Prospective Authors

What We Publish
Submitting a Proposal
Revising One’s Dissertation

What We Publish

LSU Press is one of the oldest and most prestigious academic publishers in the South. In addition to scholarly monographs, we also publish general interest books about Louisiana and the South.

Areas of interest include:

African American studies
American history
Atlantic World history
Caribbean history
Civil War studies
Environmental studies
Fan studies
Landscape Architecture
Literary Fiction (two titles a year)
Literary studies
Louisiana archaeology
Louisiana history and culture
Media studies
Roots Music
Southern environmental history
Southern history
Southern social justice issues
World War II

Click here for a list of series.

Our Acquisitions Editors

Rand Dotson • Executive Editor
Southern History, Atlantic World History, Southern Roots Music

Margaret Lovecraft • Acquisitions Editor
Louisiana and regional general interest; environmental studies; landscape architecture

James W. Long • Acquisitions Editor
literary studies, media studies, foodways, fiction

Jenny Keegan • Assistant Acquisitions Editor
Fan studies, Caribbean history, contemporary social justice/civil rights issues in the South

Send inquiries for all other subject areas or any questions to:

MK Callaway
LSU Press
338 Johnston Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Submitting a Proposal

Please review the submissions procedure preferred by the acquisitions editor who best fits your topic before submitting a proposal.

Proposals for everything except fiction and poetry should include a cover letter, working title, table of contents, sample chapters, information about competitive titles, and a resume or curriculum vitae. Please also include a rough total word count, including notes and bibliography, and information about proposed art, if any.

Read about proposals for general interest books here.

Fiction proposals should include a cover letter, a one-page summary of the work, a brief sample from the work, and a current resume. Poetry proposals should include a cover letter, 4–5 sample pages from the manuscript, and a current resume. LSU Press does not accept fiction publication inquires via email.

In short, give as much information as is useful to help us evaluate your proposal, but do not send the entire manuscript at this stage. Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope if you would like your sample materials returned to you. Please note that due to the high volume of submissions we receive, it may take up to two months before we respond to your proposal.

If we wish to consider your proposal further, we will ask to see the entire manuscript. Print it in standard manuscript form: 8 ½ x 11–inch paper, one-inch margins, printed on one side only, all text doublespaced (including excerpts, footnotes, and bibliography). If your manuscript has illustrations, include photocopies of representative art but do not send original illustrations (photographs, negatives, etc.). Be sure to keep a copy of your manuscript.

Initially the manuscript will be considered in-house. If we agree that the work has potential for our list, we will notify you and send the manuscript to outside anonymous readers for review. The review process normally takes four to six months. All positively reviewed manuscripts must be approved by the University Press Committee before we can proceed toward publication.

Revising One’s Dissertation

LSU Press does not consider unrevised Ph.D. dissertations. Considerable differences exist between a dissertation and a book, and even the best dissertation will need to be revised before being accepted for publication. Most commonly, scholars seeking to publish their revised dissertations will need to do the following:

Eliminate or drastically reduce the “review of scholarly literature” section. While a standard feature of dissertations, such a review is superfluous in a book. You are no longer writing for your committee in fulfillment of degree requirements; you are writing as an authority on your chosen subject matter. Cite to appropriate authorities in the notes, not the text.
Pare down the notes, and eliminate discursive notes. Most dissertations have roughly twice as many notes as necessary. Again, you are now the authority. As such, exhaustive notation is overly defensive, not proof of sound scholarship.
Likewise, pare down and streamline your bibliography.
Weed out “scaffolding.” Many dissertations are highly structured: authors might begin each chapter with a statement of what is going to be argued and conclude with a statement of what has been argued, or they might divide each chapter into excessive headings and subheadings. Recast your manuscript to improve its narrative flow.
Cut, cut, cut. At every possible turn, tighten your prose. Sharpen your argument. Trust your readers to remember what has gone earlier in the text. Repetition and wordiness only weaken a manuscript.
Eliminate irrelevant detail.

Prospective authors may find the following books helpful in the revision process:

Derricourt, Robin. An Author’s Guide to Scholarly Publishing. Princeton: Princeton
     University Press, 1996.

Germano, William. From Dissertation to Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,

———. Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about
     Serious Books.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Harman, Eleanor, et al., eds. The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time Academic
2nd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.

Luey, Beth. Handbook for Academic Authors, 4th ed. New York: Cambridge University
     Press, 2002.

———, ed. Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors. Berkeley:
     University of California Press, 2004.