Information for Authors & Agents

Submission guidelines, reasons why authors should publish with us, and FAQs

Chicago Review Press works collaboratively with our authors, and we pride ourselves on developing longstanding author-publisher relationships. Our dedicated staff of editing, design, publicity, and marketing professionals is passionate and knowledgeable about books and the industry. We value communication and at every stage of the publishing process we solicit authors' ideas and feedback. Not only do we work hard to create bestselling books, but we also endeavor to make the publishing experience an enjoyable one.

Submission Guidelines

We are interested in publishing high-quality nonfiction that will sell year after year. We look for books with a well-defined, passionate target audience. Chicago Review Press and its imprints publish general nonfiction on a wide range of subjects: 

  • music, film, pop culture
  • history
  • feminism
  • LGBTQ+ interest 
  • true crime
  • outdoor and nature
  • African American history and the Black experience 
  • parenting
  • children's and YA history, science, literature, and art

Before sending us a proposal, it’s a good idea to e-mail a brief query to one of our acquiring editors (see contact information below).

In order to consider your nonfiction book for potential publication, we need to see a proposal that includes the following items:

  • A one sentence summary of your book
  • A brief synopsis of your book in 1–2 paragraphs
  • The estimated word count of the final manuscript
  • The estimated completion date
  • Author biography specifying credentials and past publications credit, where appropriate
  • Approximate sales of previous books published, if any
  • A complete table of contents and/or a complete outline of the proposed chapters
  • A few sample chapters, preferably the first three.
  • For children's activity books, a few sample activities with a list of the others
  • Any information regarding photographs or artwork for the book
  • A description of the target audience and any information about the market
  • A list of competing and comparable titles and how your book differs—be sure to tell us what makes your book unique
Note: We are no longer accepting new fiction proposals.

You can e-mail your nonfiction proposal directly to one of the acquisitions editors listed below:

Jerome Pohlen at jpohlen@chicagoreviewpress.com for popular science, DIY, US history, pop culture, and children’s nonfiction activity books.

Kara Rota at krota@chicagoreviewpress.com for music, film, pop culture, entertainment, feminism, social justice, true crime and narrative nonfiction.

Alicia Sparrow at asparrow@chicagoreviewpress.com for BIPOC histories, interests, and culture; current affairs; nonfiction graphic novels; and for Amberjack, women-focused YA and adult fiction. 

You can find more details about what the acquisitions editors are looking for and their past acquisitions on our website under Acquisitions Editors.

Please do not send a query or proposal to more than one acquisitions editor at Chicago Review Press. We accept proposals from both agents and authors. Simultaneous submissions are OK.

Thank you for considering Chicago Review Press for your book.

What We Publish

Frequently Asked Questions


What does the editorial process consist of?

We typically give each book three edits. The substantive edit often involves a request that you rewrite one or more portions of the book. The line edit usually involves author queries to resolve issues germane to specific passages. And the copyedit is basically a cleanup process to get the book ready for the typesetter.

Will I get to make changes to the copyedit and to first pages?

At the conclusion of the line edit, the manuscript is usually considered final, and we prefer for any further changes to be limited to errors of fact. You will receive a set of first pages to review and correct errors of fact.

Now that my manuscript is finished, who is my main contact?

The book's publicist will be your main contact once the book production process is complete, but you will also be working closely with our marketing department.

What should I focus on after I turn in my manuscript?

Here is a quick checklist; further details are found below.

  • Make sure you have filled out and returned your author questionnaire.
  • Send us a professional author photograph for publicity use.
  • Work with your acquiring editor and the marketing assistant on seeking endorsements for your book's back jacket or cover.
  • Create a book website to promote your book and feel free to solicit help and suggestions from our marketing director.
  • Talk with your agent or acquiring editor about the possibility of selling first serial rights.
  • Discuss with our events contact whether or not book events make sense for your target audience. The ideal date for setting up events is 4–6 months prior to publication.
  • Work on building your author platform and reaching out to your book's target audience via social media. Talk to our marketing team for suggestions.

