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IOP Science

Preparing an ebook proposal

At IOP Publishing, we want to take your ebook idea from conception to reality. We are here to guide you every step of the way.

A well-designed ebook proposal is an effective tool to convey why the ebook you intend to write will make an impact in the scientific community. Your proposal should provide an overview of the ebook, including a technical description, intended readership, approach, features, and the overall aim and scope. We have a proposal form, designed to enable authors to provide a full description of the intended work and facilitate the reviewing and assessment process.

There are various reviews throughout the assessment and publishing process including at the proposal and draft manuscript stages,  all of which serve as independent critical steps in publishing a successful ebook.

Reviewers will be reading your proposal to identify strengths and weaknesses of the proposed project. It is therefore important your proposal describes the intended ebook and its market clearly. Some of the most important aspects reviewers are asked to comment on include:

  • Has the author properly assessed a need for this ebook and addressed it with quality, clarity, and organization of the material presented?
  • What is the technical level of this ebook?
  • Is the author’s coverage of the topic adequate?
  • What are strengths of the proposed ebook? What are weaknesses of this proposed ebook and how can we improve and strengthen this work?
  • Is the author qualified to write this ebook?
  • Is the author aware of any competing books and made clear how their ebook will differentiate itself from the others?

Technical description

While you are preparing your ebook proposal, it is important to communicate exactly what your ebook will do for the reader. After you have clearly identified the market and audience, try to express a broad overview of the ebook’s features, the purpose of the ebook, and what the reader will learn by reading your ebook. Consider the ebook’s approach, coverage, and organization and how these aspects demonstrate its value.

Key features

Communicating and highlighting the key features of your ebook throughout your proposal is critical. What makes your ebook a valuable resource? Perhaps you’re using a simplified approach to an otherwise difficult subject area, or you have included extensive tables and figures, software code, worked examples or case studies. If your ebook has textbook potential, consider including chapter summaries, appendices, or end-of-chapter problems with a solutions manual. Well thought-out features can make a dramatic impact on the final product.


Identifying competition is essential. Not only will we better determine and understand the market for your ebook, but you will also have the opportunity to discuss what distinguishes your ebook from the rest. How your ebook differs from the existing books in the area will be a focal point in our marketing and distribution strategy for your title.


Your proposal will be assessed by our editorial staff and also by independent subject specialists from around the world to gain insight on the content and structure of your publication on a global level. Feedback from reviewers and readers is used not only to assess the quality of proposal or manuscript, but to provide constructive feedback to allow IOP to work with you to develop and maximize the potential of your ebook.