To ensure that each project receives the fairest possible review, IBM Press requests the author submit four items for evaluation and consideration by IBM Press and peer reviewers:
After reviewing these materials, IBM Press will decide whether or not to seek outside peer review of the proposal prior to a decision to publish the work. Should we decide to seek further review, we may request further material or changes in the proposal to ensure that your ideas are presented in the most favorable manner. Reviewers of your proposal will come from the targeted audience for the work, professionals or academics like yourself. Properly done peer reviews take time, depending on the amount of material in your proposal. IBM Press' reputation is built on publishing quality books, and peer reviews are an important quality control tool for both author and publisher. In almost all cases we will share with you any peer reviews commissioned.
Your prospectus should include the following information:
A Brief Description
In several paragraphs, but not more than one page, describe the work, its rationale (what problem is this work solving?), its approach, and the target audience. Begin with a one to two sentence summary of the book. As appropriate, follow this with a short explanatory paragraph on the topic to put the book in context for non-technical readers of the proposal. (Ex: Software Testing deals with X and is useful for Y. All programmers should test their programs but many don't for Z. This book will address overcoming Z.) You should then elaborate on these ideas individually and at greater length making sure you address the following items:
Supply a brief listing (but at least five points) of what you consider to be the outstanding, distinctive or unique features of the work. These are items that you would use to sell the book to a bookstore buyer. Who is and why this author? What problem does this book solve? What's unique about the book? What's different compared to other books on this topic? (Include: organization, examples, case studies, software included, experience of author, ties to leading products, etc.) What is going to grab someone's attention and encourage them to examine the book more closely?
Consider the existing works in this field and discuss specifically their individual strengths and weaknesses. This material is written for reviewers and not for publication, so please be honest and direct. You should describe what advantages your book has over the competition, and how your book will be similar to, as well as different from, its competition, in terms of level, style, topical coverage, and depth. If significant books are now available, you should explain why you chose to write another book in this area. Please mention all pertinent titles even if they compete with only a portion of your book.
Include a more specific discussion of the pedagogical elements. Will the book include examples, cases, learning objectives, questions, problems, glossaries, a bibliography, references, or appendices? Is the book primarily descriptive or quantitative, elementary or rigorous, etc.?
If the work is for a professional audience, do you plan to provide supplementary material to accompany it? (For example, program code, figures or diagrams, software or discounts on other products.) Please provide a brief explanation of the content/functionality and rationale for each item. Consider how such material might be made available. Is it suitable for posting on a (secure) ftp site or at a World Wide Web location? Would this be a free supplement or do you see it as a revenue item? If software is to be included, please state the minimal hardware and software requirements necessary to operate such software. If the software comes from a third party, please provide background information and contact information for the source.
Status of the Work
IBM Press will use reviewers of our own choosing, but we will also try to include individuals whose opinions you feel will be valuable. Can you suggest any? If the book has several distinct markets, try to recommend at least one reviewer from each.
Naturally, we do not reveal the names of our reviewers without their permission. If you desire, we will submit the material to the reviewers anonymously.
The blueprint for your work
The TOC is the blueprint for your work; it should be complete and detailed. Explanatory notes should be included as necessary. This enables the reviewers to understand the structure of the manuscript.
Show us your work
The material you submit should reflect your writing style and the book's pedagogy in the best possible light. Although the sample chapters need not be in final form, they should be sufficiently polished to allow for a valid assessment of your abilities. You should try to submit at least several representative chapters if possible, but the chapters need not be in sequence. We advise you to submit any chapter that is particularly innovative, and we need to see rough sketches of all necessary figures. Since the first and ending chapters often are not representative of the core concepts and ideas of the work, these usually do not make good examples for review.
What are your qualifications?
Please include a vitae with your submission. We would like to know about your professional experience including organizational memberships, education, awards/honors, and previous publications. Please also include: preferred salutation (Mr., Ms. Professor, nickname, first name), full name, date of birth, social security number, business and home addresses and telephone numbers, and preferred method and place of communication. If there is more than one author, please indicate a primary contact person.
With this material in hand, we can make an informed decision on your proposal, and if contracted for, both you and IBM Press can be certain of the type of work to be produced.
Please submit all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
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