Will I need to hire a publicist?

No. Your book will be assigned a publicist who will craft a publicity plan, build a list of potential reviewers, write an individual press release, send out galleys and review copies, and follow up with reviewers, all in an effort to garner attention and reviews for your book in print, online, radio, and television as appropriate. See Publicity for more information.

When will I hear from my publicist?

About four to five months prior to the book's publication month, the book's assigned publicist will reach out to you via e-mail or telephone depending upon how you prefer to be contacted. If you have questions prior to that point, you are welcome to contact our Publicity Director at publicity@ipgbook.com or send an e-mail to your acquiring editor with specific questions.

How should I communicate with my publicist?

As we want our publicists to focus their efforts on pitching your book, it is important to be efficient and timely with communications. E-mail is the best method, but phone calls are always accepted.

How long will the publicist work on my book?

The publicist is actively working on your book's publicity campaign for about 6 months (4 months prior to publication and 2 months after publication). After that period the publicist will be reactive only, for as long as your book is in print. What that means is that if a book reviewer or media outlet requests a review copy, the publicist will gladly field the request. If you schedule a book event after your book's publicity campaign has ended, these are addressed on a case-by-case basis as generally our publicists are working on frontlist titles. They do try to accommodate as many post-publicity author events as possible and work with you to help garner local media attention. For any event, please fill out an Event Form five weeks prior to the event. Your publicist will send out media alerts to calendar editors at local newspapers as well as contact local broadcast and online outlets in an effort to drum up attention for your forthcoming signing. Please note that the publicity department only publicizes public events.

When should I be available to promote my book?

We ask that you not schedule a vacation and be fully available for two weeks prior to the publication month, the publication month, and two weeks after the publication month. Please check with your acquiring editor for your book's scheduled publication month.

How can I promote my book when I travel for business?

Conferences and other business travel engagements offer great promotional opportunities. Often authors will set up a signing at the conference itself or at a bookstore in the local market. If the conference is directly related to your book's topic, it is also a good opportunity to begin creating relationships with organizations that may want to purchase your book or who have a dedicated newsletter that the publicist can pitch for a possible feature story on the book. If you know you will be traveling for work after the publication date of your book, contact our marketing team to brainstorm opportunities.

How do I communicate my ideas for publicity and marketing?

By filling out your author questionnaire (AQ) and returning it with your completed manuscript. If you need another copy, just ask your editor. The AQ is the best place to tell us about all your contacts and ideas for publicity, marketing, and sales and to provide us with your wish list for endorsers. You should feel free to attach additional documents if needed. The AQ is an essential tool to help us sell your book and it is the first point of reference for editors writing catalog copy, publicists working on publicity plans, and marketing and sales in targeting the audience and selling your book.

What materials will you produce to promote my book?

Specific marketing and publicity materials vary, based on each book's topics and author needs. At minimum, the publicist assigned to your title will create a publicity plan, a press release, and a variety of pitches based on possible angles for your title. Some titles necessitate an author Q&A, a fact sheet, a segment sheet for radio and television, and a suggested list of author interview questions. Our marketing team will craft a marketing plan for your book, as well as work with you to determine what marketing materials will best serve your book. This may include posters, flyers, postcards, and bookmarks. Marketing materials may also be used for trade shows and book fairs where Chicago Review Press books are displayed.

Will my book be advertised anywhere?

We consider advertising on a book-by-book basis. Twice a year we take out group ads in several trade magazines read by bookstore buyers and librarians, including Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. It is likely that your book will be included in one or two of those group ads.

Do I solicit endorsements for my book or will Chicago Review Press?

We will work together on it. Our marketing assistant is happy to solicit endorsements for your book, working with you and your acquiring editor to come up with suggestions, but sometimes authors have closer connections with ideal endorsers and we encourage authors to approach these endorsers directly. It's a joint effort. We are always pleased to provide copyedited manuscripts and publication details for review.

