Book proposals may be mailed or emailed (in PDF or MS WORD format) to the appropriate LSU Press acquisitions editor. Please allow two to three weeks for review of your proposal and a response from your editor.

LSU Press is no longer accepting fiction proposals.

Prospective Authors

What We Publish
Submitting a Proposal
Revising One’s Dissertation
Art Submission Guidelines

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
  • Foodways
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Literary studies
  • Louisiana archaeology
  • Louisiana history and culture
  • Media studies
  • Poetry
  • Roots Music
  • Southern environmental history
  • Southern history
  • Southern social justice issues
  • World War II

Click here for a list of series.

Submitting a Proposal

Please also review the submissions procedure preferred by the ACQUISITIONS EDITOR who best fits your topic before submitting a proposal.

Poetry proposals should include a cover letter, a one-page summary of the work, few sample poems from the work, and a current resume or curriculum vitae.

Proposals for everything except 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.

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. Sample materials will not be returned unless a suitable self-addressed stamped mailer is included. 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. 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.