Publish

You’ve written a book (congratulations!) and are looking for a publisher? We welcome queries and submissions from prospective authors and the sooner you contact us, the better!

Types of books we’re looking for

  • Academic titles
    • We publish academic books in the social sciences and humanities, in English or in French. Take a look at our publishing program to familiarize yourself with our areas of expertise.
    • Our academic titles combine scientific rigour and a clear style to reach the broadest possible audience. Keep this in mind as you prepare your proposal and work on your manuscript.
    • Doctoral theses must be adapted to a book format. There are tons of resources that will help you get there, and we can also guide you.
    • Academic titles, whether monographs or edited volumes, are approximately 100,000 words in length.
    • Note that proposals that do not correspond to our mandate, our publishing program, or to academic norms do not proceed to the next stages.
    • Our publication timelines for academic titles range from 18 to 24 months, including the acquisition and production stages.
    • Submit your academic title here.
  • Crossover titles
    • 101 Collection: We also publish titles that are grounded in science, but that have a distinct mandate: sharing this knowledge with the widest possible audience. These are short introductions to a specific topic. Maximum length: 35,000 words. These titles are peer reviewed, albeit with a different set of criteria.
    • Submit a proposal for a 101 title here.
  • Literary titles
    • We also publish a small but dynamic literary program, which includes novels, short story collections, literary essays, and biographies and memoirs.
    • These proposals are reviewed based on criteria adapted to literary works.
    • Submit a proposal for a literary work here.

If you have a manuscript you feel corresponds to one of the above categories and would like to submit it to us, here’s an overview of what you can expect.

Submit your proposal

  • Please submit a complete proposal, which includes the following:
    • your completed submission form;
    • your table of contents (Word document); and,
    • your introduction (Word document);
  • The proposal must be sent in a single email to the attention of the acquisitions editor (acquisitions@uOttawa.ca), who will acknowledge receipt within 48 working hours.
  • Remember that we receive many more proposals than books that end up being published. It’s a competitive process, so we encourage you to craft your proposal as carefully as possible, succinctly explaining how your title is new and original, whether there is sales potential, etc.

Cursory examination of the proposal

  • We’ll review your proposal to determine whether it fits within our publishing program.
  • If, for some reason, it is immediately apparent to us that your proposal is not a good match, remember that this does not necessarily mean that your book is without merit; rather, it means that there are publishers better suited to your specific work.
  • Either way, we’ll let you know as soon as possible whether we pursue this proposal further, or whether we must close the file. This will allow you to either 1) not pursue other publishing options for the time being; or 2) pursue your search for a publisher that is better adapted to your needs.

Proposals are submitted to the appropriate series editor(s) and committee

  • Your proposal will be forwarded to the appropriate series editor.
  • The series editor and committee determine whether to pursue publication.
  • The length of time required by the series editor(s) and committee to complete the evaluation can vary, but generally does not take more than three months.
  • Note that if the series editor(s) and committee take more than three months to complete their evaluation and if they ask for work to be done before sending the manuscript into peer review, it will affect the publication timeline. This means that in such cases, the timeline might be more than 18 to 24 months.
  • Whether positive or negative, you will be informed of the committee’s decision by email.

Intent to publish

  • When your proposal has been accepted by the committee, we’ll issue a letter of intent, which explains that the we intend to proceed with publication, subject to the following:
    • Positive peer reviews: Without two positive reviews, the file will be closed. PUO-UOP handles the peer review process, as it is an anonymous process.
    • Financial sustainability: In the case of academic books, it is essential that we ensure financial sustainability, which generally comes from securing a production subsidy (faculty or departmental funding, grants for dissemination of research, or other sources such as ASPP), and, in the case of open access titles, of an open access subsidy.
    • Editorial board approval: The board reviews every proposal file, including your submissions form, the peer reviews, your response letter (more on that below), and any additional information.

Peer review (academic titles only)

  • Successful peer review is essential to any academic publication and the most important hurdle in the publications process.
  • Our peer review process is in keeping with the ASPP Publication Grant Guidelines and the Association of University Presses Best Practices in Peer Review for Scholarly Books. Visit this page for additional details on the peer-review process.
  • Your manuscript is then sent to external peer review (single blind review) by the acquisitions editor.
  • You’ll be notified when the manuscript has been sent for peer review and advised of an approximate date the responses can be expected.
  • You’ll then be notified when we receive the reviews. 
  • To proceed in the publication journey, you will need two positive peer reviews (i.e., which recommend publication). When one review recommends publication but the other does not, we need to solicit a third review.
  • Remember… this nerve-wracking process is intended to vet the scientific quality of your work and to help you further improve it. Your academic book will be better for it! And remember, we’re here to help.

