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Publishing proposals

We are keen to consider proposals for new books, resources, worship materials and Synod projects that could be used by the wider Church. We’re also interested in updates to existing books and resources.

A proposal will allow us to judge whether the book or resource is suitable for publication, and whether we are the best organisation to publish it.

Our decision will be based on the proposal you submit. These notes are designed to help you prepare your proposal. Following these recommendations will greatly assist us in the task of evaluating it.

Ideally, your proposal will be about two A4 pages in length, and no longer than three.

What to include in your proposal

You should also include a brief biography of yourself, and your relationship with the URC. If you are working with other authors, please include this information for them, too.

Please include:

  • What is the rationale behind the book or resource? Please give us a brief description of what the book is about. What are its main themes and objectives? What makes it different, better, or more interesting than existing books or resources?
  • Why do you think the URC is the right organisation to publish it? How will it support the URC’s work and mission? Does it complement or overlap with the publications we already have?
  • What format should it be in? Would it be best as a printed book, an electronic document, or an online resource?
  • Paid for or free? Is this a publication that we should charge for, or is it something you would expect to be distributed for free?
  • What will the publication include? For a book, a detailed synopsis, with chapter headings, should be supplied. This should include an indication of what each chapter will include, and roughly how long it will be. A simple list of chapter headings is unlikely to give us sufficient insight to make an informed decision about the publication and its relevance to the URC. Further details would be extremely helpful
  • Will it include illustrations, tables or diagrams? If so, how many do you expect to supply?
  • How long will it be? Please estimate how many words long it is likely to be. Do not include any references and footnotes in this number but give a separate figure for these.
  • What is the timeline? When, realistically, would you be able to supply the completed draft?
  • Who is the book or resource aimed at? Who will buy it? Who will read it? And how big do you think the market will be? Might there be international appeal? Evidence to support this would be helpful.
  • What competing books or resources are already on the market? How does your proposed publication differ from them?
  • Why are you the right person to write the publication? Will other people be contributing, and what will they add to it?
  • Is there anything else you can add that might be helpful? For example, do you have contacts to help promote the work? Is there a relevant partnership with another organisation?

If you are submitting an edited collection, please consider the following points before submitting your proposal:

  • Will the different chapters be of a consistent quality?
  • Should some of the weaker chapters be removed?
  • Are all the chapters structured logically, and are they integrated around a coherent central theme?
  • Will you provide a detailed introductory chapter to set the scene, and a conclusion to pull all the themes together?

How will we evaluate your proposal, and what happens next?

Your proposal or manuscript will be considered by our Publishing Board. This is part of the Communications Committee, one of the standing committees of the URC’s General Assembly.

If, after careful consideration, the Board decides that we are the right body to publish your work, then the editorial and design process will begin.

An editor will be appointed; this may be a staff member, a freelance editor, or a volunteer. They will determine the publication’s timeline, and the URC’s Head of Communications will draw up a contract. This contract will include information about sales, marketing, distribution and rights.

Once the terms have been agreed, including the agreed date for the delivery of the manuscript, you will sign and return the contract to us.

After the manuscript has been delivered, you will liaise with the Communications Team over the copy-editing and production process. We will then publish, market, and sell the book or resource.

How to submit your proposal

Email your proposal to: [email protected]

United Reformed Church