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Author's Corner

Welcome to our Author's Corner

We are always looking for fresh new ideas to build on our exceptional list of teaching and learning materials. We welcome your feedback on existing titles and your ideas for new textbooks, media projects or online learning materials.

GUIDELINES for Preparing a Proposal and Outline

A good proposal recognizes the competition. It shows that you know the available materials in the area, and it argues that your project will offer a better solution for the market. The proposal also clarifies your project's purpose and scope for our reviewers.


A. University/College Courses: The Primary Target Market

For what course or courses is the project intended? Will it suit college or university courses, or both? Will the project serve as a comprehensive text, as a core text (with additional materials necessary), or as a supplement?

B. Secondary Markets

Is this product suitable for markets outside higher education? If so, which markets: retail bookstores, business, industry or government?

C. Course Background

Describe the typical student who takes the course for which your project is intended (age, major, special needs, etc.)? What are the common prerequisites for the course? Are there prerequisite and curriculum differences between schools? What are the main teaching challenges faced by instructors of the course?

D. Timeliness & Technology

In terms of content coverage, orientation, and teaching practice, how has this course changed in the recent past? What additional changes do you expect in the next two to five years? Specifically, how will your project address these future developments? How has the introduction of new media products and Internet technology changed the way the content of this course is taught?


A. Key Competitors

Name the closest competitors for your proposed text or project (author, title, publisher, edition, and copyright year). What are the key strengths and weaknesses of these competing books and their supplement packages?

B. Advantages Over Competition

How will your book be similar to the competition? What will be the three key features or strengths of your book versus the competition? Briefly, why would instructors choose your book over the competitors you have identified? Provide more detail, as appropriate, in the description of your project below.


A. Purpose

Briefly describe the rationale for writing your project. What teaching problem or current market need does your project most clearly address? How would students and instructors benefit from your approach?

B. Style & Approach

Describe your style of presentation and writing, use of vocabulary, analogies, examples, tables, questions, and answers. Is the treatment succinct or expansive; conceptual or practical? Is it elementary or advanced? Does it rely on understanding or memorization? Is it at the cutting edge or a better restatement of existing knowledge? Please describe whether and how various parts of the learning package are integrated and explain the benefit to the instructor or student.

C. Technology Integration

Will your work make use of computers, interactive CD-ROM, Internet, software, videos, or other electronic or media technologies? Indicate explicitly how the technology elements will be integrated into your project and work as a part of the complete learning package.

D. Pedagogical Features

What outstanding pedagogy features (i.e. boxes, review exercises, cases, organizational tools, icons, etc.) will your project offer? Be sure to state the function of each feature and the benefit to the instructor or student. Describe, too, your ideas for new conceptual and organizational approaches, new perspectives, additional topic coverage, or enhanced applications.

E. Format

How long will the print component be? What will be the proportion of text to graphics, examples, and exercises? Explain how you will use graphics or photographs and how they will help convey the concepts in a unique and thoughtful way. Please be specific.

F. Supplemental Materials

How important are supplemental materials in this course? What supplements should be included in the package? Consider what supplements are available with the competitors you list above. Please indicate specifically how these complement the text and will benefit instructors or students.

G. Detailed Table of Contents

So that we can fully understand the organization of your project, please provide a first draft of the Table of Contents. A detailed TOC enables editors and reviewers to understand how the material fits together and how the chapters will be developed. For each chapter, the TOC should include the main heads, subheads, and a short description of the contents.

Chapter 1. Chapter Title

Following the chapter title, include a brief description – a paragraph or two – of the chapter, its structure and its purpose. You might indicate how the chapter fits in with the rest of the text and what student readers should have learned upon finishing the chapter.

A. First Heading

1. First subheading

2. Second subheading

B. Second Heading, etc., until the chapter is described as fully as possible.


A. Schedule

Is a sample chapter available? If not, when will it be ready? If you have sample chapters available already, please list them. What other materials are available for review? Have any of these materials been class-tested in your course or at any other schools? When do you expect to complete a complete first draft of the manuscript?


A. What to Include

Please send your proposal, outline, and, if possible, a sample chapter or two to the address below. Do not put your name or school on the sample materials because we may send them out for anonymous review. Include your resume or vita with the material (with contact phone numbers and e-mail addresses), and indicate the best way to reach you.

B. Submit by Mail:

Higher Education
Nelson Education
1120 Birchmount Road
Toronto, Ontario
M1K 5G4

C. Submit by email:

Higher Education at