Publishing authors from around the world, Missional University Press seeks and acquires manuscripts that inspire, encourage, and equip Christian believers for service in the mission of God.


Publish My Book  
 

SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL 

Proposals give editors and marketing staff a clear idea of what your book is about and who it’s for. Your proposal should include the following:

  • A brief description of the book, its projected audience, and competing titles.  

  • A statement on how the manuscript complies with Missional University’s ethos statement and MU Press’ areas of interest.  

  • An estimate of the probable length of the book (page count and word count), the number of illustrations and tables, and a note on potential permissions issues.  

  • A table of contents with brief descriptions of each chapter.  

  • The book’s introduction and one other sample chapter.  

  • A current vitae for the author(s) or editor(s) summarizing professional experience, past publications, and relevant research.  

  • For multi-authored or edited works, please identify which authors have committed to contributing to the book and which are still negotiating. Also note whether any of the material has been previously published, and where.  

  • If the manuscript is not complete, please provide a projected completion date.  

Email proposals to mup@missional.university. Upon acceptance of your manuscript for publication, please use the following guidelines to prepare and submit your manuscript and supporting materials.

PERMISSIONS 

If you wish to include copyrighted work in your book (quoted material, artwork, charts, etc.), you must obtain permission from the copyright holder. Note that getting permission to use copyrighted material may take several months. MU Press will not begin copyediting your manuscript until you have submitted all of the permission forms.   

  • Request permission from copyright holder to use copyrighted material. Be sure to include:   

  • The working title of your manuscript;  

  • A statement that the publisher is Missional University Press, a nonprofit scholarly publisher;  

  • Exactly what you are requesting permission to reprint;  

  • A request for nonexclusive world rights for all editions (print and digital) for the life of the book.  

  • Make sure each permission grant has been signed by the copyright holder.  

  • Mark each permission grant with the figure number(s) of the item it refers to.  

  • Provide Office of MU Press with copies of all grants of permission at the same time you submit your final manuscript.  

  • Be sure to supply credit/source information in your footnotes or captions. 

 

Notes:

  • Quoting or reproducing small amounts of an author’s or artist’s work in order to review or criticize it or to illustrate the user’s own argument is fair use and does not require the user to get permission of the copyright holder.

  • Works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. You do not need anyone’s permission to use them. Sometimes figuring out what is in the public domain can be confusing. Refer to the website of the U.S. Copyright Office for assistance. 

 

MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING 
  • Use Microsoft Word. The document’s filename should have a .doc or .docx extension.   

  • Use Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double spacing.  

  • To indent paragraphs, use the “Tab” key, not the space bar. 

  • Italicize text that should appear in italics in the printed book. The same applies for bold and underscored text. (Generally we convert underlined words to italicized words, so if you want to retain underlining, please explain that at the time of submission.) Only use bullets, symbols, and special characters provided within Microsoft Word.  

  • Insert a blank line at the start of each new section and a page break at the start of each new chapter. 

  • Do use a consistent model throughout the book for chapter titles, headings, and subheads. Do not use “styles” to format subheads, block quotes, or any other elements. Do not type subheadings in all caps. 

  • Remove all headers or footers except page numbers.  

  • Place callouts for art (figures, tables, photos, etc.) between paragraphs at approximately the place where the art should appear (i.e., <FIG 1.1 HERE>, <FIG 1.2 HERE>, etc.). Remember to include a separate captions document. (See section on art and captions.)  

  • Prepare a table of contents. List all parts/sections; chapter numbers, titles, and subtitles; bibliography/references; and chapter authors (if any). We use your contents to verify that we have all the parts of your manuscript, so be sure it is complete.  

  • Notes should be grouped at the end of the manuscript. Number notes starting with 1 for each chapter.  

Formatting “No-Nos”

  • Do not use columns in your work unless they are essential to the book’s design.

  • Do not use hyphens to break words at the ends of lines; let lines wrap naturally.

  • Do not use the “Enter” or “Return” keys to start a new line except to add desired white space between lines or to start a new section.

  • Do not use the space bar to align text; instead, use the “Tab” key or Microsoft Word’s formatting tools to indent, align, and position text.

 

MU Press uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., as style and spelling guides. We encourage you to do the same. 

 

MANUSCRIPT ORGANIZATION 

All book-related information must be submitted, along with and at the same time as the manuscript, in a single Word document, and the components are to be arranged in the order you intend for them to appear in the finished book. Use a page break to separate components. We suggest the following order:   

  • Excerpt or reviews page (self-selected excerpt from the text or praise from reviewers) 

  • Title page, with author’s name exactly as it should appear in final book 

  • Copyright page* 

  • Dedication page (optional) 

  • Contents page (without page numbers) 

  • Foreword (optional; written by someone else) 

  • Preface (optional; written by you) 

  • Acknowledgments/permissions section (optional) 

  • Introduction, List of Abbreviations, and Chronology in that order (all optional) 

  • Chapters (numbered and titled exactly as they appear on contents page) 

  • Index (optional) If you’re including an index, we urge you to begin the process even before the page-proof stage by creating an alphabetized list of names, places, and subject terms from your manuscript. Then, when you receive the page proofs, you will only need to add the inclusive page numbers, rather than starting from scratch.  

  • Glossary (optional)  

  • Appendix (optional)  

  • Afterword (optional)  

  • Author bio (optional) The bio will usually appear on the back cover instead of inside the book.  

  • Bibliography/works cited/references (optional) 

  • Notes (optional) In the final book these will appear before the glossary and bibliography.  

