Book Proposal Guidelines
The MLA Publishing Program publishes books about the best practices of health sciences librarianship and about consumer health for public librarianship. Both smaller works for specific audiences and large books for a broad library audience are considered. The entire process from proposal to publication takes approximately eighteen months.
The seven volunteer members of the MLA Books Panel, who are appointed based on experience and interest in the publishing process, actively solicit and propose ideas for new books and evaluate proposals.
Proposals are considered an iterative process.The MLA Books Panel can help prospective authors get their idea into a proposal that can be successfully published.
Sharing ideas enhances the practice and the profession of medical librarianship. Suggestions for Publishing Support can help potential authors identify and obtain the necessary financial and practical support needed to transform their ideas into publications.
Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group (RLPG) is MLA's copublisher for new book projects. RLPG, headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, is one of North America’s largest independent publishers. The company publishes almost 1,500 new titles each year, covering virtually all fields in the humanities and social science, including a strong list of library science titles. Books copublished by MLA and RLPG are published under the Rowman & Littlefield imprint.
MLA also works with the American Library Association's ALA Editions on new editions of existing book projects.
The Books Panel meets monthly to review proposals. Proposal deadlines are open ended.
Step One: The first step of the process is to complete a brief form that identifies the book's objectives. If Step One is approved by the MLA Books Panel and copublisher, you will be asked to submit Step Two.
Email three to five pages that contain the following:
If Step Two of the proposal is accepted by the MLA Books Panel and its copublisher, authors are asked to provide:
The decision to accept or reject a proposal is influenced by many factors, including the need for such a publication, its potential market, the author's qualifications (subject knowledge and writing skills), estimated production and marketing costs, and estimated sales. The copublisher may conduct a market survey to determine the level of interest in the proposed book. Comments and decisions on proposals are transmitted to prospective authors typically within two weeks.
After the MLA Books Panel approves the proposal, the chair sends an acceptance letter to the author on behalf of the panel. However, a contract is not issued until further review by the copublisher. This often includes an outside review of the proposal. After which time, the author might be asked to fine-tune the outline. The steps that follow include:
MLA DocKits are collections of representative, unedited library documents from a variety of institutions that illustrate the range of approaches to health sciences library management.
MLA BibKits are selective, annotated bibliographies of discrete subject areas in the health sciences literature.
Contact MLA's director of publications at 312.419.9094 x23; email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2013 May 23