How to submit your book proposal to Lawrence Wishart

At Lawrence Wishart, we recognise that publishing is one of the most unequal industries that exists. Our commitment to radical politics means that we want to do something about this. We are striving to publish a more diverse range of authors and work, and welcome proposals from underrepresented groups. While we don’t have the capacity to advise on individual proposals – we only have four part-time members of staff – we want to provide some guidance on what we are looking for in a book proposal and how best to present your ideas to us.

1.Does it fit with our list?
Lawrence Wishart publishes on a range of topics within the radical left tradition, from cultural studies to current affairs, feminism and pop culture. Check our backlist to get a sense of what kind of work we have published and use this to make an argument for why we should publish your book. Does it follow on from something we have just brought out? Could it expand on our existing areas of specialism in a particular way? Make a case for your proposal using the backlist.

2. Write an overview of the book detailing the key themes
Sketch out your book’s main argument. We will be looking for something original, an angle on the topic you have chosen that we haven’t heard before. Try to be concise while getting across the key points.

3. The potential market for the proposed book
Who will want to read it? While we have a political commitment to producing interesting new work, financially we have to be able to sell the books in order to continue to exist. How will we be able to market your book? Can you demonstrate that there is an audience for what you intend to write about?

4. Your proposed writing timetable
This means how long it will take you to write the book. You may already have a manuscript, in which case let us know. If not, think about what resources you will need to be able to produce this idea: if it is not related to research you are doing through a paid job, will you require funding and how much? What is a realistic deadline for you producing the completed product if we like your proposal?

5. A chapter by chapter breakdown
This will give you an opportunity to think through the structure of the book and helps us to see that the proposal has been fleshed out beyond the initial idea. Give us the name of each chapter – this can be provisional and may change later on – and a short description of what it will include.

6. Send us your CV
This should be a summary of your education and work history. It helps to give us a sense of who you are and what you have been doing that might put you in a particularly good position to write about the topic you have chosen (though it does not foreclose you writing about something if you do not have relevant experience necessarily). Please limit your CV to two A4 pages in length.

7. Send us a sample of your work
This can be sample from the book you propose to write (two to three chapters), or something else you have written that gives us an idea of your style.

Send all of the above via email and attached Word file to submissions [at] lwbooks.co.uk. Please note, we only accept electronic proposals, so don’t send us a manuscript in the post – we won’t look at it. Thank you in advance and good luck.