Writing a Book for IRA

Thank you for your interest in writing a book for the International Reading Association (IRA). We are always seeking good authors and good books! IRA publishes professional development books that support the growth and advancement of classroom teachers, reading specialists, and other literacy professionals throughout their careers—with the ultimate goal of transforming lives through literacy. Our priority is publishing books that successfully translate literacy research into practice through concrete strategies and techniques.

The information below is designed to encourage you and guide you through the process.

First, send us an inquiry

IRA is interested in developing new voices in the field and welcomes ideas from experiences and first-time authors. If you think your research or classroom work might fill a niche in the current professional development marketplace, we'd love to hear from you. Please send a detailed inquiry e-mail to the IRA Educational Resources group via books@reading.org.

We suggest you send the inquiry early in your thinking about the project, but after you've thought through the heart of the content and how you want to present it. In other words, don't write the full manuscript before we talk. We love to brainstorm! And often exploring topic, tone, and audience with IRA editors before you take your idea too far saves you time and energy—and it makes it more likely that you'll develop a manuscript IRA will want to publish.

In your inquiry e-mail, please provide the following:

  • Tell us a bit about yourself and your experiences. How did the idea for this book come about?
  • Give a brief narrative description of the book idea, including why it might stand out from the marketplace. What's it about, and why will people want to read it?
  • Include an annotated table of contents or solid outline. How will your book be organized?

We'd like to see one or two writing samples, if you have them, such as an excerpt from a published article or book, or a link to a blog you've recently posted to.

Please give us at least 2-3 weeks to respond. Our staff editors will review and discuss your idea, and if we think it's promising, we will invite you to submit a formal proposal for review by our peer reviewers. The instructions below describe how to organize and write such a proposal.

Next, write your book proposal

Once you've received a thumbs-up from our editors on your inquiry, you'll be asked to submit your formal book proposal through our online manuscript submission site, Manuscript Central, where it will undergo a double-blind peer review as well as evaluation by our editorial staff. Please do not send complete manuscripts unless requested. Expect to wait about four weeks for feedback from reviewers and a decision from our staff.

All submissions must be prepared as electronic files for uploading to Manuscript Central; click here for specific instructions for accessing Manuscript Central. Submissions must adhere to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Book proposals should be double-spaced throughout in a 12-point font, including quotations and references. Your proposal should be blinded, meaning the letter of intent and chapter files should not reference you by name or easily recognizable works; if the proposal is not blinded, it will be returned without review.

Please include the following information in your book proposal:

Part 1: Letter of Intent

Upload to Manuscript Central the following information as one document with file designation "Letter of Intent."

Please include an abstract or summary of your book's content in 250 words or fewer. The abstract should be written as clearly as possible in APA style, without long, complicated sentences and jargon.

Also include brief summaries of the following points in your letter of intent:

  • What is the primary goal of the book? Who is the primary audience?
  • What are the primary research studies that support and influence your proposed book? Give a clear description of this research and how it provides a foundation for your book.
  • Do you plan to develop supplementary, in-book, or companion professional development (PD) materials to accompany the book? These might include PD study guides, video demonstration clips, podcasts, companion webinars, online learning tools, or in-school PD presentations based on the book.
  • When do you anticipate being able to deliver a first draft of the entire book?
  • What do you see as the competition for this book? Please provide the titles of three similar books and explain how your proposed book would differ and provide new information.
  • Why is this book cutting edge? How is it unique relative to other books on this topic?
  • Why have you chosen IRA as a potential publisher?

Part 2: Chapter Files

Upload to Manuscript Central the following information as one document with file designation "Chapter Files."

  • Annotated Table of Contents: Include a one- or two-paragraph summary of each chapter. Convey how you will present each chapter's content and how the individual chapters contribute to the overall organization and plan for the book.
  • Features and formatting: Include any information you have on anticipated text features or special formatting (e.g., photographs, tables) that you think the book might require.
  • One sample chapter: Submit one complete chapter that demonstrates your writing style and approach to presenting the material.

Part 3: Author Information

Upload to Manuscript Central the following information as one document with the file designation "Curriculum Vitae." This portion does not need to be blinded because it will not be seen by peer reviewers, only IRA staff editors.

  • About the Author(s): A brief overview of your professional background, including your teaching history and your work in this topic area. IRA is interested in developing new voices in the field and welcomes proposals from first-time authors. Please include any experience in publishing, such as books, articles, and blogs. Again, this information will not be shared with peer reviewers but is helpful for our editorial staff's evaluation.
  • Condensed/short curriculum vitae: Please provide a short CV for yourself and any co-authors or editors.

Finally, submit your proposal through Manuscript Central

All book proposals must be submitted online through IRA's Manuscript Central tracking system.

  1. Go to the Manuscript Central site to create an account.
  2. When you log in to your account with your username and password, select "IRA Books" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click the Author Center link.
  4. Click on the blue star and follow the instructions provided on each screen. (Under "Manuscript Type," select "Proposal" from the drop-down menu.)
  5. A confirmation e-mail will acknowledge our receipt of your manuscript.
  6. You can follow the progress of your book proposal by accessing your Author Center anytime.

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