General Guidelines

Before you submit your proposal, familiarize yourself with Seal Press and its publications. Browse our site and look at the types of books we publish and the subjects we cover. Note that we publish with an emphasis on original, lively, radical, empowering, and culturally diverse nonfiction that addresses contemporary issues from a women’s perspective. Note: Seal Press is not acquiring fiction at this time.

Do not send your full manuscript for consideration. Please send either a query letter or a proposal with a small writing sample. Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions we receive, we cannot field phone calls or emails about individual submissions. Please allow 6–8 weeks for a response.

Submissions can be sent to us at the following address:

Acquisitions Editor
Seal Press
1700 4th Street
Berkeley, California 94710

What does Seal Press look for in a proposal?

We are always interested in connecting with qualified writers and hearing about new projects. You can help us assess whether your project would be a good fit for Seal Press by including the following components in your book proposal:

Project overview. Be sure to include a working title for your project. Provide a general description of your book (25 words or less). Be sure to answer: what is its mission, purpose, or overall concept? In addition, provide a table of contents and an outline with summaries/descriptions of each chapter. Let us know the current status of your project. (Is it completed? If not, when do you expect to complete it? What is its anticipated length?)

Writing sample. Include a representative sample of your writing. For a single-author book, include your introduction or first chapter. If you are proposing an anthology, include your introduction, proposed call for submissions, and a representative sampling of contributions. We are most concerned with getting a sense of your voice and style, and will request more writing when we need it.

Research the competition. What books have already been published on this topic? Refer to specific authors and titles. What, specifically, sets your proposed book apart from each of its potential competitors? Does it approach the subject from a different angle, include new coverage of the topic, or have some other element that will be irresistible to buyers?

Tell us about your platform. What are you doing regularly to build that platform? How will you help us to reach your followers, your target audience? This section of your proposal is just as important as the writing itself.

Target audience. Whom do you see as the audience or audiences for your book? (Try to think of at least three.) What specifically would appeal to them about your book? What questions does it answer, or what needs does it fulfill, for this audience?

Marketing strategy. How would your book’s potential audience(s) best be reached? What publications do they read? What television or radio shows do they watch/listen to? What experience do you have with public readings/public speaking? Do you regularly speak to audiences on topics related to your book’s subject? Do you write a regular column for a newspaper, magazine, or website? Let us know about any contacts, affiliations, or associations you belong to that will enable you to help promote the book after it is published.

Author biography. Tell us about yourself and your background. Include a copy of your current resume or CV, and provide detailed information about your previous publications. Why do you think that you are the person to write this book? If you are proposing an anthology, what makes you particularly qualified to serve as an editor, and what makes your contributors particularly qualified to write about this subject?

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