Publishing Proposals

We welcome publishing proposal submissions from authors. Before we commit to publishing a book, all proposals go through an editorial selection process and only a small proportion of titles are accepted for publication. Previous publication is not essential and we encourage previously unpublished authors to submit their work to us for consideration. If you have a manuscript that fits our publishing programme, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

Submission Format

We accept hardcopy and electronic submissions. Please ensure that your submission is formatted to our requirements and refer below for instructions on how to send us your submission.

We accept manuscripts from writers located anywhere in the world, but writers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are especially welcome.

If you are proposing a children’s book, please enquire prior to submitting a manuscript.

Non-fiction

We favour a focus on matters of social, cultural, historical, or political concern. Previous publication is not essential. Maximum word limit is 200,000.

Fiction

We seek manuscripts that are socially aware and combine emotion with talented storytelling. Maximum word limit is 100,000.

Poetry

We look for manuscripts that combine emotion with evocative imagery. Social awareness is also looked on favourably.

Pictorial

We look for beautiful photos that are interesting and socially aware. A text component is required as part of all pictorial books.

Please ensure your manuscript meets the following requirements before submitting it to us.

If you do not provide the minimum formatting and information requirements below, your manuscript is unlikely to be looked upon favourably. It’s not that we’re pedantic, we simply receive far too many submissions and do not have sufficient time to try to read an ill formatted submission. Correct formatting helps us review manuscripts more efficiently.

Hard Copy Manuscripts

Please ensure your submission is formatted as follows to allow us to review your proposal with minimum delay. Submissions should be typewritten by computer, typeset in size 12 pt Times New Roman, be double spaced and printed on A4 size paper (US Letter size paper is an acceptable alternative if you are located in a country that uses those paper sizes, such as Canada). Submissions should contain a cover page with the title and author name and be bound by an elastic band, not stapled nor bound. Submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter that provides the biographic information of the author, a background on the proposal, target audience, and a brief explanation of why the work should be published.

Electronic Submissions

Please send us your manuscript as a Microsoft Word format document (either .docx or .doc). We have very specific formatting requirements for our manuscript readers and a Microsoft Word document allows us to format the manuscript prior to sending it to the reader. A PDF document does not allow this flexibility and is therefore not accepted. If you do not have access to Microsoft Word, please email us and we can discuss alternative formats on a case by case basis.

Submissions should contain a cover page with the title and author name. Submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter that provides the biographic information of the author, a background on the proposal, target audience, and a brief explanation of why the work should be published.

Book Proposals – Non-fiction only

Where the full manuscript for a non-fiction book has not yet been completed, a book proposal can be submitted in place of the full manuscript containing a sample chapter, table of contents (chapter list), and detailed book outline, alongside a cover letter with the same information as stated above. Formatting requirements for a book proposal are the same as outlined above.

Turnaround Time

It may take up to twelve weeks from the date we receive the submission before a decision is taken in regard to whether or not an offer to publish will be made. Hard copy manuscripts that are not accompanied by a stamped and self-addressed envelope may not be returned.

Advances and Royalties

Not all offers to publish a book will include an advance paid to the author on future royalties. Not being offered an advance is by no means a reflection on the quality of your work nor on you as an author. Rather, an advance is based on a number of factors, including the market for the book and whether we deem it better to focus our resources on the production and promotion of the book so that sales perform better and you earn more royalties. Regardless of whether an advance is offered, all of our authors receive a fair share of royalties from any books we publish. The details of royalties and payment frequency will be contained in the contract you receive if we decide to make an offer to publish your book.

Our Business Model

We are a traditional publisher. We will never ask you to pay towards the publication of your book. We believe that publishers should pay authors for their work, not the other way around!

A Question of Copyright

Submitting your manuscript to us for consideration does not affect the copyright of your work. Any publishing offer that you receive will include a contract that outlines the copyright licensing framework we propose and this can be further discussed prior to finalising the publishing agreement.

Production time

It usually takes a minimum of twelve months from the acceptance of a manuscript to the date of publication, and timeframes can be longer than this depending on the book. Any offer of publication will include information on the place of your book in our publishing programme roster as well as the timeframe for bringing the book to market.

Submission of Hardcopy Manuscript

Please submit your hard copy submission to:
Downingfield Press
PO Box 92
FAWKNER VIC 3060

Submission of Electronic Manuscript

Electronic submissions should be emailed to mail@downingfield.com (see button below) with both the cover letter and manuscript attached to the email.