*Copyright page must contain a copyright notice using the following format (with blanks filled in):

Copyright © ____(year) by _______ (author name).

All Rights Reserved.

 

In addition, if you use Bible quotations, please insert the following notice on your copyright page (with blanks filled in): 

Biblical quotes are from the ________version of the Bible.

Copyright ©_____(fill in the year) by _________(publisher’s name).

 

This reference information may be found in the front matter of the Bible used for quotations.  

 

ART AND CAPTIONS 

 The following guidelines apply to all digital art (graphs, drawings, diagrams, maps, photos, tables, etc.)   

  • File types accepted are .tif, .eps, .jpg, and .pdf. Digital artwork not meeting our requirements must either be replaced or dropped from the book.   

  • Minimum resolution for images 4” x 7” or larger is 300ppi (pixels per inch); 600ppi for images smaller than 4” x 7”.  

  • Name digital art files with their figure number, where the first number is the chapter number and the second number indicates the file’s sequence in the chapter (e.g., FIG 3.2 would be the second figure in chapter three). Filenames are to correspond EXACTLY with callouts placed in the manuscript (<FIG 3.2 HERE>).  

  • Create a separate captions document (named Captions.doc), that is organized by figure number and includes the source and credit line for each figure. (See Permissions section.)  

  • Use 8pt. or 10pt. Arial or Helvetica font for all text labels in artwork used throughout the book.  

  • Double-check text labels to ensure that spelling, hyphenation, and capitalization choices match those used in the text.  

  • No art (figures, tables, photos, etc.) is to be embedded in the manuscript.  

  • Use the Tables feature of your software to create all tabular matter. Do not use tabs or spaces to separate data. Do not use spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel.    

Reminders: 

  • Artwork should be complete at the time you submit the final draft of your manuscript.

  • Artwork will be placed as near its callout as the text allows, but because that is not determined until typesetting, in your manuscript do not refer to artwork as being “above,” “below,” or on a specific page. Instead, direct readers to tables by referring to them by number (“figure 2.1 shows . . .” or “see figure 2.1”).

 

BOOK BLURB, AUTHOR BIO AND ENDORSEMENTS 

Use the time while your manuscript is being edited to draft the book blurb and author bio. Also use this time to solicit reviews and gather endorsements to be used inside the book or on the back cover. These will be required at the time you submit your final manuscript and should be edited and proofed prior to submission.   

  • Book Blurb. A 150-word or less “blurb” that describes your book. This copy will be used on your book cover as well as in promotional material (web sites, press releases, online bookstore).   

  • Author Bio. This is a 150-word or less biography that will be used on the back cover, along with your “Book Blurb” and Author Photo (optional).   

  • Endorsements. You may elect to have colleagues and other influential people to read and review your unedited manuscript (a “first look”) in order to obtain quotes that will be used on the front page or on the back cover of your book.

 

SUBMISSION OF MANUSCRIPT AND MATERIALS 
  • Be sure you’ve made all changes required by your editor.  

  • Run spell-check and proofread your manuscript carefully. Your submitted manuscript will be considered final. Major revisions or rewrites will not be accepted.  

  • Are art callouts placed where the art should appear within the manuscript?  

  • Are final digital art files named according to our specifications?  

  • Do digital art filenames in the callouts and on the captions document match exactly?  

  • Are endnotes grouped at the end of the manuscript, and have you numbered notes starting with 1 for each chapter?  

  • Are all book components included in a single Word document, and are they in the order they’re to appear in the finished book?  

Submit to MU Press (mup@missional.university) your manuscript and all supporting materials:  

  • Manuscript  

  • All digital art  

  • Captions document  

  • Photocopies of all signed and approved permissions documentation  

  • Book Blurb  

  • Endorsements  

  • Author Bio  

  • Author Photo. You may choose to provide a 2” x 2” black-and-white or full-color photo in .jpg or .tif format at 600 dpi or better. This photograph, if provided, will be used on your back cover. 

 

REVISING A DISSERTATION FOR PUBLICATION 
  • Cut the part where you thank your dissertation committee. You can still acknowledge them, but as individual scholars rather than as part of your committee.  

  • Cut the review of literature or, if you feel you must keep some of it, work parts of it into the text at relevant points.  

  • Cut the number of quotations, especially long ones. In general, your book needs more of your own voice and less of others' voices, so utilize paraphrasing and summarizing skills.  

  • Comb through the manuscript and replace the jargon with more fluid and clear language. One easy way to find the clunky language is to read the chapters aloud. Another is to discuss your work with an educated person who is not in your field.  

  • Cut a third to a half of the notes. If the information can't be seamlessly incorporated into the text, dump it!  

  • If you have divided your chapters into sections and subsections, each with their own headings, take out this outline structure and instead work on transitions from one idea to the next. This will make your book more unified and more readable.  

  • Pare down the bibliography. As a student, you wanted to show your committee the depth and breadth of your research. As a book author, to keep from overwhelming your readers, give them just the most pertinent sources. (If you have referred to a source directly, you will need to keep it in the bibliography.)  

  • Chances are you'll need to update your research using the new articles and books that have appeared since you finished your dissertation. Work these ideas into your text and add them to your bibliography. 

DOWNLOAD MISSIONAL UNIVERSITY PRESS PUBLISHING GUIDES 

Missional University Press provides the following guides for book authors:   

*The downloads are PDF files. If you don’t already have Adobe Reader (the application necessary to read PDF files), you can download it free. 


Order My Book

Missional University Press authors may order their books as well as all other MU Press publications through the MU Press Bookstore.