Submitting an idea or proposal

We receive a large number of book proposals every year, some in the form of an initial idea, others as a completed typescript. We consider all proposals very carefully and are always interested to see them. Whether we can take them forward to publication depends on a range of factors, not least the marketability of the idea; however good a book is, it still has to sell in quantities that make it viable to produce. Unfortunately this means that many of the beautifully written autobiographies we receive we have to turn down - we just cannot see a way of selling sufficient quantities of such books unless either the author is well known or unless the tale is so exceptional as to be newsworthy.

If you have an idea for a book let us know before you start writing. In that way we can tell you whether the idea fits our list, or/and whether it might be adapted to create a proposal worth pursuing.

You can send your proposal to Rose Ward-Allen at the Medlar office ( Describe briefly and clearly what the book is about, who and how large your target audience is, what qualifies you to write the book (including samples of previously published work, if you have them), what other books are on the market that might compete with yours, and how yours differs from them. Send a contents list and add a few sentences explaining the contents of the book. We also like to see sample photographs and illustrations if you have them. If you've already written or part-written the manuscript, send a sample chapter or two, along with the other information.

Please allow about a month for us to review your proposal. We know that seems like a long time, but remember that we are also busy working on books already in production. If we don't think that the book can be published we will tell you. If we think it could be published, but not by Medlar, we will also tell you that. In addition there may be scope, if we decide that it is not something we can publish as a book, for publication of part of the work in our magazine Waterlog. Whatever the result, please remember that the publishing world is, at the end of the day, a commercial one, and just because a book is not predicted to sell in large quantities, does not mean that it is a bad book. On the contrary . . . some of the best books are never published . . .

Presentation of your typescript

A typescript can be presented in a number of ways: as hard copy, on a disk, or by email. The preferred method is for presentation as a hard copy with a disk. Please ensure that your typescript is as 'clean' as possible, ready for translation into another programme. What we mean by this is that all formatting should be kept to a minimum. Please remember that any design ideas you may have should be supplied separately on a sample page layout. Any formatting within the document itself usually has to be painstakingly removed to allow for the publisher's design to be implemented. Also remember that your formatting is likely to be corrupted during translation of the document from one software system to another. You may use italics and line spaces. If you have complicated tables, please supply these separately as visuals, and just list the records in one column in the document. Illustrations and photographs can be supplied as high resolution jpegs