Proposal Guidelines for Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Berrett-Koehler Publishers' mission is Connecting People and Ideas to Create a World that Works for All. Our titles promote positive change at personal, organizational, and societal levels. With this in mind, please cover the following topics in your publication proposal: 

1. Elevator Pitch: Please describe your book in a few sentences.

2. Need: Why is a new publication on this topic needed at this time? How is this topic of increasing rather than passing or declining interest?

3. Purpose: How is the publication designed to meet the need? What are the primary and secondary purposes of the publication? What new contribution does the publication make to the field?

4. Goals: What are the goals that you want to achieve through publication of your book?

5.  Audiences: Who are the intended audiences, and how will they be able to use the publication? Be specific and realistic, rather than claiming that people or managers in general will be interested. Distinguish between primary and secondary audiences. Identify specific professional associations that are audiences.

.6. Impact: How will your publication have a positive measurable impact on individuals, organizations, communities, and/or society? Please be specific about the intended positive impacts rather than just giving general intentions.

7. Measuring Impact: How will you measure the positive impacts (including any materials that you will include in your publication or on your website to help readers report impacts)? How and when will you report these impacts to Berrett-Koehler?

8. Knowledge Base: Describe the knowledge base of your book, including professional or academic experience, research, and theory. Attach biographical information about yourself, including the titles of your previously published works. Please include the publisher name, publication date, and number of copies sold of each of your previously published works, and also list any foreign-language editions and their publishers.

9. Residence/Hometown: Please include information on where you currently reside and, separately, what you consider to be your hometown.

10. Related and Competing Books: What are the five most competitive or similar publications that have been published in the last two years, and how—specifically—does the proposed publication differ from them? Please describe what your publication will offer that no other publication currently offers.

11. Outline: Attach a detailed chapter-by-chapter outline of the publication's planned contents.

12. Sample Chapters: Please send the entire draft manuscript if it is available; otherwise, please submit two to four sample chapters with the publication proposal, indicating when the complete draft manuscript would be available.

13. Manuscript Length and Special Materials: How many words do you expect that the manuscript will be, including all references, appendices, or other materials? It would be fine to give a range (such as “40,000 to 50,000 words”). What special materials (drawings, tables, figures, exhibits, and so on) do you anticipate will be included?

14. Timetable: What is your schedule for completing the manuscript?

15. Marketing Support: Please detail the ways in which you, as author, will be able to support the publisher's marketing of the book.

Please describe your various plans to market your book both before and after it is published, including ways you will create momentum for your book through a “pre-order campaign,” your plans for a “launch campaign,” and your plans for ongoing promotion and marketing outreach. (Pre-order campaigns consist of marketing and sales tactics to get customers to order books through booksellers or directly through you or the publisher before their publication date. Launch campaigns consist of marketing and sales tactics during and after the publication date.)

  • Please share detailed plans with timelines and specifics for your marketing efforts to build momentum for your book and support its sale, including plans for any “pre-order campaign,” “launch campaign,” or ongoing marketing campaigns.

Please detail all the marketing resources you will be using to market the book:

  • The number of contacts on your email list, how often you communicate with that list, and in what ways (e.g. newsletter, blog distribution, etc.).
  • The number of contacts on other mailing lists you have access to that you would promote your book to? Please supply the name of list and your association to it.
  • Numbers of your social media contacts by channel with link (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc).
  • How often you speak and/or train, and to what numbers of people in what venues. Please include a list of your speaking engagements over the past one or two years, with the name of the organization, the number of attendees, the topic of your presentation, and location if possible, including internationally.
  • Organizations who will buy your book in bulk and quantity of sales expected for each contact.
  • Course names and names of institutions where you teach professional courses or college-level courses.
  • Professional associations of which you are a member and any leadership roles or special activity you have had in those associations.
  • Your media contacts, what relationship you have had with those contacts, and what coverage of your work has resulted from those relationships. We appreciate links or attached copies of media hits from the last two years that are relevant to the content of the book.
  • If you have a podcast of your own, please share any info on how long you have hosted it and any stats available on it.
  • Website presence planned for the book on your website or a separate website.
  • Names of prominent individuals who are likely to endorse your work or provide a foreword.

PLEASE NOTE: We only accept proposals in Microsoft Word or PDF. 

Please e-mail your proposal to:  [email protected]

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