The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the higher education association for librarians, is interested in you! Do you have practical, prescriptive advice that will help academic libraries around the world improve their services and offerings? Are you doing innovative research you would like to share? Would you like to convene a team of contributors to tackle a contemporary challenge facing the profession, and offer suggestions, case studies, and effective practices? Are you interested in helping envision—and create—the future of libraries?
You’re invited to share your research, ideas, and scholarly thinking with the academic library community through an ACRL book publication.
- The Proposal Process
- Writing and Editing Guidelines
- The Editing and Production Process
- Publication and Marketing
1. The Proposal Process
Discuss Your Idea
The first step in proposing your book is reaching out to ACRL Content Strategist Erin Nevius at email@example.com to discuss your idea. Before you fill out the proposal, we want to be sure:
- that it doesn’t directly conflict with another book in our pipeline—and if so, if there’s a way we can make it complementary and not competing;
- that it fits into ACRL’s prescriptive ethos, and will contain how-to tips and strategies that readers can immediately apply to their work;
- you've reviewed ACRL's Core Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) and that your work will support the creation of diverse and inclusive communities in the Association and in academic and research libraries;
- and, finally, discuss whether the book belongs in ACRL’s general book imprint or might fit better into one of our series, Publications in Librarianship or CLIPP.
The Proposal Form*
Next, complete the proposal form (docx)
A note on proposing edited volumes: We know you don’t know what the exact chapters will be, as the call for chapters will not go out until the proposal has been accepted. However, it’s useful for our review process to have an outline that lays out the organization of the book and what subjects will be covered. It gives us a feel for how the proposed book will work from beginning to end, and helps us make any suggestions for additional content to include or the like, but also helps you in crafting the call for chapter proposals and contacting prospective authors, as there can be some specific things you ask to see and know that the book needs. Once the book progresses, you’ve sent out the call for chapter proposals, and you get more submissions and have more ideas, the initial outline can certainly change. But putting in as much detail as you can now eases the rest of the process, even if some of it evolves.
When complete, send your form to Erin Nevius at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Tenure and Promotion
If you are planning on using the proposed book in an upcoming tenure and promotion packet, please let us know—including the deadline for submitting the packet—on your proposal form under item 5. Expected Manuscript Completion Date. (Along with, of course, when you think the manuscript will be finished.)
There are fixed timelines involved in book publishing—for more on this, see 3. The Editing and Production Process—but if we know of your deadline from the beginning, we can work with it in mind. And, even if the book has not been published by that date, we are always happy to provide a citation and a letter in support. Once the book has been published, upon request, we can provide sales and printing/reprinting information and a letter discussing the value and impact of the book.
Open Access Monographs
We are happy to discuss releasing an open access version of your monograph! Please include in the description portion of your proposal. See our current list of open access publications.
Once ACRL has received your proposal, the Content Strategist will review and work with you on any additional information or clarification needed. Once the proposal is final—a review and revision process that can take around 4 weeks—it will be submitted to the appropriate editorial board for review. ACRL’s New Publications Advisory Board reviews all proposals in the general ACRL book line to offer substantive suggestions and guidance, as well as marketing ideas, before acceptance. The Publications in Librarianship (PIL) Editorial Board reviews PIL proposals, and the CLIPP Committee reviews proposals for CLIPP books. Reviews take around 6 weeks.
Sign the Contract
Once the proposal review has been completed and we’ve discussed next steps, we’ll need to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the book. We always contract a specific date for the final manuscript to be delivered to ACRL; there’s no penalty for missing it, we’ll stay in touch as you’re working and make any adjustments as necessary, but it’s helpful to have something firm to work towards and for us as we plan our schedule of resources. Authors always keep copyright of their work. If you’re the editor of a work, you’ll sign an MOA now, and later on in the production process ACRL will send agreements to individual chapter authors—including you, for any pieces you write—that allow authors to keep copyright of their chapters and apply a Creative Commons license of their choosing. For more on ACRL publishing see our Publishing FAQ.
2. Writing and Editing Guidelines
Here are some general ACRL publishing guidelines, and we’re available to answer specific questions anytime.
- For edited works, we’re happy to review your call for chapter proposals and discuss venues for posting or potential chapter authors.
- Also for edited works, we’ll send along our edited work author spreadsheet (xlsx) once the publication MOA is signed to track chapter authors and their contact information. Send this in with your completed manuscript and we’ll use it to send chapter author agreements and track Creative Commons licenses.
