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Book Proposal Guidelines

Book Proposals Welcome


AAIDD publishes high-quality, essential books and tools of relevance to professionals in the fields of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We welcome proposals on a variety of topics and seek submissions for scholarly works, textbooks, reference works, practice books, guidebooks, assessment tools, training materials, and research works.

In general, AAIDD focuses on publishing books that contribute to the advancement of knowledge and practice in disabilities.

Proposals must contain vital information about the book and establish a clear rationale or purpose and describe how the author will accomplish the purpose. The proposal must demonstrate that the author has enough comprehensive, valid material to justify a book, rather than a journal article. Features that make the book unique should be described.

Book Proposal Guidelines

AAIDD publishes high-quality, essential books for professionals and others in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and related human services professions. Each title published by AAIDD was vetted as a best-in-class resource geared toward keeping working professionals and family member stay informed of the latest information trending in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We welcome proposals for books on a variety of topics and seek submissions for several different publications programs. In general, AAIDD focuses on both scholarly and practice-oriented books and monographs that contribute to the advancement of knowledge and practice in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The quality of a book proposal is a key factor in selling the project to a publisher. The information should be succinct, yet comprehensive enough for a thorough review. Even if the author submits a full manuscript, he or she also should submit a book proposal that describes the book’s purpose, the potential audience for the book, and the author’s qualifications to write the book. If these guidelines are not followed, the author will be asked to revise and resubmit.

AAIDD will not review the following:

  • Fiction or other materials intended for a general audience
  • Doctoral dissertations or master’s theses*
  • Collections of previously published materials
  • General conference proceedings

*Doctoral dissertations or master’s theses must be reworked to meet the criteria for a book before they will be considered for publication.

Proposal Elements
The proposal should be no longer than six pages, containing only vital information about the book. It should have a clear purpose and describe implications for those in the disabilities field or for those providing care for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The author must demonstrate that he or she has enough comprehensive, valid material to justify a book, rather than a journal article. Features that make the book unique should be described.

The proposal should include an accurate assessment of the market for the book, as well as a critique of existing books now competing in the market. Reviewers will weigh the author’s identification and assessment of competing books carefully. In addition to determining whether a market exists, reviewers use the assessment to gauge the author’s knowledge of the literature in the area. The author should include the title, author, publisher, and year of publication of competing books. He or she also should describe the strengths and weaknesses of each book and indicate how the proposed book will be superior or different.

The proposal should include an estimated timetable for the completion of the manuscript. Estimated completion dates should be realistic, but not so far in the future that timeliness would be affected. In addition, the author should estimate the number of manuscript pages, including artwork and tables that the final manuscript will contain.

Book Outline
A detailed outline and draft table of contents should accompany the proposal. Authors should include sufficient information in the outline so that reviewers can easily see the proposed flow of the book and the major points to be covered in it. If the book is intended to be a collective work, the editor should provide the names of the prospective authors, as well as the titles of chapters they are expected to write.

AAIDD requests an introductory chapter for the initial review. Reviewers will look at this chapter to evaluate the author’s writing style and to determine the skill with which the subject is developed. If the final manuscript does not accurately reflect the outline and table of contents in the proposal, AAIDD reserves the right to terminate any contractual agreements.

Author’s Background
Full curriculum vitae for all authors should be included with the book proposal.

Proposal Submission
All proposals must be sent electronically via email to books@aaidd.org with “Book Proposal” in the subject line. Proposals must be in 12-point type, double-spaced, and in Microsoft Word. 

Proposals received at AAIDD are entered into an automated database, and an acknowledgment is sent to the author. The Director, Publications Program reviews all proposals to determine that they meet the basic criteria for the book program and considers whether the proposal

  • Demonstrates a contribution to the field
  • Meets AAIDD standards for presentation
  • Is consistent, conceptually clear, and precise 
  • Is readable
  • Appears to have a sufficient potential audiencc
  • Contains timely material
  • Is innovative, of professional significance, and of broad interest
  • Has comparative materials available
  • Contains subject matter relating to AAIDD priorities