Advice on Publishing Contacts and Contracts
In 2002, Law and Courts section chair, Neal Tate, organized a book publishing advisers list for faculty who wished to seek counsel with regard to book publishing issues.  That list was published on the Law and Courts listserve.  It is reproduced below, and new volunteers should contact the current section chair, Paul Wahlbeck (wahlbeck {at} gwu•edu).

The original idea came from Steve Wasby.  We would like to give him both public credit and sincere thanks for the idea.

The following have volunteered to be on the list of those who are willing to assist novice book authors with  publishing issues: prospectuses, contacts, contracts, etc.  The list is in alphabetical order by adviser's last name.
Nathan Brown, Nathanbrown6 {at} aol•com

Major book or monograph publications, with publication details
  • Peasant Politics in Modern Egypt  (Yale UP, 1990)
  • The Rule of Law in the Arab World  (Cambridge UP, 1997)
    Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and  the
    Prospects for Accountable Government  (SUNY UP, 2001)
  • Politics under the Palestinian National Authority: Resuming Arab Palestine  (California UP, forthcoming 2003)

Relevant experience:

I don't consider myself extremely savvy in publication issues, but I have some experience now in working with four different university presses.  My experiences have generally been happy, but I have some sense now on what are legitimate review procedures and what times and practices deviate from the norm, how an editor is likely to read a prospectus, and how to handle reviewers' comments.  I also have some experience negotiating terms (such as paperback rights and promotion) but I don't consider myself expert in those issues.

Any special types of publications or areas of expertise on which their advice might be especially useful:

I could be of most help dealing with authors with a particular regional (and non-American) interest (where a lot of the literature tends to be monographic rather than journal-oriented anyway).  I'd be less helpful--perhaps purely helpless--on a purely American topic.

Nathan J. Brown
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
The George Washington University

Paul Brace, pbrace {at} rice•edu
Contact info:
Paul Brace
Clarence L. Carter Chair 
Department of Political Science
Rice University
6100 Main Street  Houston, TX  77005
e-mail:  pbrace {at} rice•edu
Office Phone:  (713) 348-2250
Office Fax:  (713) 348-5273


  • State Government and Economic Performance.  (Johns Hopkins University  Press, 1993). Identified as suggested reading by Gray and Jacobs in  their authoritative edited volume on the American states. 
  • Follow the Leader: Opinion Polls and the Modern Presidents.  With  Barbara Hinckley.  (Basic Books, 1992). Neustadt Prize winner 1993. 
  • Change and Continuity in American State and Local Government. With  Ronald Weber, eds.  (Chatham House, 1999). 
  • The Presidency in American Politics.  With Christine Harrington and Gary King, eds.  (New York University Press, 1989). 

Relevant experience:

I have served on nine journal editorial boards.  Two of my protégés  (Laura Langer, University of Arizona and Jeff Yates, University of  Georgia) have successfully transformed their dissertations into books published by the State University of New York Press.  I am presently working on two book length projects on American state supreme courts.

Malcolm M. Feeley, mmf {at} uclink4•berkeley•edu
"My general advise to young scholars is to turn to your Ph.D advisor or others from your graduate school days, since this is a group who is familiar with you and your work and who you know you can trust (or how to trust them).  Presumably they should have had experience in publishing.  Of course, this option does not preclude seeking additional advice.  Hence the value of this list."
Feeley has written several books, including  The Process is the Punishment (which received the ABA's Silver Gavel Award and the American Sociology Association's Citation of Merit); Court Reform on Trial (which received the ABA's Certificate of Merit); The Policy Dilemma. He is the coauthor of Criminal Justice (with Boalt colleague Jerome Skolnick) and Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State (with Edward Rubin). He also authored "Privatization of Punishment: Lessons from History," a chapter in Social Science, Social
Policy, and the Law (1999).
Howard Gillman, gillman {at} usc•edu
Howard Gillman
Professor of Political Science and Law
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0044
Howard Gillman's specialties are Supreme Court Politics, American Political Development, and Constitutional Law/Theory.   His most  recent book is The Votes that Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election (University of Chicago Press, 2001).  His first book, The Constitution Besieged: The Rise and Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence (Duke University Press, 1993), received the C. Herman Pritchett Award for "best book in public law" from the Law and Courts section of the American  Political Science Association.

