Series proposal guidelines

Photograph of stacked books

Edinburgh University Press is pleased to consider proposals for book series in the subject areas we are actively developing.

Our subject areas

  • Classics & Ancient History
  • Film Studies
  • Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies
  • Language & Linguistics
  • Law
  • Literary Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Scottish Studies

Preparing your series proposal

Save your series proposal as a Word document and include the following information. This will help us to review your proposal and reply to you promptly.


  • A good title is vital for attracting book proposals to your series.
  • The title should be short, clear and communicate what your series is about.
  • Include keywords in your title to help readers to discover your series – think about the words people might use in search engines like Google.

Series Editor

  • The names, affiliations and brief biography of all series editors.


  • Summarise your series in 10–15 words.
  • Don’t repeat the title.


  • One paragraph – around 150 words – describing the main purpose of your series: what it is about, why it is important and how it will benefit the reader.
  • This will be used as the basis for your series description in catalogues, on flyers and on our website, so it is worth taking time over it.
  • Use plain English and give detailed examples instead of using overused words (e.g. accessible, comprehensive, path-breaking, original, novel, innovative and groundbreaking).


  • A list of around 6 keywords that cover the central ideas of your series.
  • Think about what people might type into a search engine if they wanted to find out about the subject of your series.
  • Try to find a balance: not too general but not too specific.
  • You should include the keywords from your title and subtitle.
  • These keywords help our marketing team to classify your series for bookshops and libraries.

Some sample keyword lists are:

  • Virginia Woolf; women’s history; 20th-century politics; social class; gender
  • Scottish Enlightenment; David Hume; Commercial Society; Adam Smith; Adam Ferguson

Key features and benefits

  • A brief bullet-pointed list of the distinctive qualities and benefits of your series.
  • Be precise and give examples: what time period, topics, themes or thinkers will the series cover? Will the series use particular methodologies? If your series is interdisciplinary, which disciplines does it bring together?


  • Why is there a need for a new book series in this area?
    • Is it a new or established area of study?
    • Is there a blossoming of work in the area or is there a need for more?
    • Will the series provide an intellectual home for certain approaches, schools of thought or new directions of scholarship?
    • Are current publications scattered over diverse disciplines or publishers and would benefit from a hub?
  • What makes this series special, original, important and marketable?


Provide a summary of the series:

  • Aims
  • Scope
  • Argument
  • Approach

Books in the series

  • List the titles and authors of any books that are currently being written with a view to being included in the series.
  • Also include your ‘wish list’ of possible titles and authors that you would like to see in the series.
  • Include an abstract for each book, both confirmed and speculative.

Number of books

  • Will a fixed number of books be published in the series or will it be open-ended?

Category of books in the series

Scholarly monograph

  • Written for academics and researchers in the field.
  • Based on original scholarly research that makes a notable contribution to the subject.

Edited collection of essays

  • Planned to be coherent books with a unifying focus.
  • Each essay must speak to the key themes of the volume.
  • Includes an introduction by the editors that defines the scope of the collection.


  • Designed as the main course text on a recognised course taught at a range of institutions.
  • Aimed at students with little or no prior knowledge of the subject.
  • Introduces or synthesises (and may also intervene in) the subject.
  • Textbooks have an extra review stage where the proposal is sent out to a number of lecturers currently teaching the subject, to provide feedback on whether it is suitable for course use.

Reference work

  • Written for students and researchers at all levels.
  • A dictionary, companion or encyclopaedia.
  • Collects together, summarises, defines or significantly adds to scholarship on a focused area of study.


  • Who will read the books in the series? Undergraduate or postgraduate students? Scholars? Practitioners?
  • Which university departments will books in your series appeal to?
  • Do you expect the books to be used on any courses? Will they be main or supplementary reading?
  • Will your series appeal to any countries in particular?
  • If your book will appeal to more than one group of readers, list them all.

Competing or comparable series

If there are any series similar to yours, list the following details for each one:

  • Series title, editors and publisher.
  • Is the series existing or forthcoming?
  • Books in the series: number of volumes, titles, authors/editors, publication dates, prices and number of pages.
  • What is distinctive about your series? Why will authors choose to publish in your series instead?

If there isn’t a similar series, give some examples of comparable books in the area:

  • Think of these as books that you would have liked to publish as part of the series.
  • These books should be of the same book type (e.g. monograph, textbook) and aimed at a similar readership.
  • Only list books published within the last 5 years (unless there is genuinely nothing that has published in this period).
  • List the title, author, publisher, publication year and price.

Word count

  • The length of books in the series.
  • Include any preface, acknowledgements, notes, bibliography and appendices.
  • Do not include the index.


  • When do you confidently expect the completed, final manuscripts of the first books in the series to be delivered?

Editorial planning

  • How will books be commissioned and assessed?
  • Will there be an Editorial Advisory Board?
    • Who will be on the board?
    • Is the board planned or confirmed?
    • How many members will be on the board?
    • How will the board reflect an appropriate diversity, for example of gender, race, geography and expertise?

Peer review

  • List 8 specialist readers who it would be appropriate for us to approach for an academic opinion about your proposal.
  • While it is important to include the key people in your field, the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are important to Edinburgh University Press so please consider this when making your suggestions.
  • Include names, institutions and email addresses.
  • Do not include colleagues from your institution or authors that you have already invited to write for the series.


A short CV that includes:

  • Your relevant publications to date.
  • Your research track record.
  • Your full postal address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your email address.

Submit your series proposal

Email your proposal as a Word document to the relevant commissioning editor.

We ask for sole consideration of the series while it is under review.

We look forward to receiving your series proposal, and good luck!

What happens next?

Any questions?

If you have any questions about your series proposal, contact the commissioning editor for your subject area and we’ll be happy to help.