- Final chapter manuscripts will be professionally designed, so authors shouldn’t worry too much about the appearance of the Word docs—it will change through the production process. Please use a standard font at 11 or 12 points, double spaced, and make sure the headers are consistently formatted so that our designer knows how to style them.
- Citations should be formatted in the Chicago Manual of Style endnotes and bibliography format. Footnotes can be used sparingly and only for explanatory text. Here’s a good quick guide for reference.
- Charts, graphs, bulleted lists, photos, and other illustrations or enhancements of your content are welcomed and encouraged! Charts and graphs can be created directly in the Word document, or as separate Excel or other files such as Adobe Illustrator, as long as their placement is labelled within the manuscript and the separate file is named accordingly. For instance, if it’s the third figure in the fifth chapter, place [[CHAPTER 5 FIGURE 3 HERE]] where you’d like it to appear in the manuscript, and name the separate file CHAPTER 5 FIGURE 3. If this is an edited work and you aren’t sure of the order of the chapters as authors are writing, please have them use their last name instead of chapter number. For photos, please keep them separate from the manuscript, label their placement in the manuscript, and name the file according to the system above.
- Authors are responsible for securing permissions for any figure or image they would like to reuse that was not created by them nor in the public domain. Please contact ACRL’s Content Strategist for permissions forms if needed.
- Final chapter submissions will be copyedited for grammar, style, etc., and you will review the redline edit before we move into design.
- Please make sure all authors include a brief (under 150 words) biography.
- We prefer submission of the final manuscript via Dropbox.
3. The Editing and Production Process
Once you’ve submitted your final manuscript to ACRL, editing, design, and production take at least 12 months. Here’s a look at our process.
- First, ACRL’s Content Strategist will do a high-level review of the manuscript. We’re not reading the text line-by-line at this stage, but checking for overarching things: completeness/thoroughness, organization, flow and readability, visual elements, suggestions/issues to share with the copyeditor and designer, etc.
- When that review is complete, we’ll let you know if we need anything else before the manuscript is copyedited for style, grammar, and formatting. Authors will review the redlined copyedit when it’s complete for about 8 weeks; it’s important to get the text as final as possible at this stage, as it’s the last opportunity to make substantial changes to the text.
- When the author review of the copyedit is complete, ACRL will review again and send the manuscript for typesetting and design. We’ll design the cover at this stage, as well. This is not at all required, but if you have colors/images/ideas you like for the cover, please let us know! Around this time, we’ll also distribute the chapter author agreements.
- When the book and cover have been designed, you will have another quick review before we go to press to ensure that no errors were introduced during the design process, make any minor updates or corrections, double-check author names, and of course, make sure you like the cover and think it accurately captures the book. Once you’ve reviewed the designed pages and we’ve made any last changes, we’ll go to press. Printing and shipping take about 6 weeks.
4. Publication and Marketing
When the book is published, ACRL will send editor and author copies as per the original publication MOA. For edited works, chapter authors will receive a complimentary copy of the ebook, a PDF of their final chapter for deposit in their institutional repository, and a 60% discount code off the print book.
Marketing and Promotion
- A press release on your book will go out through the ALA network.
- ACRL will announce the book via our social media and newsletters that go to all members; we’ll also include an announcement and/or excerpt from the book on ACRL Insider and in C&RL News.
- Our library approval plans send copies of the book immediately after publication.
- As well as being available via the ALA Store, Amazon, and our international and other distributors, institutional ebook copies can be purchased via EBSCO and ProQuest.
- ACRL will send review copies to a number of outlets, including C&RL, Journal of Academic Librarianship, Book News, Library Journal, ARBA Online, CHOICE, Library Quarterly, portal, Journal of Access Services, Collaborative Librarianship, and Journal of New Librarianship.
- The book will be featured in the ACRL booth at ALA Conferences, and it will be for sale on-site in the ALA Conference Bookstore. We’ll also have the book in our booth at ACRL Conferences, and it will be featured in our conference catalog.
- ACRL encourages all authors of a book to mention the book any time they’re presenting and add it to their bios.
- Push out news of the book via social media networks. ACRL can provide a high-resolution JPEG of the cover.
- If you’re speaking at a conference, ACRL is happy to send you with fliers or a copy to raffle off/give away.
- Consider proposing an ACRL webcast with the Content Strategist.
- Volunteer to staff the ACRL booth at an upcoming ALA or ACRL Conference to give members a chance to meet you and learn more about your book. (ACRL will contact you about these opportunities.)
- We are always open to new ideas and opportunities: Let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll see if we can make it happen!