This page contains guidelines for authors looking to submit a proposal, prepare their manuscript for submission, prepare figures, clear permissions, etc.. If you have any questions concerning these guidelines please contact


Please send query letters and book proposals to Please do not send a full manuscript.

The book proposal should comprise:

  • Introduction to the book
  • Annotated table of contents
  • Sample chapter
  • Author’s biography
  • Format, page extent (including number of illustrations, if any)
  • Comparable books
  • Publicity and marketing plan

Manuscript Preparation Quick Reference

If your proposal has been accepted, please reference the information below to prepare your manuscript. Your manuscript should adhere to these guidelines when you submit your final files. Do note, this section is only a quick reference guide. For the full guidelines, please email

Basic Requirements

Naming Files

  1. Name each file clearly and sequentially; do not use chapter titles or descriptions of illustrations in file names.
  2. Each file should be named using the following format: Author’s last name plus file content description, e.g., “Smith_frontmatter.doc”; “Smith_text.doc”; “Smith_backmatter.doc.”
  3. Label illustrations and tables numerically:
    • For single-author books with 20 or fewer illustrations, single-digit numbering is preferred (fig.1, 2, 3, etc.; map 1, 2).
    • For edited volumes and books with more than 20 illustrations, double-numbering is favored (fig. 1.1, 1.2, etc., where the first number is the chapter number and the second is the image number).
  4. If your book will have illustrations and/or tables placed within the flow of the text (not grouped in a stand-alone section), insert a callout for each item—for example, <>—in the text indicating approximately where each table or illustration should appear in the book. Place each callout at the end of the relevant paragraph, and make sure every callout matches the file name of the illustration or table being indicated.

Creating Files

  1. The MS should consist of several separate Microsoft Word files: (1) front matter; (2) all text and notes (including the introduction, all chapters, and conclusion or epilogue); (3) back matter; (4) image captions; and (5) tables.
    • All text files must be in Microsoft Word documents, BUP will not accept files in page layout programs, such as InDesign or Quark.
  2. Create one text file for the front matter, including the following elements (as applicable) arranged in this order:
    Title Page
    Copyright Page
    Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
    List of Tables
    Acknowledgments (if not part of preface)
    List of Abbreviations (if not in back matter)
    Chronology (if not in back matter)

    • If you do not know where materials should appear in the published book, consult your acquisitions editor.
  3. Create a separate text file for the back matter elements (as applicable):
    Acknowledgments (if not in front matter)
    Appendix (or first appendix, if more than one)
    Each Subsequent Appendix
    Chronology (if not in front matter)
    List of Abbreviations (if not in front matter)
    Bibliography or References
    Illustration Credits (if not in captions or elsewhere)
    List of Contributors (including volume editors) or author bio

    • Use Microsoft Word’s endnote feature for endnotes. Avoid footnotes.
  4. Create a separate image file for each illustration (photo, chart, map, etc.) as applicable.
  5. Create a separate text file for each table (as applicable).
    • Do not include tables in chapter files. Prepare table files as indicated in the Tables section of this document.
  6. Create a separate text file containing captions for all illustrations. Include a credit line at the end of each caption (including any specific information required by the rights holder for permissions). Make sure the illustration type and number for each caption matches the file name of the illustration being indicated.
  7. Create a text file containing your biography (for single-author works) or a list of contributors (for edited volumes).


  • Academic volumes should include a short biography for each contributing author. Provide the author’s name, academic affiliation, and one to two previous publications, if relevant. For example, “[Author name] is assistant professor of [subject area] at [university]. She is the author of [book title].” Do not include additional information about research areas, current projects, or personal hobbies. For edited volumes, gather all author biographies together in a single file as a list of contributors that includes the volume editor. This list will be included in the back matter of the published book.
  • For trade books: Biographies can include academic affiliation and should reference the author’s expertise in the book’s subject area as well as previous publications, if applicable. Consult your acquisitions editor if you have questions.


Labels and Numbering

  • Illustrations that will appear in black and white, whether photos or line art, should be labeled “figure.” If you choose, illustrative maps can be labeled “map”; otherwise, “figure” is correct.
  • Color illustrations that will be ganged (grouped) together in a gallery rather than interspersed throughout the text should be labeled “plate” and numbered sequentially (plate 1, plate 2, etc.).
  • Interspersed illustrations: For single-author books with 20 or fewer illustrations, single-digit numbering is preferred (fig. 1, 2, 3, etc.). For edited volumes and authored books with more than 20 illustrations, please use double-numbering (fig. 1.1, 1.2, etc., where the first number is the chapter number and the second is the image number).
  • Ganged illustrations: Illustrations that will be ganged together in a gallery should be numbered sequentially with single-digit numbering.
  • For each illustration, the label and number must be consistent across the digital illustration file name, caption list, in-text reference, callout, and list of illustrations in the front matter.

