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Publishing with Wilfrid Laurier University Press

We welcome proposals in the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. We publish scholarly monographs and collections, trade books based on sound scholarship, and textbooks.

We do not generally publish original fiction or poetry, children’s books, conference proceedings, or unrevised theses.

  1. SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL
    1. Proposal

      We are happy to review new proposals or complete manuscripts, although we prefer a proposal first. A good proposal includes:

      • abstract and chapter descriptions
      • sample chapter, if possible
      • rationale for the project: origins of the work, place in the extant literature, methodology, intended audience
      • description of physical elements: estimated page or word count, number of illustrations, tables, photographs, etc.
      • schedule for completion
      • your curriculum vitae
      • for edited collections, a list of contributors, including institutional affiliations, where applicable
      • for textbooks, an appraisal of the market, with examples of suitable courses

      Appraising both proposals and manuscripts for publication requires considerable resources. While authors are free to send simultaneous letters of inquiry, we respectfully ask that you inform us if your work is under consideration elsewhere. Once we agree to consider the manuscript, we ask for the right of first refusal.

      The right of first refusal means that WLU Press will be given first priority in publishing the work, in the event that we decide to make an offer of publication. WLU Press's offer to publish would supersede any competing offers from other publishers, even if those competing offers are received before we have completed our formal review process.

      Send your proposal to:

      Lisa Quinn, Acquisitions Editor
      Wilfrid Laurier University Press
      75 University Avenue West
      Waterloo, ON
      Canada N2L 3C5
      Phone: 519-884-0710 ext. 2843
      Fax: 519-725-1399
      Email: quinn@press.wlu.ca

    2. Peer review

      Once your proposal is accepted, the acquisitions editor will request that you submit the manuscript for peer review. We ask you to submit two hard copies and an electronic copy. These should include:

      • title page
      • table of contents
      • foreword, preface, introduction
      • text body
      • appendices, glossary, etc.
      • notes
      • bibliography
      • drafts or copies of all tables and illustrations (figures, graphics, maps, photos, etc.), with captions, and locations noted in the manuscript text

      Please double-space all text and set it left-justified with a ragged right margin. Number pages consecutively and include a word count.

      We will commission a minimum of two expert readers to assess the work anonymously, and prepare a report on your manuscript. Typical peer review questions are:

      • Are the objectives of the manuscript clear?
      • Is the author thoroughly acquainted with the literature on the subject?
      • Is the scholarship sound?
      • Does the manuscript as it stands make a significant original contribution to its field?
      • How important is it that this manuscript be published?
      • Is the manuscript as is stands acceptable for publication? Readers may respond to these questions with Yes, No or Recommend publication in revised form.
      • Is the manuscript readable?
      • Would the manuscript benefit by being shortened or lengthened?
      • How might the readability of the manuscript be improved stylistically or through changes in format?

      Once the reports are complete, we forward blind copies to you with our editorial recommendations. The acquisitions editor will ask you to respond in writing. Although the peer review process may appear onerous, it almost always results in stronger books. Working with a good editor to incorporate and respond to reader’s suggestions can be a generative scholarly process.

    3. Editorial board

      Once the peer review process is complete, and a plan for any necessary revisions agreed upon, the acquisitions editor presents the manuscript, reports and your response to our Editorial Board. Comprising scholars selected by the Vice President, Academic, of Wilfrid Laurier University, the Board is mandated to ensure the manuscript meets the academic and professional standards of the University.

    4. Funding

      Because of limited markets, most scholarly books in Canada require some financial assistance. WLU Press seeks support from a variety of grant programs and asks authors to help us identify funding sources for their projects. Institutional book preparation grants, government special interest programs, local programs such as the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts are possible sources.

      We submit applications to the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme (ASPP), administered by the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada (HSSFC), for all eligible projects. Book-length manuscripts (more than 100 manuscript pages) by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, and books entirely Canadian in content, qualify for funding. Unrevised conference proceedings, unrevised theses, and works containing more than 30% previously published material are not. Please see the ASPP website for complete details.

      ASPP requires a peer review process, which normally takes three to six months to complete. The acquisitions editor administers this process and the application for you. Many manuscripts require only one set of reviews, but a third reader may be commissioned if the reports do not agree. Occasionally an author is asked, based on the initial reports, to revise and resubmit the manuscript for a second round of reviews.

      Finally, the Press undertakes a profit/loss analysis which examines the cost of editing, production, distribution, and marketing in the context of price, publication subsidies, sales potential, and other revenue in order to decide whether to proceed with publication.

    5. Contract

      The contract specifies the responsibilities of both the Press and the author. The author grants to the Press the exclusive right to publish the work. Copyright is usually registered in the name of the Press, since it administers the rights to the work while the book is in print. Once the book is out of print, those rights revert to the author upon request. The contract stipulates royalties, any division of income, the number of complimentary copies an author is entitled to, and lays out submission deadlines and any requirements for financial subsidies.

      For edited or multi-authored collections, the Press contracts solely with the editor/s, and and requests that editor/s arrange simplified contracts with their contributors. We can provide guidance in this.

