:
- Job Search
- HR & Work Place Issues
- College Preparation
- Small Business/Entrepreneurship
- Study Aids
- and more
This list is by no means comprehensive and, depending upon the project's tone, approach, and perceived sales potential, we publish other categories. To get a good feel for the kinds of books we represent, take a look at our Web site (www.careerpress.com or www.newpagebooks.com), or check out our current catalog.
Among the categories NOT currently published by Career Press are children’s books, fiction of any kind, cookbooks, humor books, picture books, photography books, memoirs, gambling titles, and coffee-table publications.
Titles are written at an adult-minimum high school-level.
Titles are targeted to defined Career Press audiences.
Copy is written in a helpful, practical, how-to, often step-by-step-style.
Subjects are current, not faddish or trendy; style is not highly technical.
Titles include directories, listings, web sites, and references as appropriate.
Authors must be proficient at communicating in writing.
Authors must have strong credentials to write on their topic.
Authors should have some experience with publicity, such as speaking to groups and/or interviewing with broadcast or print media.
How to Submit Book Proposals
1. We will also consider a proposal. For us to properly evaluate your proposal and its potential, please include:
Complete, detailed outline/table of contents of proposed book, with well-defined subject—what distinguishes your book from the thousands of other books published each year?
Estimated length of book and approximate manuscript delivery date. Resources to be used. At least two complete sample chapters and an introduction/thesis.
A complete manuscript can also be submitted as long as it also contains the elements for a proposal as well.
2. In addition, please submit the following:
Author information/biography/credentials in light of the subject matter: Why are you the perfect person to write this book?
Sample copies of published articles and other materials you’ve written, and a complete list of your prior publications.
An outline of your marketing plan, including competitive titles known (and how your book will be better), primary markets (who will buy your book and why), and promotional opportunities you may be able to take advantage of (such as seminars, contacts with media, etc.). If you’re the head of an organization that will commit to buy copies, you’ve gotten such commitments from major (i.e. credible) companies, or your last book sold exceedingly well, say so in your proposal.
In your cover letter, please be sure to include your phone number during business hours, your street address, and your e-mail address.
3. If you want your materials returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope whether you submit a manuscript or a proposal. Submissions without a self-address stamped envelope/package will not be returned. Please do not call looking for submissions after they have been rejected.
INSIDER TIPS ON PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT
We are deluged with submissions. We have seen a lot in the past 20 years, and we’re admittedly a bit pressed for time. We are inclined to reject proposals that: (a) Don’t sell us on the book in the first few paragraphs; (b) Don’t anticipate and answer basic questions or allay obvious concerns; (c) Require us to do work the author should have done; (d) Raise any doubts about the author’s commitment to the project or his/her ability and resolve to deliver a well-written manuscript on schedule and in the proper format.
A proposal is a sales document. It forms our first impression of you. If the proposal is top-drawer, you will be seen as a pro. If it’s inadequate, you probably won’t get a chance to make a second impression - there’s simply not enough time, and too much else to do. Occasionally, an idea is so compelling it can overcome a weak proposal. Strong proposals raise your credibility; weak ones undermine it.
The process of writing a good proposal is as important to you as the finished product is to your editor. Writing a strong proposal forces you to think out what you want to say, how you’re going to research the book, how to organize the material, and, most importantly, to decide if the subject really holds your interest - if you’re not really interested in the subject, you’d be hard-pressed to convince a reader. To deliver a good proposal, an author must think deeply about the needs of the book’s audience, which is exactly what determines whether the book succeeds after publication.
If you get a literary agent, it can be to your advantage. We tend to take proposals a little more seriously if they come via an agent, because we know the proposal has been vetted by that agent and is now presented in the best possible style and form. An agent may also be helpful to you in contract negotiations.
However, we do publish many un-agented books, so agent representation is not necessarily required to get us to publish your book. We recommend you at least discuss your proposal/idea with several agents to see if their representation is right for you.
Format & Presentation
Appearances are important. Your proposal's presentation will be seen as indicative of the form in which your entire manuscript will be delivered. A clean, easy-to-read proposal encourages an editor to put it on the top of the "to do" pile. Here are some tips:
- Barring exceptional circumstances, your entire proposal (excluding sample chapters) should be no more than 20-30 pages long.
- Double-space and use reasonable margins on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Don't handwrite or use markers or crayons (you'd be surprised what people send us!).
- Unformatted proposals with many typos are taken less seriously than more well-prepared ones.
- Before turning in your proposal, we suggest you put it aside for a period of time. Then, take a good, hard, objective look at what you're about to submit. Is it a topic that someone will be interested in? Are people waiting for this book? Will someone read it? Have you presented the proposal in a professional manner? Are you qualified to write it? Sometimes it helps to have someone else read your proposal, whose detachment and objectivity may shed light on something you're too close to see.
- Make sure you keep an original copy of what you've sent us. We can't be held responsible if something is lost in the mail or, worse yet, by us.
Once you've submitted your manuscript or proposal, you should receive some word from us—pro or con—usually within 3 months. Please DO NOT call us; if we're interested, we'll track you down. Should we decide to publish your book, we will contact you regarding contract terms.
Good Luck and Best Regards,
Career Press/New Page Books