We are always happy to discuss new ideas with prospective authors and to review book proposals. In the first instance please fill out our New Book Outline and send this, together with any outline and/or chapter summary, to us by e-mail. Do not send the manuscript straightaway but just send the NBO and outline etc first.
Unsolicited material will not be returned.
In general we are not in favor of simultaneous submissions being made to other publishers, and prefer to deal with manuscripts on an exclusive basis. In return we undertake to complete our review process in a timely fashion and not to keep authors waiting unnecessarily. In exceptional circumstances we may accept simultaneous submission to another publisher, but you must tell us at the time of submission (as also requested in the New Book Outline) that the manuscript is being simultaneously submitted elsewhere so that we can decide at that point whether or not we wish to commence our own review process.
The initial material will be checked by us to decide whether it is suitable for us at all and, if this seems to be the case, will be assessed either in-house or by an expert. If we are confident the project is publishable, we might either offer you a contract at this point or rather suggest waiting until we have received the manuscript. Once we have received the manuscript, it will go through peer review, i.e. be sent out to several anonymous readers. If a book is intended for a series, the series editors' advice will be sought as well.
Peer review is an important element of Berghahn's publishing process. It can take between a few weeks and several months for a full-length manuscript before a decision is reached. This depends on how soon we manage to find readers and how soon the readers can read the manuscript and write the reports.
If we agree to publish your manuscript or to commission you to write a book for us then you will receive our written offer to publish within one month of our decision being made and notified to you. If we proceed with your proposal we will ask you to submit a complete manuscript and disk on an agreed date. It is very important that you consult our style guide to avoid delays at all stages. After receipt of the final revised manuscript, the in-house editorial assessment and production itself usually takes between 12 and 15 months depending upon the condition of your final manuscript, as well as the length, complexity and topicality of your book.
An authored book generally takes less time than an edited volume, involving several contributors, which nearly always means delays at various stages of the production process. You will be given a production schedule at the outset for your information and will be kept informed of any unavoidable changes to your schedule. If there is a particular date by which your book needs to be published in order to take advantage of a significant marketing opportunity then we will make every effort to ensure that it is published by that date, provided we are informed well in advance.
Your manuscript will be copy-edited by an experienced freelance editor and returned to you so that you can review the edits and answer the copyeditor's queries. Nearly all the copyediting is done electronically using Word's track changes feature. Only the electronic files will be sent to you to either accept or reject the edit. Detailed instructions outlining what is required of you will accompany the copyedited files. For more information about copyeditor corrections, please consult our style guide.
At the next stage you will receive page proofs and will be asked to check and correct them within a short period. All setting errors are corrected free of charge. Amendments at proof stage, once the script has been typeset, are expensive however, and we would urge you to keep proof corrections to a minimum. Excessive changes at this stage will be charged to the author, as stipulated in your contract.
Unless other arrangements have been agreed you will have to produce an index, which should be considered just as much an integral part of the book as other matters, for instance the bibliography. We strongly advise authors and editors to prepare the index themselves, because nobody knows their book as well as they do. The guidelines contain some advice on the preparation of an index, and there also are some useful books on this on the market. Our production editors can also give some advice or, if preferred, put you in touch with a professional indexer.
It is your responsibility to clear permissions to reproduce all copyright material and prepare the obligatory forms of acknowledgement in the text.
You will be consulted about the design of the cover; in fact, we will invite you to assist us with the sourcing of suitable cover images, provided you have cleared any copyright issues, but should stress that the ultimate decision as to what will be the most suitable design lies with us. An important element of the cover is the copy on the back cover, which serves as important promotional copy for all our other marketing tools. It normally consists of the book description and pre-publication endorsements and extracts from reviews in the case of later or paperback editions. The author will be consulted on the blurb and also be shown the final cover artwork before the book goes to press.
Marketing & Sales
Once your manuscript is handed over to production, you will receive an Author's Promotion Form, in which you will be asked to assist us with marketing by suggesting suitable journals that may wish to review the book or in which we might place space adverts, teachers who may want it for classroom use and conferences/societies whose delegates/members may be interested in seeing details of the book. For more information on our marketing and publicity activities please see 'What to expect when my book is published by Berghahn Books.'
New Book Outline
Prospective authors may download a copy of the New Book Outline to be filled out and faxed or emailed as an attachment to our New York or Oxford offices. The document is in MSWord format.
Please download the New Book Outline here.
"What to Expect when my Book is Published by Berghahn Books" explains to you in detail the sales, marketing and publicity efforts we will undertake on behalf of your book.