Resources for Authors

  • Here you’ll find guidelines and other information you’ll need as you move closer to publishing your book.

The Author Guide will help you prepare your manuscript and ensure a smooth publication process.

Download Permissions and Agreements Forms

Please submit applicable forms and worksheets to your editor with your manuscript.

Use this spreadsheet to track all illustrations and log all copyrighted material in your book including necessary credit lines.

Send this agreement when quoting from or reproducing copyrighted materials.

Send this agreement when requesting permission to use photos or art.

Send this agreement to any interviewees.

Send this agreement to any other contributors to your book.

Manuscript Preparation Quick Tips

Please submit your manuscript as a single MS Word or RTF (rich text format) file. Do NOT use any desktop publishing system or other program (e.g., InDesign, MS Pages, MS Publisher, MS Excel, etc.) unless under specific instructions from your editor.

Number the pages consecutively in basic Arabic numbers (1,2,3) when you have completed your final draft. On your manuscript’s title page, go to the Insert menu, select Insert Page Numbers, and choose “Top of Page” as its position. Pages will automatically be numbered consecutively.

When quoting from or reproducing copyrighted materials, you must obtain permission from copyright holders if your use exceeds the boundaries of “fair use.”

Generally (but with exceptions), a sentence or two from a chapter-length prose text would be fair use, as would an extract up to 300 words from a book-length prose text.

Standard publishing agreements, including ours, specify that authors must (1) acquire all necessary permissions, (2) provide copies of granted permissions, and (3) pay fees required by the copyright holder. Therefore, we recommend that you borrow only those copyrighted materials most valuable to your work.

Detailed information regarding permissions requirements can be found in the Author Guidelines. Permissions forms can be downloaded here and here.

Recognize the stylistic drawbacks of intensively citing sources and naming their authors in your text. The writing style we prefer invites moderation in the use of source notes. Writers should limit notes to direct quotations and specific empirical findings. Opinions and accepted beliefs do not need references.

If you need additional guidance for citations, see the Author Guide or ask your acquisitions editor.

ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman prefers Chicago notes and bibliography style and Chicago author-date style. Note that the primary differences between the two styles are in the order of the elements. Please do NOT use a mixture of the two documentation styles. APA and MLA styles may also be used if consistent throughout.


Images will be printed in black and white. Please ensure that captions and any descriptive text regarding the figure do not include color descriptors.

All figures and tables should be numbered and titled and should have a reference within the text unless otherwise specified by your acquisitions editor or the managing editor.

Text boxes should have numbers, titles, and specific references in the text if they are directly related to the text. Ancillary text boxes may have titles but do not need numbers or text references.

Do not embed photos, images, or artwork directly into your manuscript file.

Use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), 17th edition, as your primary style guide.

Use Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (MW), 11th edition, as your primary dictionary.
(MW overrules CMS on spelling and hyphenation where they are in conflict.)

Use Garner’s Modern American Usage (Garner) as your primary reference for questions of usage not addressed in CMS. (CMS overrules Garner where they are in conflict.)

We are dedicated to acquiring and creating content that reflects the unique experiences and backgrounds of librarianship. We want readers, library staff, and patrons to feel empowered by the written word and reflected in the books and content that we publish. As you develop your manuscript, consider how diversity and inclusion touch your topic.

Ready to Submit Your Manuscript?

Congratulations! Submitting your manuscript, figures and tables, author questionnaire, and necessary forms is the next step toward a published book.

Our handy Checklist will help you compile a final manuscript and any related materials.

The Author Questionnaire provides us with all necessary contact information and will help us in marketing your book. Download and submit this with your final manuscript.

  • File Submission

Your manuscript and supporting materials should be submitted in electronic format to your editor. Please consult with your editor about how best to transmit.

What happens next?

  • Your acquisitions editor will ensure that everything has been received, including your manuscript, any art/figures, any required permissions forms, and your author questionnaire.
  • A transmittal meeting will be held, where key staff will discuss such matters related to your book as the schedule, marketing, and promotions, and your manuscript will be turned over to production staff.
  • Marketing will finalize your title, cover design, catalog and website promotional copy, and prepare a marketing plan.
  • Production will review the manuscript and send you a preliminary schedule and introduce you to your project manager or copy editor.
  • Production staff will walk you through remaining stages to get your book printed.

Royalties FAQs

Royalties are paid twice a year in April and October. You’ll receive a payment and statement in April for sales from September – February and in October for sales from March – August. You must reach a minimum balance of $20.00 before your royalties will be paid. You will still receive a statement showing your sales and accrued royalties even if you’re not receiving a payment.

Royalties are paid by either check or direct deposit.

Before your royalty payment can be processed, we need a complete W9 with your current address and if you’d like to use direct deposit, a complete ACH Authorization form. If you haven’t already completed those, you can download the documents here: [KIT – do you want a description of who needs to fill out w8s?]

Blank Form W9
Blank Form W8
Blank ACH Authorization Form

Please reach out to our Operations Manager by emailing Kit Curl or calling him at 312-280-2426. Please let us know as soon as possible if you change any of your contact information, and we will update our system so you can continue to receive accurate and timely correspondence from ALA.

To receive your royalty payments via direct deposit, complete this form and return it via secure fax line to 312-280-5275 or via mail to:

American Library Association
225 N. Michigan Ave.
Attn: Royalties
Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601

Yes, ALA will provide a 1099 for all royalties paid in the previous calendar year within the timeframe required by US law. Currently, the IRS requires 1099s to be mailed by January 31st.

Yes, you will still receive a statement showing your lifetime sales and $0.00 in accrued royalties even if you’re not receiving a payment.

To transfer a deceased author’s payment to another person or organization, you must provide proof that you are the executor of the deceased’s estate. This could include documents such as a will or a letter from an attorney. Please email Kit Curl or call 312-280-2426.​

Purchases of ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman products fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide.

ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman
American Library Association
225 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601

  • Fax: 312-280-5275