Check with your acquisitions editor to see if the illustrations will be ganged or interspersed.

Illustration Requirements

Each illustration must:

  • meet the requirements in our Final Art Submission Requirements.
  • have proper permission documentation.
  • have a corresponding callout (for interspersed illustrations) enclosed in brackets (for example, <>). If several illustrations will appear together or have in-text references in the same paragraph, include all figure numbers in one callout. Illustration callouts must appear at the end of paragraphs and in sequential order. Please note that an in-text reference is not a callout. An in-text reference is addressed to the reader (for example, “see table 5” or “as figure 3.2 shows”) and will appear in the published version. In-text references are optional.
  • have a corresponding caption in the caption text file that includes the illustration label and number and any necessary credit line and/or source information. When crediting illustrations from the author, use “[Photo/Illustration/Map] by author” in a single-author work; use the name of the particular author in multiauthor or edited books. Group all illustration captions together in a single text file. Captions should be sentence style, NOT headline style. Each caption should end with a period. Do not include captions within the text or embedded in the illustration file. All captions will be typeset and placed with the illustrations by the designer.
  • Create a list of illustrations unless your acquisitions editor instructs otherwise. The list of illustrations should appear after the table of contents and contain one or two lines of identifying information; credit information is not included.

Additional information for labeling illustrations, writing captions, and creating list of illustrations entries can be found in The Chicago Manual of Style.

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Final Art Submission Requirements

Images reproduced in a book can never be better than the original. It is essential that the material provided be of the best possible quality. Images that do not meet these requirements will need to be replaced by you or eliminated.

Digital Art Submissions

DO check the resolution of your art files.
DO name art files according to BUP’s naming conventions:

  • Name images using “Fig” for black and white images and “Plate” for color images that will appear in color.
  • Use “Map” for maps.
  • If artwork will be interspersed throughout, use chapter placement identification (Fig 2.3, Fig 4.5).
  • If all artwork will be ganged (grouped together) into one or two sections, number the images sequentially (Fig 1–Fig 50).
  • Ensure that proper callouts are placed throughout the MS (reference Manuscript Preparation for details).

Mistakes to Avoid

  • DO NOT assume a file that looks good on a computer screen is acceptable for print reproduction.
  • DO NOT submit digital images in a PowerPoint file or embedded in a Word document.
  • DO NOT enlarge substandard files that already have not passed the art evaluation.
  • DO NOT collage images into one file; there should be only one image per file.
  • DO NOT downsize images if they are large.

Resolution Requirements for Digital Art

Grayscale and color images such as photographs must be at least 300 dpi. For a typical 6 x 9 inch book figures should have dimensions as close to the following as possible:

  • 300 DPI with dimensions of 5” × 4” (Approximately 1500 × 1235 Pixels)
  • 300 DPI with dimensions of 5” × 7” (Approximately 1500 × 2200 Pixels)

When submitting a color image that will be printed black and white, please leave it in COLOR, we will convert it here.

Line art—anything that needs to be legible as text such as line drawings, charts, and graphs—must be at least 1200 dpi at 6″ × 9″ or approximately 7200 × 10,800 pixels. The preferred format for line art is a drawing created in Adobe Illustrator.

Images Found on the Internet

Many times the image may look good on your monitor, but may be too small. Please check that the image is approximately the sizes above.

Charts and Graphs

For drawing in Adobe Illustrator, use a line thickness of 1 point or greater, and 10 to 12 point Helvetica or Times Roman font for lettering. Tint variations that are not easily distinguishable from each other may be confusing, use 20%, 50%, and 80% tint values. Patterns may be used if areas of a figure need to be distinguished with more variation.


Any images submitted to BUP need to have proper permissions documentation. If you are submitting images that you do not own the rights to, email for information on securing the rights to these images. Images without proper permissions documentation will not be allowed to appear in the book.

Peer Review

Brandeis University Press adopts the AUP’s guidelines as a template for the peer review process for scholarly manuscripts under contract.


For ACH or wire royalty payments, or any questions about your royalty statement, please email Beth Fong at

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