Book Proposal Guidelines

About Plexus Publishing, Inc.

Incorporated in 1977, Plexus Publishing, Inc. was located in Louisville, Kentucky, before moving in 1978 to its current location in Medford, in southern New Jersey. In addition to being a regional book publisher, Plexus publishes practical, popular, and scholarly titles in the fields of biology, ecology, and clinical research. For over 35 years our flagship publication, Biology Digest—a comprehensive abstracts journal covering the life sciences—has been providing current information to more than 3,000 schools, colleges, and libraries.

Regional Book Publishing at Plexus

Our New Jersey regional book program encompasses numerous topics and genres including history, nature and the environment, and travel/tourism. We publish a limited amount of fiction, including original novels and new editions of worthy out-of-print works with regional appeal. We do not publish children’s or YA material, poetry, short stories, or calendars.

Southern New Jersey readers have traditionally been our primary audience, and many of our most successful books have covered (or been set in) South Jersey’s world-famous Pine Barrens and popular Jersey Shore communities such as Atlantic City. We are gradually expanding the program to include books for New Jersey readers statewide and in the Philadelphia area.

Medford Press is an imprint of Plexus Publishing, Inc. Medford Press titles are distributed to the book trade by Independent Publishers Group (IPG).

Our website can be found at  

Please include/address all of the following in your book proposal:

1) Working title and subtitle

2) Synopsis/overview
Describe your book’s topic and how you will approach it, explaining the organization of the book and any special or unique features you will include. If you are proposing a novel, a synopsis should present the plot and characters in 5 double-spaced pages or fewer. In all cases, include an estimated word count.

3) Preliminary Table of Contents

4) Graphics
Include information about any illustrations, photos, charts, graphs, tables, sidebars, screenshots, etc., that you plan to include in the book. If the book is planned as a full-color illustrated work, include 3 sets of representative photographs or illustrations printed in color (6–12 images recommended). Estimate both the number of images that will appear in the book and the number of pages they will represent.

5) Readership and Marketing
Who will buy the book, and why? Include your estimate of the size of the primary markets for the book and suggestions on where/how to reach them (associations, publications, events, websites, etc.). Describe the role you would expect to play in the marketing and promotion of the book. If you have an opinion as to an appropriate price range for the book, let us know.

6) Competition and similar titles
List a few competitive/similar titles and describe some success stories including sales data. Some competition is desirable because it suggests an established market for your book; where there is strong competition, there should be significant and easily expressed differences between your book and its competitors. If you are aware of no similar titles, identify the sources you have searched.

7) Author biography (narrative format); copies of related work
Why are you qualified to write this book? Describe yourself and any applicable writing and professional experience (attach resume or CV if desired). Include a copy of any published article or book you have written that may help us assess your writing ability and fitness for the proposed project. Include an SASE if you wish us to return the material.

8) Timing
When would you deliver a manuscript, assuming an agreement is reached within 30 days of your proposal submission?

9) Sample chapters
Your proposal may be accompanied by the first 3 chapters (or the first 50 or so pages of your manuscript, ending at a chapter break). Do not send the entire manuscript unless requested.

Proposal format and submission instructions

We prefer to receive a printed proposal by mail initially rather than a faxed or emailed document; if we require the proposal in electronic form we will advise you. A one-page cover letter should provide a brief introduction to your work including its working title, a description of the contents of your package, and complete contact information including a phone number and, if you have one, an email address.

Proposals typically run 3–5 pages; length is not important so long as the proposal clearly explains the concept and its viability.

We will attempt to respond to your proposal within 4 weeks of receipt—feel free to contact us if you have heard nothing by this time. Please mail your cover letter and proposal, with SASE if you wish to have materials returned, to:

Rob Colding
Plexus Publishing, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike
Medford , NJ 08055
Phone: 609-654-6500, ext. 330 • fax: 609-654-6760

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