Do I create a website for my book or will Chicago Review Press?

We encourage authors to create their own website to promote their book, but it is not required, and rest assured that your book will appear here and on our distributor's website. If you do decide to create a website, we suggest an author website as opposed to a single title website. We feel that an author website is a more effective marketing tool. We can give you general feedback on the look and content of your website, provide you with an electronic version of the front cover, and assist you in setting up a link for selling your book. Contact the marketing director for more information.

What other social networking sites should I create for the book?

Social media is becoming a larger part of a book's marketing life every day. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn all offer platforms for an author to connect with their readership, but as with a website, these are not required. The marketing team is happy to work with you on your author platform, to strategize which sites would work best for you and your book, and how best to use them.

Do I set up my own book events?

Because authors know their own schedules best, we do ask that authors set up their own events. This means we ask that the authors to approach bookstores, libraries, and other organizations to negotiate the date of the event. For example, an author may have negotiated an open invitation for event consideration at the research and manuscript stage that would not require out assistance. That said, the marketing team is always available as a resource and can provide you with contact information and recommendations for locations, as well as a script and/or sample e-mail for approaching a bookstore for an event. If your book events include travel, tour support may also be available. This is something you'll discuss with the marketing team after your manuscript has been submitted and before your travel and events are planned.

Will you submit my book for awards?

Every book is reviewed for award possibilities, and every year Chicago Review Press submits qualified books for appropriate awards. If you know of awards for which your book should be considered, please provide that information to the marketing assistant.


How will you sell my book?

All of our titles are distributed by our sister company IPG. IPG is one of the largest book distributors in North America. It has sales representatives covering bookstores and gift stores across the US and Canada, in-house sales reps that sell to national chains and wholesalers, big box stores like Costco and Wal-Mart, and libraries, museum stores, catalogs, and other special sales outlets. IPG also has sub-distributors worldwide, making our books available on almost every continent. IPG attends dozens of trade shows each year, exhibiting our books at Book Expo America (BEA), American Library Association Conference and Exhibit (ALA), American Association of School Librarians Conference and Exhibit (AASL), London Book Fair (LBF), Frankfurt Book Fair, Ed Expo, Museum Store Association Conference and Exhibit (MSA), and many others. See IPG's website for more information.

Can I sell the book on my website?

Yes, and we will work with you on setting up the appropriate links to booksellers or helping you install a shopping cart on your site.

Whom do I contact with a question about sales?

Contact your acquiring editor for any general questions on how your book is doing.

Will my book be translated into other languages?

We have a great track record selling translation rights and longstanding relationships with publishers and rights agents worldwide. If we hold the rights to license your book, our subsidiary rights manager will present your title to rights buyers at the Frankfurt Book Fair, London Book Fair, and Book Expo America held each year in October, April, and June respectively. Your book will also be included in all of our rights catalogs. There are no guarantees, but we will certainly try. 

Do you sell film rights and who handles them?

Yes, we license film rights and they are handled by our film agent, Susan Schulman.

Will my book be available as an audiobook?

Possibly. We license audiobook rights, and they are handled by our rights director, Linda Migalti.


When can I expect to receive my royalty checks and statements?

We pay royalties and send out statements every six months, on March 30 and September 30. If you have an agent, you may want to check with him or her on the agency's turnaround time for sending out statements and payments to authors once they are received from us.

Whom do I contact with a question about royalties?

The publisher at Chicago Review Press oversees the royalties and can answer most royalty questions. If you have a question regarding your 1099, she may direct you to someone in the accounting department.

I moved recently; to whom do I give my new address?

Send your address change notification to frontdesk@chicagoreviewpress.com. Be sure to identify yourself as an agent or an author with Chicago Review Press.

Information for Authors & Agents