American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

Guidelines for Submitting Book Proposals to APHA

Roles and guidelines

The APHA Press program relies on all parties following roles for the creation and production of the books as well as APHA Press writing guidelines. Multiple author and editor roles are found here , the single author role here, and the role of the APHA Publications Board Liaison is here.


APHA publishing prospectus Guidelines
for submitting book proposals to the APHA Press

 The book prospectus process typically involves three steps: an informal inquiry, a prospectus, and a contract. A prospectus for books should be submitted to the Publications Board in the form of a “Prospectus,” a 1000-1200-word description of the project containing the information found below. 


Step 1 – an informal inquiry

To help authors get to the prospectus stage a short inquiry about the book should be sent to the Director of Publications or to  This inquiry must be sent via email and include a few paragraphs describing the book, the lead authors, and their current positions, and why the book is an important addition to the public health literature.  This inquiry will be reviewed by the Publications Board who may have questions or recommendations that will help guide authors to create a complete prospectus. Authors can expect a response by the Publications Board in about a month.


Step 2 - the prospectus

The prospectus should include the following:


Authors and Contributors

·         Names, affiliations, and addresses of the lead authors/editors.

·         The names affiliations and addresses of the proposed contributors if the book will have multiple authors. An indication of whether or not the proposed contributors have been contacted and have agreed to write the chapter as specified in the outline.


Reason for the book

Provide a clear and precise statement of the public health topic or issue to be addressed and why it is pertinent, timely, and worthy of publication.  Please assess how the proposed publication would fit into the existing literature on the same or related topics and what it might add to this literature.


Please provide:

·         A proposed table of contents or outline of contents including a few sentences under each chapter heading summarizing the main theme of each chapter

·         An estimated timetable for the completion of the work

·         Short resumes of lead authors/editor

·         For the lead author of each chapter provide a 100 word biosketch summarizing their qualifications as relevant to the theme of the proposed collection


About your book

Please provide a description of your book in no more than 150 words. This may form the basis of the copy that will appear on the book’s cover and in publicity materials. Please therefore explain as clearly as possible what is important about your book, and how it differs from other treatments of the subject.


Key features

Please describe the key features of your book and explain how they will benefit its readers. Please list at least three.


Competing literature

Please list any books in the same topical area as the one you are proposing.


Marketing your book

Please identify who your book is written for and provide substantial information on who the likely buyers will be – for example, associations, institutions, professors, heath care professionals, etc.


Special sales

Your book may have sales potential outside the traditional bookshop, library and academic markets.  Please list any institutions, training companies or business organizations that might be interested in making a bulk purchase.  In our experience, these sales are most successful where we are given specific contact details. Please append any additional details to this document if required


To which APHA sections do you belong?

£      Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

£      Chiropractic Health Care

£      Community Health Planning and Policy Development

£      Disability

£      Environment

£      Epidemiology

£      Food and Nutrition

£      Gerontological Health

£      Health Administration

£      HIV/AIDS

£      Injury Control and Emergency Services

£      International Health

£      Maternal and Child Health

£      Medical Care

£      Mental Health

£      Occupational Health and Safety

£      Oral Health

£      Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health

£      Public Health Education and Health Promotion

£      Public Health Nursing

£      Podiatric Health

£      School Health Education and Services

£      Social Work

£      Statistics

£      Vision Care

£      Student Assembly

 Attach a short resume of lead authors/editors

In addition, the following attachment should be included: For each lead author or editor, a four to six page resume is requested, including (1) relevant education, (2) a short description of the most relevant background experiences for the subject area of the prospectus, and (3) citation details of substantial number of relevant publications by the lead authors/editors. Please note that six pages is the maximum resume length per person. (Resume word count is not included in the 1,200 word limit noted above.) These short resumes are not required for authors of specific chapters if the authors are not a lead author/editor for the project but a 100-word biosketch is required.


Policy on expenses

It should be noted that it is not APHA policy to compensate authors or editors for their time and efforts. However, APHA has a modest budget to cover approved expenses. Approved expenses are those incurred in the preparation of a manuscript, such as costs for photocopying, telephone calls, mail, office supplies, etc. These items should be budgeted in consultation with the APHA Director of Publications.