    6. How long does it take to publish?

      This depends on several factors: the review process, the type of book, the condition of the original manuscript, the number of complicating factors (multiple authors or contributors, permissions, illustrations), etc. The average monograph takes roughly eighteen months, from proposal to book in hand. Edited and multi-authored collections generally take longer.

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  3. SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT

    Once your manuscript is accepted for publication, you will need to prepare it for editing. Manuscripts that do not meet the following standards may be returned to you for further work, leading to delays in production. If you have any questions, please contact the acquisitions editor.

    Please submit two hard copies and an electronic copy of your manuscript, which should be identical and represent the final version of the work. A complete manuscript includes, where applicable:

    • title page
    • table of contents
    • foreword, preface, introduction
    • acknowledgements, dedication
    • list of tables/illustrations
    • text body
    • appendix/glossary
    • notes
    • bibliography
    • tables
    • all illustrations (figures, graphics, maps, photos)
    • captions for illustrations
    • complete permission file

    The electronic copy should be broken into separate files for each component: front matter, individual chapters (labelled by number, not author or title name), bibliography, appendices, etc. Format your files in Rich Text Format (rtf). Label all discs or attachments clearly, indicating your name, title of manuscript, and the platform, program, and version you have used. If you are transferring your files electronically—by email attachment, for example—please contact the acquisitions editor before transmitting them.

    1. Manuscript format

      Text:

      • Double-space all text on consecutively numbered, single-sided pages, leaving at least a one-inch margin at top, bottom, and both sides.
      • Include as little formatting in your manuscript as possible, as this greatly speeds copy-editing and typesetting.
      • Include permissions to reproduce all material from other sources.
      • Submit notes, bibliographies, and reference lists in an appropriate and complete format. For guidance on how to prepare notes and bibliographies in humanities-style documentation, consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition. If your manuscript uses a scientific style, consult the Council of Biology Editors' (CBE) Scientific Style and Format, or other appropriate style manual in your field. Whatever style you choose, please follow it consistently and correctly throughout the manuscript. If not, we will return the manuscript to you for revision or request you pay for additional copy-editing costs.
      • Tables, graphs, maps, illustrations, and other images should not be embedded in the text. Save them in separate electronic files, accompanied by hard copies.

      Artwork:

      All illustrations, whether graphs, maps, line drawings, photographs, or other images, should be judiciously chosen, and submitted in the highest possible quality. Authors are responsible for providing illustrations that meet our standards of production. Discuss with the acquisitions editor any illustrations you intend to include with your manuscript at the earliest opportunity. We reserve the right to limit the number and format of illustrations.

      • Include captions with all images.
      • Place photocopies of the artwork or a descriptive note in the intended location in the manuscript.
      • Submit original photographs or artwork not available in an electronic format with chapter location, captions, and credit lines attached. Please provide instructions on the return of materials, if necessary.
      • The Press can produce maps requiring professional cartographical services, but the author will be responsible for any additional charges incurred.
      • Provide sources and permissions for all tabular materials, charts, graphs, etc. All material must be camera-ready and reproducible: additional work will be billed to the author.
      • Submit all electronic images in bitmap format, which includes TIFF (*.TIF), PCX, JPEG (*.JPG), Kodak Photo-CD (*.PCD), and GIF files.
      • Bitmaps are measured in dots per inch (dpi). Bitmapped photographic files should be at least 300 dpi at final printed size. For example, an image to be printed 3.5 inches wide should contain at least 1050 (300 dots x 3.5 inches) dots horizontally. Saving a low-resolution file with a higher resolution setting in graphics editing software such as Photoshop does not increase the resolution of the image.
      • Image files for the Web are optimized for viewing on a monitor that shows images at 72 dpi—too low in resolution to use in book production. For this reason, GIF images and screen captures are rarely acceptable for print publication.
      • Photographs, images with tints, and other grey-scale images must be of good quality with proper contrast. Too-high contrast washes out in print, while too-low contrast renders it darkly illegible.
      • Colour images should meet all the requirements of grey-scale images and should be saved in CMYK format.
    2. Multi-author and edited collections

      Collective works present particular organizational challenges:

      • Please standardize all electronic text files into one word-processing format.
      • Check that each file contains the final version of each contributor’s work.
      • Ensure that all contributors are using the same style of documentation; otherwise, the Press may have to return the manuscript for correction or invoice you for the additional copy-editing costs.
      • Confirm that all contributors have obtained permission to reprint any reproduced material, and provide copies of permission-granting forms to the Press.
      • Include a list of contributors and their institutional affiliations/biographies.
    3. Permissions

      Our contract specifies that the author is responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce all text, graphics, and images (illustrations, photographs, maps) from copyrighted sources. No permission is required to reproduce work in the public domain or brief quotations. Occasionally copyright holders request a fee for reproduction of materials, and this cost is the responsibility of the author.

      Your book cannot proceed to production without a complete permissions file. In order to avoid delays, start your enquiries early. Canadian copyright law is still evolving and does not include explicit fair dealing provisions, so proceed carefully. If you have any questions about permissions, the acquisitions editor can advise you on a case-by-case basis.

