SUGGESTIONS FOR A BOOK PROSPECTUS
Waveland Press, Inc. is a publisher of college textbooks and supplements. We are committed to providing reasonably priced teaching materials for the classroom and actively seek to add new titles to our growing lists in a variety of academic disciplines. If you are currently working on a project you feel serves a need and would have promise as an adopted text in the college market, we would like to hear from you. The following are some questions you may find useful as you prepare a prospectus for your book project. Feel free to add or delete items from this list and to respond in the manner most suited to you and most representative of your project.
The key to a useful prospectus is to convey clearly the features or qualities that set your book apart from the competition. These features should be easily discernible to your colleagues as well as to our marketing department.
What is the primary course in the college curriculum for which your book is intended? Are there prerequisites? What is the typical course coverage? In terms of content, orientation, and teaching practice, has this course changed in the recent past? If so, how? What additional changes do you anticipate in the next few years?
In what year do students typically take this course? What are their majors? Why are they taking the course? What is the main problem they face in taking this course?
What different approaches do instructors take to the course (e.g., elementary vs. rigorous, theoretical vs. applied, survey vs. comprehensive)? What are the main criteria they use in selecting a text? What are the major problems they face in teaching this course?
What are the most frequently adopted texts in this course? Which one or two books most directly compete with your proposed text? Describe the approach to each, along with its strengths and weaknesses. How does each book succeed or fail in solving the student's learning problems and the instructor's teaching problems?
What are the goals you have for your book as a teaching/learning aid?
What topics do you plan to include? Are there any topics that some instructors might expect but that you do not plan to cover? Explain the reasoning behind the omission. What unique coverage, if any, do you plan? Please include a copy of your proposed outline.
At what level will your book be written? Will your treatment be concise or comprehensive? Applied or theoretical? Will there be an integrating theme throughout? What aspect(s) of your approach will most clearly distinguish your book from others currently available? How will your book relate to ways the intended course is now taught and may be taught in the future? (Direct and detailed comparisons with the leading sellers are of value here.)
Describe any components of the book planned to augment the textual discussions (examples, exercises, objectives, summaries, annotated bibliography, glossary, etc.).
What published book length do you anticipate? What types or amounts of illustrations (including line art, tables or charts, maps, and black and white photographs) do you anticipate? Who will supply such illustrations? What permissions for illustrations or text material will be required?
Should support materials (e.g., study guide, instructor’s manual, etc.) accompany the text?
What motivated you to undertake this project? Please include a current vita.
When might a representative sample chapter(s) be available for our evaluation? When do you expect to have the entire manuscript completed in first-draft form?