His most recent book project, Preferred Freedoms: Supreme Court Politics, and the Rise of Modern  Civil Liberties Jurisprudence, is under contract at the University of Chicago Press. He is also co-editor (with Cornell Clayton) and contributor to two other books on the Supreme Court: Supreme Court Decision-Making: New Institutionalist Approaches (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and The Supreme Court in American Politics: New Institutionalist Interpretations (University Press of Kansas, 1999).  Professor Gillman has also served as a manuscript reviewer for many of the leading university presses. 
Mark Graber, mgraber {at} gvpt.umd•edu
Mark Aaron Graber
600 McNeill Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-588-0119 (H)
301-405-4215 (O)
mgraber {at} gvpt.umd•edu
Professor Graber is the author of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil (under contract, Princeton), Rethinking  Abortion (Princeton 1996) and Transforming Free Speech (Calfornia 1991).  He reviews numerous manuscripts for leading  university presses and is co-editor of a series, Constitutional Conflicts, at Duke University Press.  Given his reviewing experiences, he has some expertise in the different sorts of manuscripts that attract different presses.  He is also glad, usually too glad, too talk about publication or almost anything else.
Chris Manfredi, christopher.manfredi {at}
My major books are:
Feminist Activism in the Supreme Court: Legal Mobilization and the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, 1988-2000 (Under contract, University of British Columbia Press). Judicial Power and the Charter: Canada and the Paradox of Liberal Constitutionalism, 2d edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 276 pp. The Supreme Court and Juvenile Justice.  Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 256 pp. Judicial Power and the Charter: Canada and the Paradox of Liberal Constitutionalism. Toronto: McClelland and Steward, 292  pp.  Simultaneous publication in the United States by University of Oklahoma Press. I've also served as a manuscript reviewer for Oxford University Press; Nelson Canada; McClelland and Stewart; Broadview Press;
Cambridge University Press.
My full contact information:
Christopher P. Manfredi
Professor and Chair
Department of Political Science
McGill University
Montreal, QC  H3A 2T7
+1 514-398-4801 (voice)
+1 514-398-1770 (fax)
christopher.manfredi {at}
Michael McCann, mwmccann {at} u•washington•edu
My relevant qualifications:
  • I have published books w/ Cornell U. Press, Little-Brown, U. of Chicago Press; I expect to be negotiating a new, nearly finished (very large) book manuscript with Chicago very soon. I have worked with other authors/editors in negotiating contracts for at least 4 other books in which I have published essays.
  • A dozen or so of the Ph.Ds. I have supervised in the last 12 years have published their dissertations as university press books, and another three are in the process of preparing manuscripts now.  I have worked with a number of these students on their second book publications, at presses like Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, etc.  I have advised on manuscript revision, preparation, submission as well as on press selection and contract negotiation in most of these cases.
  • I have played a mentoring role in this capacity with a number of law and society students around the country over the last half dozen years.  Right now I am working with three recent non-UW Ph.D.s, including two political scientists, on turning their dissertations intouniversity press books.
  • I review 5-8 book manuscripts a year for top university presses (Chicago, Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, Kansas, Michigan, etc.).

My work covers a broad range of law and society areas -- courts and legal institutions, lawyering, legal mobilization, disputing, legal consciousness, law and mass culture, inter-governmental relations, etc.  Most of my research focuses on the US, but I read non-US comparative work widely and have supervised a number of dissertations on various areas (Egypt, Israel, Europe, Korea...).   Much of my previous research is case study-oriented and mostly qualitative, but our nearly finished new book is stuffed to the gills with numbers, graphs,  tables drawing on several originally-generated large-N data sets.  I would like to think the trademark of my scholarship is the blend of diverse social theory and copious empricial data. I am not really looking for more students or more work, but I am happy to do my part if any junior scholars desire assistance from me.  If you need more information, let me know.  My contact information is listed below.
Michael McCann
Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship
Director, Comparative Law and Society Studies Center 
Director, Law, Societies, and Justice
Department of Political Science
Box 353530
University of Washington
Seattle, WA  98195
Phone: 206-543-2377
Fax: 206-685-2146

