IBM Press proposal guidelines

Download guidelines and proposal form


Thank you for considering IBM Press for your writing project. The first step to writing a book is composing and submitting a publishing proposal. Just as any building cannot be constructed without a blueprint, so a book cannot be written without a proposal.

The proposal serves several purposes. It allows you to define the content and key elements to be covered as you write, providing a framework around which a book is developed. This exercise will give you a better picture of what, why, and for whom you are writing.

The proposal also allows IBM Press and our publishing partner Pearson to make an evaluation of your ideas, providing you with feedback on the direction of your book. Additionally, we will be able to make sure we are in agreement on the scope of the project, offer improvements to the content, and help differentiate your project in a competitive marketplace.

As you are working on your proposal, please keep in mind the audience for this document. First and foremost, the proposal will be read and reviewed by IBM peers and individuals with subject matter expertise. Therefore, the proposal must be technically accurate, while explaining the rationale for your editorial decisions. In particular the table of contents should illustrate the depth and complexity of your discussion.

Additionally, acquisition, marketing, and sales professionals within Pearson will review the proposal. As a result, the tone of the discussion needs to be conversational. Unless necessary, within the proposal, you should avoid complex descriptions and explanations that drill down into a particular facet of a technology. You should simplify explanations when possible and focus on the book’s highlights. Using analogies and examples will also aid the publisher, while providing them with context. This is an important mission as it will affect the way in which your book is perceived. Ultimately, the proposal will be used to generate cover copy, sales sheets, marketing pieces, and web copy. As you are writing your proposal, please keep these uses in mind.

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