Response and revisions

  • Both reviews are positive? Great news!
  • Now you need to prepare a response letter to the reviewer reports. This exercise is of great importance: it is a workplan of sorts in which you clearly outline the modifications you plan on making in light of the reviewers’ comments. This letter helps structure your next set of revisions, be as efficient as possible, help us follow your changes, and help the ASPP jury (should it be submitted to this program) better evaluate your proposal.
  • Response letter
    • In your letter, clearly explain which points will be addressed. You can of course respectfully disagree with some of the points. However, you must justify your position in the response letter and explain why you will not be implementing those recommendations.
    • We strongly recommend authors work with the series editor(s) and our acquisitions group to prepare your response letter, given its importance.
  • Revisions
    • When implementing the revision workplan you developed in your response letter, keep reminding yourself that peer review is designed to help authors improve the overall quality of the final product.
    • Take advantage of this opportunity to polish your work and bring it to the next level. You will be so much prouder of the book that you will one day hold in your hands.
    • If you have not already done so, apply the PUO-UOP style guide and prepare the final version of your manuscript. Consult the English PUO-UOP style guide, or the French PUO-UOP style guide.

Funding (for academic titles only)

  • Funding is also essential to publication of academic titles.
  • Like all academic presses, PUO-UOP publishes specialized books for a niche market. Financial sustainability of these books is therefore difficult to achieve without additional funding to offset lower profit margins and keep list prices as reasonable as possible. The greater the level of funding the author secures, the greater the possibilities for marketing your book and for competitive pricing.
  • There are a few ways to ensure financial sustainability of your publication project:
    • Production subsidy: this subsidy helps us offset the high costs of editing, designing, proofreading, printing and creating digital versions of your book. Don’t forget to include a production subsidy in your SSHRC and other grant applications, and then set it aside.
    • Open access subsidy: If you wish for your book to be published in open access, you will need an open access subsidy. Note that this does not replace the production subsidy.; it is intended to offset lost sales and other revue. You’ll also want to earmark this in your SSHRC and other grant applications.
  • PUO-UOP handles the ASPP grant application (open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents only). Because the number of ASPP grants is limited, authors must plan for an alternate financial scenario, by applying to their department of faculty, setting aside funds for dissemination within their research grants, etc.
  • Note: PUO-UOP is not able to proceed to publication if the financial sustainability is not ensured. Conversely, UOP will not publish a book without positive peer reviews even if funding has been secured.

Editorial board approval

  • Editorial board approval is required for a publishing project to move forward.
  • The editorial board generally follows the recommendation of the series editorial committees, who are the experts in their respective fields.
  • The editorial board meets eight to nine times per year.

Publishing contract

  • Once editorial board approval has been secured, we issue the publishing contract.
  • The contract specifies, among other things, the date of delivery of the definitive version of the manuscript, the number of months before publication and expected publication date, the royalty rate, the number of copies you will be receiving, etc.
  • This is a legal document that defines the obligations and responsibilities of both parties. This is why we encourage you to read it carefully and to ask your acquisitions editor as many questions as you like.
  • Note: your book will not proceed to next stages until:
    • the publishing contract has been signed by both parties;
    • you’ve submitted the final version of your manuscript along with corresponding, well-identified, high-resolution tables, figures and photos and permissions files. More below on how to submit the final version of your manuscript.

Submission of final version of the manuscript

  • The manuscript is deemed ready for submission when you have:
    • made all changes required by reviewers;
    • secured all necessary permissions;
    • double-checked accuracy of all quotes;
    • included a complete bibliography;
    • applied the PUO-UOP style guide to the overall presentation of the manuscript, text, references, notes, tables, figures, etc.;
    • double-checked all hyperlinks;
    • removed comments, tracked changes and other editing notes;
    • spell-checked the document;
    • properly filed and named tables and figures, and indicated within the manuscript where these need to be inserted.
  • Your manuscript will not proceed to production if it still contains, for example, spelling errors, inclusion of editing notes, tracked changes, incomplete citations or bibliographical entries, or broken or inactive links. If this is the case, it will be returned to you so that you can further work on your manuscript. This will of course delay production and the publication date.
  • Please email your manuscript as a Word file along with all other accompanying material. If your files prove too big to be sent by email, please use Dropbox or WeTransfer.

From Acquisitions to Production

  • Once your manuscript folder has been vetted by the acquisitions editor, your book is officially put into production. This stage includes copyediting, layout, proofreading, index preparation, printing and ebook production.