TCU Press: Author Guidelines



TCU Press Author Guidelines


TCU Press publishes fourteen to sixteen titles each year, approximately half in the spring and half in the fall. Our list focuses on titles related to Texas, the American West, and Latin America. The press has a particular interest in women's studies, border studies, and biography.



TCU Press is at heart an academic press; therefore, most non-fiction requires thorough documentation and bibliography.



TCU Press publishes original regional literary fiction but does not consider genre fiction nor manuscripts that are clearly suited to a commercial publishing house. TCU Press reprints classic Texas novels in its Texas Tradition Series.



The editors at TCU Press generally follow guidelines in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. After a manuscript is accepted, authors should consult with TCU Press staff about in-house style.


How to Submit

E-mail query letters and/or proposals to the Press at Non-fiction proposals should include a letter describing the project, a table of contents, introduction, and sample. For fiction, please send a plot synopsis and a short sample. Simultaneous submissions are not encouraged. We send out prospectuses to professional readers and we aim to send them blind. Therefore, please do not put your name on every page of the prospectus or manuscript. Listing your name on the title page is sufficient.


The Manuscript

The press requires an electronic version of the manuscript that can be read in Microsoft Word Version 12.2.5 (2007). Please do not submit in any other word processing application. On the disk, please name the files in order: Ch01, Ch02, etc. Create a separate file each for bibliography, front matter, notes, appendices, etc. Please provide a list of files and their titles. Front matter includes title page, dedication, epigraph, contents, list of illustrations or tables, preface, acknowledgments, and introduction or foreword. Back matter includes notes, bibliography, appendices, index, and/or glossary. Manuscripts must be double-spaced (including indented quotations, epigraphs, captions, notes, and bibliography), with one-inch margins top and bottom, and 1-1/4-inch margins left and right.


To accelerate the editorial process, please adhere to following the protocol:

  • Do not attempt to “design” your manuscript. In order to import word processing documents into page layout programs, the manuscript must be as clean and straight forward as possible.
  • Do not use special formatting—justification and proportional letter spacing for example.
  • Do not use boldface.
  •  Do not center title page or headings—type everything flush left, beginning at the top of the page. First line of first paragraph of a chapter is flush left, subsequent paragraphs are indented five spaces (Use tab or paragraph formatting to indent five spaces).
  • Do not use the space bar to indent—Use tab or paragraph formatting to indent five spaces.
  • Do not double space between sentences or after a colon.
  • Do not use embedded footnotes—exporting Word documents into a page layout program strips the embedded notes and someone must then manually enter the notes. This leaves a great deal of room for errors.
  • Do not use on-page footnotes—group all notes by chapter at the end of the manuscript rather than by chapter or on the page.
  • Do not number the pages consecutively throughout the manuscript.

The design of the text and cover is the responsibility of the TCU Press staff. Author suggestions are appreciated, but the final decision rests with the press editors and designers.



Manuscripts are first evaluated in the editorial offices. If a work seems appropriate for our list, it is then sent out to one or more outside reviewers—specialists in the field—who remain anonymous to the author. Readers are asked to recommend for or against publication and to provide, where indicated, specific suggestions on revisions, etc. It is often several weeks before readers' reports are received. If extensive revision is suggested, we may ask authors to make changes before continuing the review process.


When a manuscript is recommended by outside readers, it is presented to the TCU Press Editorial Advisory Board, along with the readers' comments. The board makes the final decision on publication.


Rights and Permissions

Authors are responsible for seeing that manuscripts do not violate copyright laws. Permission is required for use of letters (the author, not the recipient, holds the rights), music or lyrics, poetry, reproductions of artwork, photographs, and illustrations. Signed releases must be obtained from the subjects of interviews. Authors are responsible for securing illustrations and maps, as well as permission for their use. Any related fees are also the responsibility of the author. Copies of all written permissions must be given to TCU Press before a book can be published.


The Index

The index is the author's responsibility; some may want to hire a professional indexer, while others may wish to organize the index themselves. The index must be provided within the time specified in the contract. TCU Press works with a number of highly qualified indexers and will be happy to arrange for a professional index for your work.



TCU Press titles are distributed through a consortium headquartered at Texas A&M University Press and are generally sold in the large chain bookstores, on the Web, in independent bookstores, through the catalog, and by direct mail. Sales representatives carry the books to national and international markets when appropriate. Books are displayed at appropriate major conferences.


You will be asked to be a major part of the promotion of your book—making appearances at conferences and in bookstores, suggesting review media, etc. Our most successful books have been partnerships between the author and the Press, and the author that works the hardest sells the most books.