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Author Center: Writing for Human Kinetics

At Human Kinetics, our mission is to increase the knowledge, enhance the performance, and improve the health and fitness of all people around the globe by developing and delivering authoritative information about physical activity and sport. We publish books, ebooks, continuing education courses, journals, web textbooks, online instructional materials, videos, and more. Feel free to browse our website and explore our subject areas, titles, and types of products.

To achieve our publishing goals, we help our authors write the best content possible, create well-designed products, and market them worldwide. The publishing process is a collaboration with our authors, and we strive to make it enjoyable and rewarding as we do our best to serve you.

Our experienced acquisitions editors conceptualize most of our products and recruit the best authors to bring them to life. However, we also receive numerous inquiries, proposals, and manuscripts each year. If you have an idea for a project you'd like HK to consider, please follow the steps below. (For journal submissions, visit the Author Resources section of our journals page.) You can also view our FAQ of frequently asked questions from authors.

Inquiry

Whether your idea is for a traditional book, a digital product, a course, or something else, please don't send us a full manuscript or detailed proposal right away. Instead, send a summary of your idea, along with a table of contents (if appropriate) and the intended audience. (See "Submitting to HK" at the bottom of this page.)

We'll review your materials to see if the idea is a good fit for us. Then we'll respond to let you know whether we'd like to see a full proposal; if so, follow the guidelines below.

Basic Proposal Information

If we ask you for a full proposal, how should you prepare it? Start by providing the following basic information about the project:

  • Name, address, and email of each author
  • Phone numbers (office/home/cell) and when it's best to call
  • Working title
  • Whether the project will be authored or edited (if you're not sure, we'll make a recommendation)
  • Which HK division is the best fit for the project:
    • The Academic Division publishes textbooks and resources for the K-12 and collegiate markets and reference books for teachers, professors, administrators, and professionals.
    • The Trade and Professional Division publishes a wide range of resources for coaches, athletes, trainers, instructors, and strength, fitness, and health professionals.

Project Specifications

Next, do your best to estimate the project specifications:

  • Estimated number of typed, double-spaced manuscript pages based on 300 words per page. Include references in this number, but do not include photos, illustrations, or tables. In general, for an 8.5 x 11 book, two manuscript pages equal one typeset page.
  • Estimated number of photos, illustrations (art, diagrams, flowcharts), and tables
  • Whether the project will have online ancillaries, such as videos, an instructor guide, a web study guide for students, assessments, slides, and so on
  • Estimated date you will submit the first complete draft, including a list of the proposed photos and illustrations. (Don't include ancillaries in this draft; those will be submitted later.)

Preface

If your proposal is for a traditional book, include a preface (4 to 10 typed, double-spaced pages) that describes the book. Don't write a preface to convince HK of the need to publish the book. Instead, write it to the intended readers, and make it interesting and informative. We review the preface not only to determine the proposed content of the book but also to get a sense of your writing skills. The preface should address the following:

  • Clear statement of purpose (who the book is written for, the need for it, and how your book meets this need)
  • Scope of the book (the breadth and depth of content)
  • Explanation of how and why the book is organized as it is
  • Benefits of the book to the reader (why should they read it?)
  • Any unique features of the book (with a few specific examples)

If you send us an inquiry about a project other than a traditional book and we ask for a full proposal, we'll explain what sort of description to write in place of a preface.

Contents

Prepare a comprehensive table of contents for your proposal. Include chapter numbers and titles, grouped into parts if necessary. For each chapter, write a paragraph or two describing the content or an outline of the major sections.

If you have already written part of the content, submit it with your proposal. Otherwise, submit a sample that reflects your writing skills for the type of project proposed.

Audience

Identify the audiences who you think will be interested in reading or using the product. Please be as specific and realistic as possible. For example, audience groups might include exercise physiologists, fitness instructors, elementary physical education teachers, athletic directors, dance teachers, high school volleyball coaches, and more. But it would be unrealistic for any one book or product to appeal to all of these specific groups.

Competition

Review the potential competition so we can work together to ensure that your product will stand out. Please identify the author, title, publisher, date of publication, and price of any other book or product that may compete with your proposed idea. For each one, briefly describe what it does well or poorly and how yours will differ.

Qualifications

Finally, summarize your qualifications for writing your project. Don't consider this part of the proposal as boasting. The credibility and qualifications of an author or editor are vital in our decision about whether to accept a proposal.

Your summary should include any direct connections you have to your audience. For instance, note any media efforts (podcasts, websites, TV or radio segments, etc.) and any related social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) where you can promote the product to your followers.

Please attach a curriculum vita or resume for each author or editor.

Submitting to HK

Whether you're sending us an initial inquiry or a full proposal, here's how to do it.

By email: acquisitions@hkusa.com

By postal mail:
Acquisitions c/o Human Kinetics
P.O. Box 5076
Champaign, IL 61825-5076