Submitting the prospectus

Before submitting the prospectus the lead author/editors are requested to check that all questions have been addressed and the resumes are included. A Prospectus may be submitted to the Publications Board at any time by e-mailing a Word document directly to Nina Tristani (, Director of Publications, American Public Health Association.


Review and principal ppproval

A preliminary review of the Prospectus is conducted by the Director of Publications. If all items have been fully addressed, the Prospectus is forwarded to all members of the Publications Board for review. If the Prospectus is incomplete (see above), then the Director of Publications will return it to the authors, requesting that it be revised and resubmitted. In some instances a prospectus might be sent for review to 2-3 individuals who are not Publication Board members but are experts in the topical area of the prospectus.


All completed prospectuses are discussed and voted on at the next semi-annual meeting of the Board or via a conference call involving Board members. After full discussion, decisions by the Board on a Prospectus may include: rejecting the prospectus, requesting more information to facilitate a decision, or accepting the prospectus. The second or third option may include a request for a few draft sample chapters or revision/elaboration of the outline. Decisions by the Board on a completed Prospectus can be expected in three months.


Acceptance of a prospectus is conditional upon the lead author providing a sample chapter, or some substantive sample of the writing for this product to be reviewed by the Director of Publications and several Board members. Also, in projects where there are multiple contributors the lead author/editor is asked to confirm the willingness of all authors to participate prior to acceptance of the prospectus.


If the Publications Board accepts the prospectus, the Director of Publications will notify the lead author/editor of the decision either to request further information and materials or to go forward with the project.


If the decision is to go forward, a Publisher’s Agreement and Copyright Transfer agreement will be forwarded for the appropriate signatures, and the stipulated the responsibilities of authors and editors will go into effect (see next paragraph).


Manuscript development

The authors/editors are responsible for the final development of the manuscript, but will receive assistance from a member of the Board appointed to serve as primary liaison between the Board and the lead authors/editors. If the Board believes that additional expertise is needed, the Board and liaison may seek consultation from an appropriate expert not on the Publications Board.   The expert may review portions of the prospectus or the entire prospectus.  Any information give to an outside expert will be provided confidentially. The role of the liaison is to review the manuscript in draft form and suggest substantive changes in order to strengthen and streamline the final product.


In most cases, the editorial style of APHA books should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style.  This manual may be purchased from any university or specialty bookstore. However, if the contributing authors/editors or the targeted audience are more accustomed to a different reference style (AMA, APA), APHA is willing to discuss alternatives, and lead authors/editors should contact the APHA Book Production Coordinator.


Another essential document to consult in the writing of the work is the “Guidelines for Authors and Editors of APHA Book Projects.” The Guidelines for Authors and Editors will be sent to authors/editors once the project is approved. Editors should share the appropriate guidelines promptly with the contributors.


Final review and final approval

When the authors/editors judge their work to be complete, they present the fully developed manuscript to the liaison that conducts a final review and may make changes and, if appropriate, recommends publication of the manuscript to the Chair of the Publications Board and the Director of Publications.


The Chair of the Publications Board accepts or rejects the recommendation. The Director of Publications conducts a final publisher’s review and reserves the right to initiate revisions with the authors/editors before confirming that the manuscript is ready to be published. If for any reason the Publications Board finds it is unable to approve final publication, the material will be returned to the author.


Looking ahead: editing and production

During the production process the authors/editors will work closely with the APHA Director of Publications and the Book Production Coordinator. All manuscripts are copyedited for grammatical correctness, clarity, consistency, and adherence to Chicago style. Authors/editors will be asked to answer outstanding queries before the manuscript is set in type. They will also be asked to proofread galleys and check pages.



Step 3 – the contract

The Director of Publications will prepare a contract.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact David Hartogs, Senior marketing manager.

We value and appreciate your interest in publishing with APHA Press!



APHA holds the copyright to all new books. Authors/editors are responsible for obtaining permission for their use of material copyrighted elsewhere, such as previously published tables, figures, and graphics and reference to journal articles.