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How to get a publishing offer

We give advice on how to get a publishing offer and find the necessary financial means to get into print. 

Things might be overwhelming in the beginning: Where to publish? How to publish without having the seemingly necessary contacts? Or without having the financial means that a publication often costs? Under these circumstances, publishing quickly becomes an exclusive activity. In the following, we’ll give you some advice on how to get a publishing offer and find the necessary financial means to get into print. 

Zum Artikel: Wie erhält man ein Verlagsangebot?

There are many publishers, journals and series. The best way to find out which place of publication is the most suitable for you is to talk to people you trust, such as your supervisors and friends. Also, student associations and libraries are good places to get first hand information about which journal is relevant in your discipline. You are also welcome to contact us; we will then try to find a contact for you. For a list of non-corporate publishers that also publish academic books and journals, click here (Article in German). 

Once you have found a publisher whose program seems to be fit, the next step is to ask for a publishing offer.

Which documents should you supply?

As a rule of thumb, submit the following documents for the application:

  • A short letter of motivation,
  • the complete manuscript,
  • and the reviews (in case of your PhD thesis).

Through the editorial office you will find out what additional information the publisher needs in order to make an offer. If you have not received an answer after a few weeks, go ahead and ask. You may want to call them directly to discuss any questions you may have. The editorial offices can usually be reached by phone. Information on who to contact can often be found directly on the publisher’s website.

The publisher’s offer. What to pay attention to!

The publisher prepares the offer on the basis of your publication information: How many pages does the manuscript have? Are there illustrations? Are they to be printed in color? Is a hardcover planned? Do you already have funding, e.g. via your institution? Have you applied for external funding or are you planning to apply for it? It is your right to obtain a written offer from a publisher stating the conditions under which the publication can be realized. You also have the right to compare this offer with other offers; you are not bound to any offer until the contract is signed.

Once you have decided on an offer, the actual negotiation process begins, which varies depending on the size of the publishing house. Ask the editorial staff about the timeline, costs, and financing options. Often publishers have different financing options and information about funding opportunities. You can find more information here on our website (e.g. about the printing cost subsidy). Finally, it is important to have a contract sent to you after consultation, on the basis of which the publication is to be published and the conditions set out in it.