Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Indiana University Press welcomes submissions in our fields of publication. Please submit your full proposal through our online submission form, which will direct your proposal to the appropriate editor. Do not send submissions by postal mail. Do not email proposals or inquiry emails to editors, as they will not be considered.

If your proposal is multidisciplinary, please submit your proposal only once; we will be certain to forward projects to the appropriate editor. All fiction submissions are handled through the Blue Light Books Prize’s submissions process.

What to Submit:

Do not send email inquiries. Please send a book prospectus rather than a complete, full-length manuscript. This will allow us to assess quickly our interest in your work. Your prospectus must include the following:

  • a 500-word description of the book project, including its purpose, potential audience, scope, contribution to scholarship, and relationship to the existing literature on the topic;
  • a 200-word statement on why Indiana University Press is an appropriate publisher for your manuscript;
  • a table of contents, with paragraph-length descriptions of each chapter;
  • one or two sample chapters, preferably including an introductory chapter that describes the work as a whole;
  • your curriculum vitae or resume;
  • suggestions for 5 to 10 appropriate reviewers (these cannot be individuals who served on your dissertation committee or members of the institution where you are currently employed. Please do not contact suggested readers yourself to ask if they would be willing to read your manuscript);
  • the estimated length (in number of words, including notes and bibliography) of the whole manuscript;
  • the estimated number and type of illustrations, if any;
  • the estimated date for completing the entire manuscript;
  • if you are sending the proposal simultaneously to other publishers, please let us know.

The Review Process:

We will review your prospectus internally for up to two months. Please do not query press staff via phone or email until that time has passed. If we decide to pursue your prospectus further, we will either send the prospectus out for external review or request the complete manuscript from you.

Please note: When we are considering complete manuscripts, we require an exclusive review of your book project, given the time and resources needed to provide a comprehensive review.

A minimum of two outside specialists will review your scholarly work. It may take three months or more to find qualified reviewers who have time in their schedule to read closely an entire manuscript. Their review typically takes three to four months, depending on, among other things, the complexity and length of the manuscript and the point in the academic year when they receive it to read. For example, reviews invariably take longer during the start and end of semesters, when professors are busy attending to, preparing for, or wrapping up their classes.

When we receive their reviews, three courses of action are possible:

  • The reviews do not support the publication of your work. The acquiring editor rejects the manuscript, and you are free to seek publishing options elsewhere.
  • The reviews are tepid or mixed, identifying strengths in your manuscript but noting that much work needs to be done to realize its promise. The acquiring editor will likely request that your manuscript be revised and resubmitted to us. At this point, you may decline and withdraw your manuscript from consideration. You may instead decide to follow the readers’ and editor’s advice and revise and resubmit to the acquiring editor. If you do, then your revised manuscript will be first reviewed by the acquiring editor and then sent out for peer review once again.
  • The reviews support the publication of your work. The acquiring editor requests that you write a detailed response to the reviews. That response, along with the reviews, will be considered by the Press’s Internal Editorial Board. If the Internal Editorial Board endorses your project, it will be sent to the Faculty Board for final approval

The Faculty Board:

Meeting every other month, the Faculty Board consists of a chair and eleven tenured faculty members from Indiana University, Bloomington. The specializations of the Board members resonate with the publishing strengths of the Press.

In their evaluation of a book project, the Board considers the reviews, the author’s response, and an overview prepared by the acquiring editor. A majority vote in favor of the project is needed to recommend to the Press that it be published.

Final Manuscript Preparation:

Once your book is approved for publication, please consult the following documents when preparing the final manuscript. You should especially be aware of all of the permissions needed to reprint illustrations or previously published material in your book. You are responsible for securing and paying for every one of the permissions, and they can often take time to track down and obtain. It’s best to get started on them as soon as you can, as the Press cannot move your manuscript into copyediting until all permissions are secured and on file.

If you have any questions, please contact your acquiring editor.

Please refer to these additional resources:

Last updated: April 4, 2023