Steven Peterson, sap12 {at} psu•edu
I have had considerable combat experience (some pretty dreary) with book publishing.  Judicial Process is one of my areas of teaching and  research interest.  While I have not published any book length manuscripts in the area, I have had plenty of experience in other areas
within political science with publishers.
In judicial process, I have done work on dissent in courts, oral argument, etc. I have published with university presses (Cornell), Sage, Greenwood, JAI, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, Chatham House, etc.
Dr. Steven A. Peterson
Director, School of Public Affairs
Penn State Capital College
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA  17057
E-mail: sap12 {at} psu•edu
Phone: (717) 948-6154
Austin Sarat, adsarat {at} amherst•edu
I edit book series at Michigan, Northwestern, Dartmouth/Ashgate, and Princeton University Press.
Austin Sarat
Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought
Political Science
Amherst College
Amherst, MA. 01002
413-542-2308 (phone)
413-542-2264 (fax)
Smith, Christopher, Christopher.Smith {at} ssc•msu•edu
I would be happy to share whatever useful knowledge I may possess with colleagues.  At this point, I have written 20 books for 8 different publishers.  I never make great claims for my work, but I think I can accurately call myself  "experienced" with respect to book publishing---with, of course, one major caveat-my experience is entirely with commercial scholarly presses, textbook publishers, and one  reference publisher-not with university presses (I have some frustrating experiences in that realm that have led me to set that avenue aside for the moment).  I also have some experience (not yet successful) with trying to get a literary agent in order to enter the world of trade publishers, but I can share those experiences (and frustrations), too.
I have done this kind of advising for junior (and senior) colleagues as well as for my former students who are now beginning their careers as univ. profs. 
Christopher E. Smith, J.D., Ph.D.
School of Criminal Justice
Michigan State University
530 Baker Hall
East Lansing, MI  48824-1118
517-432-1787 fax
smithc28 {at} msu•edu
"Rogers Smith" rogerss {at} sas•upenn•edu
Rogers Smith
Dept. of Political Science
University of Pennsylvania,
208 S. 37th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215.
rogerss {at} sas•upenn•edu, ph. 215 898-7662, fax 215 573-2073.
My major book is Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History, Yale University Press, 1997.  I've also published books with the Harvard and University of Chicago Presses and have one forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, and I've refereed books for more presses than I care to think about.  I've also advised lots of grad students who went on to get their dissertations published as books, perhaps despite my advice, but nonetheless..  I'm probably most appropriate for historical-institutional, jurisprudential, or law-and- intellectual history or law-and-political theory types of books.

Kim Lane Scheppele, kimlane {at} law•upenn•edu
My contact information is below.  My relevant experiences is as follows:
  • Published Legal Secrets with University of Chicago Press, 1988.  This was my revised dissertation, which won Special Recognition in the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award Competition (i.e. the best book in the discipline prize) from the American Sociological Association.    I have since published book-length articles in American law reviews and a casebook (in Hungarian) on Hungarian constitutional law.
  • Relevant experience:  I have advised many former advisees on how to publish their dissertations, several to prize-winning success.    I am also in the process of starting up a book series on comparative constitutional law (with Donald Kommers).
  • Particular areas in which I can advise:   Students in public law may often have trade-offs between book publication and article publication (particularly in law reviews, which can accept very long mss.).   Also, students working on comparative subjects have to think about American v. international audiences (with the different publication considerations that that entails).   Negotiating things like paperback schedules, promotion deals, multidisciplinary listings and speeded up production schedules are things I can speak to as well.   I also can advise on how to fight with copyeditors.  Students may also want to consult on issues like:  How many chapters can they publish as articles before the book becomes less interesting to publishers?   and  When should they stop revising even though they keep changing their minds?

