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Book Proposals



Book Proposal Fast Facts

AAIDD publications are geared to a professional audience and are designed to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and practice in the field of IDD. AAIDD:

  • Welcomes submissions on a variety of topics of interest to professionals in the field of IDD.
  • Publishes works with an evidence-base, including scholarly works, practice-oriented works, textbooks, training materials, reference works, guidebooks, and assessment tools.
  • Does not publish fiction, poetry, memoirs, materials intended for a general audience, collections of previously-published materials, general conference proceedings, master's theses, or doctoral dissertations.
  • Accepts book proposals on a rolling basis and publishes 3-4 titles a year.
Person Reading a Book

Book Proposal Guidelines


Proposals must contain vital information about the book, establish a clear rationale or purpose for publication, and describe how the author will accomplish that purpose. The proposal must demonstrate that the author has sufficient expertise in the subject and enough comprehensive, valid material to justify a book, rather than a journal article. Features that make the book unique should be described.

The information should be succinct, yet comprehensive enough for a thorough review. Even if the author submits a full manuscript, they also should submit a book proposal that describes the book’s purpose, the potential audience for the book, and the author’s qualifications to write the book. If these guidelines are not followed, the author will be asked to revise and resubmit.

Proposal Elements

The proposal itself should be no longer than six pages, addressing the following:

  • List the names and affiliations of authors and editors, if a collective work.
  • Description of the work, including its type  (textbook, practice manual, edited collected work, curriculum, etc.), subject, target audience, rationale or purpose of the work and its benefit to the field, estimated length of the manuscript, estimated timetable for completion, and description of any anticipated artwork, tables, or figures to be included in the work.
  • Description of the author's or editor's expertise in the subject matter, evidence that they have enough comprehensive, valid material to justify a book (rather than a journal article), and any features that make the book unique.
  • Assessment of the market for the work, including an estimate of the size of the target audience, the current competing works for this audience on the proposed subject, and a description of how the proposed book will be superior or different.
  • An outline or draft table of contents for the work that is sufficient to convey the proposed flow and major points to be covered in the work. If the book is intended to be a collective work, provide the names and chapters of the prospective authors.

The following additional materials (not included in the six-page limit above) should be provided:

  • An introductory chapter or sample of the author's recent work to evaluate their writing style and the skill with which the subject is likely to be developed.
  • Curriculum vitae or resumes of authors or editors.


Submit the proposal and additional materials by email to with “Book Proposal” in the subject line. Proposals must be in 12-point type, double-spaced, and in Microsoft Word. 

Next Steps

Authors will receive an email acknowledgement of their submission. The proposal will be evaluated to determine the extent to which the proposal would produce a work appropriate for the AAIDD catalogue at the current time. The evaluation considers whether the proposal 

  • Demonstrates a significant contribution to the field
  • Is innovative, of professional significance, and of broad interest in the field
  • Appears to have a sufficient potential audience
  • Contains timely material
  • Contains subject matter relating to AAIDD priorities
  • Meets AAIDD standards for presentation
  • Is readable, consistent, conceptually clear, and precise 
  • Is duplicative of existing works 

Should a proposal be accepted, a contract regarding the expected work will be drawn up. Potential authors are cautioned that AAIDD reserves the right to terminate the agreement if the final manuscript does not accurately reflect the proposal or is not delivered at a time or in a condition agreed upon.

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