      General guidelines:

      • Obtain permission to reproduce all long quotations or, in the case of poetry, more than 5% of the total work. If possible, paraphrase long passages rather than quote directly. Cumulative quotations from a single work should not exceed 500 words without permission. Material from commercial sources can be particularly sensitive, so err on the side of caution.
      • In Canada, most published works enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the author. Reproducing unpublished work can be more complex: discuss these cases with the acquisitions editor as soon as possible.
      • For tables you design yourself, credit the source of the data. If tables represent an analysis of data from another source, you must obtain permission.
      • Photographs:
        • The copyright in a photograph belongs to the owner of the negative, who may or may not be the photographer.
        • If the copyright is owned by an individual, or a corporation owned primarily by an individual, the image passes into the public domain 50 years after the owner’s death.
        • If the copyright is owned by any other type of corporation, the image passes into the public domain 50 years after the making of the initial negative.
        • If you photograph individuals expressly for the purpose of your book, obtain letters of consent from your subjects whenever possible.
      • You must obtain permission to quote interviewees who are readily identifiable; all interviewees must be informed of the possibility of publication.
      • If you are unable to determine or contact a copyright holder, make an honest and documented attempt to obtain permission: send a registered letter detailing your request to the last known address of the publisher or author. Inform the acquisitions editor of any problems early.
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  5. FROM MANUSCRIPT TO BOOK

    Once your manuscript has passed through the peer review process and the editorial board, the acquisitions editor transmits the manuscript to the managing editor, who sees the book through to print. The managing editor will consult with you regarding scheduling and your responsibilities from this point forward.

    1. Copy-editing

      The managing editor will assign a copy editor to your manuscript, who will ensure the manuscript is well organized, consistent, grammatically correct, and conforms to the style agreed upon by author and editor. Generally, about one month is required to copy-edit a manuscript.

      Once the manuscript is copy-edited, the managing editor returns the text to you for review. You will review changes, make corrections as requested, add any necessary information, and answer queries. This is the last opportunity for minor polishing; major rewrites cannot be done at this stage. The Press will ask you to return the reviewed manuscript within two weeks.

    2. WLU Press House Style

      WLU Press uses Canadian spellings in accordance with the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd ed. (2004). Where an entry offers a choice of spellings, choose the first. The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, is the guide we follow for most questions of style. Above all, be consistent. Use inclusive language.

    3. Design and typesetting

      The managing editor reviews the final manuscript copy, ensures that revisions and corrections are incorporated into the electronic file, and passes it to the production department, where the interior design of the book is created. Formatted page proofs are produced.

      We reserve the right to determine the appearance of a book but strive to include author input in the process whenever possible. If you have particular ideas about cover images or design, we ask that you discuss them with the acquisitions editor as early as possible.

    4. Proofreading and indexing

      We ask you to read your page proofs for typos, omissions, and errors. The Press checks corrections but does not do a line-by-line proofreading. You may at this stage begin to prepare an index, but remember that pagination will change somewhat.

      Once corrections are made to the proofread pages, a set of final page proofs is created and sent to you for indexing. If you wish to hire a professional indexer, the managing editor will help you find one.

    5. Printing

      Print and binding takes four to six weeks. When bound books are delivered to the Press, we will send a small number of copies to the author immediately, with the remaining author copies designated in the contract to follow shortly after.

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  7. MARKETING AND SALES

    Wilfrid Laurier University Press is keenly interested in the successful marketing of all the books we publish. We encourage authors to discuss any ideas they have for reaching the best market for their book.

    1. Author questionnaire

      Once your manuscript is accepted for publication, we send you an author questionnaire to complete. This document helps us market your book to its greatest potential. Though you may have been discussing facets of marketing with our staff earlier, the questionnaire communicates your ideas on various aspects of marketing, from cover design to media coverage, to all those involved with your book at the Press.

    2. Sales

      Our books are distributed throughout Canada, the United States, the UK, and Europe. We have commissioned sales representatives in both Canada and the US to sell directly to bookstores, libraries, and wholesalers. We are distributed in North America by University of Toronto Press Distribution and in the UK and Europe by Gazelle Book Services, based in England. We are working towards worldwide representation.

    3. Promotion

      WLU Press advertises regularly in a number of scholarly and literary journals. We consider each title’s particular focus and intended audience when placing print media advertisements. We send review copies to appropriate journals, newspapers, and magazines, based on suggestions from the author and our own sources.

      We use direct mailings, including catalogues, brochures, flyers, and inserts, from our own mailing list. We purchase association and other mailing lists and use suggestions from authors. We also produce brochures and flyers for authors to distribute at conferences or speaking engagements.

      We display books at many association meetings and conferences and regularly attend at least four national and international major book fairs. We encourage our authors to inform us of opportunities for book display, and we provide promotional materials whenever possible.

      When we publish a book that has potential to reach the general trade audience, we institute a publicity campaign that might involve the distribution of press releases, author interviews, a book launch, or other events.