Kim Lane Scheppele
Professor of Law and Sociology
University of Pennsylvania
3400 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104
Phone:  215-898-7674   Fax 215-573-2025
Email:  kimlane {at} law•upenn•edu

Philippa Strum, pstrum {at} mindspring•com
Philippa Strum
Director, Division of U.S. Studies
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-3027
strump {at} wwic•si•edu; pstrum {at} mindspring•com
Major publications include Women in the Barracks: The VMI Case and Women's Rights (Kansas,  2002); When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for the Speech We Hate (Kansas, 1999); Privacy: The Debate in the United States Since 1945 (Harcourt Brace, 1998); Brandeis: Beyond Progressivism (Kansas, 1993); The Women Are Marching:  The Second Sex in the Palestinian  Revolution (Lawrence Hill, 1992); Louis D. Brandeis:  Justice for the People (Harvard, l984; Schocken paperback, 1988); The Supreme Court and "Political Questions" (Alabama, l974); Presidential Power and American Democracy (Goodyear, l972,  1979).   Experience with both university and commercial presses; have written my own contracts for years.
Stephen L. Wasby, wasb {at} cnsunix•albany•edu

Mail: 20 Northgate Dr., Albany, NY 12203
Phone: 518-452-5584
E-mail: wasb {at} cnsunix•albany•edu

Some major publications:

  • Race Relations Litigation in an Age of Complexity (University Press of Virginia, 1995)
  • Supreme Court in the Federal Judicial System, 4th ed. (Nelson-Hall, 1993)
  • He Shall Not Pass This Way Again": The Legacy of Justice Dougas (editor) (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990)
  • The Analysis of Policy Impact (co-edited with John Grumm) (Lexington Books, 1981)
  • Desegregation from Brown to Alexander: An Exploration of Supreme Court Strategies (Southern Illinois University Press, 1977)  (with Anthony D'Amato and Rosemary Metrailer)
  • The Impact of the United States Supreme Court: Some Perspectives (Dorsey, 1970)

Works of others completed and prepared for publication:

  • Ronald J. Fiscus, The Constitutional Law of Affirmative Action (Duke University Press, 1991)
  • Charles Sheldon, Essentials of the Constitution: The Supreme Court and Fundamental Law (Westview, 2001)

In addition to having had my own books published by several publishers, I have edited collections of materials and have served as special issue editor for journals, which is the equivalent of editing books and is relevant for someone putting together a journal issue in the hope it will become a book. In addition to reviewing both book proposals and book-length manuscripts for thirty-five years, I also served as a consulting editor to a publishing company for five years.  I have also regularly assisted colleagues in responding to reviews of their book-length work and have commented on book contracts offered to colleagues. I have also served on the editorial boards of eight professional journals, both general political science journals and more specialized law-courts-related journals.
I believe my advice might be useful with respect to the structure and contents of book proposals for research monographs, advanced texts, or edited collections and of book-length manuscripts, as well as the terms of publishing contracts. In terms of comments on subject-matter, I am likely to  be more helpful with works on case law or aspects of judicial process, and less so on projects in which sophisticated  statistical methods are central to the project.

Keith E. Whittington, kewhitt {at} princeton•edu
  • Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1999; paper, 2001).
  • Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999; paper, 2001).

These books both derived from my dissertation.  I shopped them as completed manuscripts to several publishers, eventually finding a home for each after revise-and-resubmit efforts, etc.  The initial contracts were for cloth only.  I had very different experiences with the two presses (both before and after publication) and was ultimately much happier with my experience with Kansas. I am currently completing a book to be published by Princeton University Press.  With that one, I shopped a proposal and draft chapters to several publishers and negotiated a contract based on interest from multiple presses.  I am also the second editor on an edited volume to be published by Duke University Press.  I joined the project after it had been already been initiated by the primary editor. I primarily know single-authored books published by university presses.


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Department of Government & Politics, University of Maryland