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ASCE Press Proposal Guidelines


Do You Have An Idea for a Book?

ASCE Press encourages you to submit a proposal describing your idea for a book. We strongly recommend that you send us your proposal before you complete a draft manuscript.

Preparing Your Book Proposal

A strong proposal combines details about a book and its potential readers with a demonstration of your qualifications to write it. Your proposal should be in the form of a memo or report, accompanied by a cover letter. The proposal should consist of the required elements listed below and as many of the optional elements as possible. A typical proposal runs 8 to 12 single-spaced pages, plus sample chapters.

Required Elements for a Book Proposal

  • Contact information for the authors and an indication of the lead author, including complete name, address, telephone, and e-mail address.
  • A proposed book title (and optional subtitle)
  • One or two paragraphs summarizing the book's intention, scope, and content, including details about the book's special or original features.
  • Annotated table of contents: chapter titles and main subheadings, plus a brief summary of each chapter.
  • Target audience: description of the main and secondary audiences for the book, including their expectations for content and technical level.
  • Related works: description of how the proposed book related to previously published works in the field, along with a list of competiting titles (including author, title, publisher, and year of publication).
  • Qualifications: a résumé or brief summary of each author's experience and relevant qualifications, including significant publications or engineering projects, not to exceed 4 to 5 pages per author. For edited volumes, include the names and affiliations of all contributing authors.

Optional Elements for a Book Proposal

  • Sample chapter(s), not to exceed 40 to 50 double-spaced pages. (Alternatively, you may include a paper or article you published on the same or similar topic.)
  • Manuscript details, including the approximate number of double-spaced manuscript pages, approximate number of illustrations, and projected date for completion of a draft manuscript.
  • Potential reviewers: list of colleagues and peers qualified to review your proposal, including complete name, affiliation, telephone, and e-mail address.

Submitting Your Proposal

You may submit your proposal by mail or e-mail to the ASCE Press Acquisitions Editor.

Betsy Kulamer, Acquisitions Editor
ASCE Press
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4400
telephone: 703-295-6275
e-mail: ASCE Press

The Acquisitions Editor will acknowledge receipt of your proposal and contact you with the results of the preliminary internal review. If the Press wishes to have your proposal peer-reviewed, the editor may request additional information or clarification.

Proposal Review

Before ASCE Press offers a publishing agreement, your proposal will be anonymously reviewed by several experts in your field. Some of these experts may be drawn from the list you provide, but others will be located independently by the Acquisitions Editor.

The external peer review may result in suggestions for revising some aspects of your proposal, and you may be asked to respond to the critiques. ASCE Press conducts a second internal evalution after the peer reviews are in. If the review process and the internal evaluation support the proposed book, the Acquisitions Editor will submit your book project to ASCE's Board Publications Committee for approval. The Committee will consider your project’s editorial merits, its compatibility with the publishing objectives of ASCE Press, and its projected production costs and sales potential.

If the committee endorses your book project, you will be offered a publishing agreement. The terms of an ASCE Press publishing agreement are much the same as those of other technical publishers. You will have an opportunity to review the agreement and discuss it with the Acquisitions Editor before signing.