NATS Books Program Submissions

A partnership with Rowman & Littlefield

NATS Books Program showcases the expertise of voice professionals from all corners of the industry. The members of the NATS Books Program editorial board solicit and generate ideas for new books and evaluate proposals. The editorial board works with prospective authors to shape their idea into a proposal that can be successfully published. Successful proposals have a well-defined approach to a subject and focus on current evidence-based practices.

Publish a book with NATS

NATS Books Program X Rowman & Littlefield

How can I submit a proposal?

Step One:

Complete a Step One form that requests the following:

  • The book's objectives, type, and primary audience.
  • Identification of competitor titles and what makes the proposal unique.
  • Description of any special features (sidebars, case studies, interviews, figures, musical examples, charts or tables, or other graphic elements) and an approximate number of each special feature. Will the book include excerpts of copyrighted lyrics? If so, please describe.
  • Explanation of how the book will align with the NATS values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism (I.D.E.A.).
  • A preliminary table of contents, including an estimate of the number of words for each chapter and the total manuscript. Please be sure to specify any backmatter material you wish to include, such as glossaries, bibliographies, appendices, discographies, special indexes, etc.
  • A short author biography.
  • Target date for completion of the manuscript.

Email the completed form to Matthew Hoch at If the Step One is approved by the editorial board and copublisher, you will be asked to submit Step Two materials.

Step Two:

If Step One of the proposal is accepted by the editorial board and copublisher, you will be asked to provide:

  • A draft preface that tells potential readers: who the book is for, what the purpose of the book is, how it will be compiled or written, your reason for writing the book, how the book is organized, and how it can be used (if applicable).
  • A chapter-length writing sample. This should not be a general introduction, so please do not submit chapter 1 (for instance). The writing sample should contain representative content and features so that the editorial board can evaluate appropriateness of content, writing style, special features, etc. If you do not have a chapter-length writing sample, you can submit previously published work that is representative of the writing style of the proposed book.
  • Please include your outline from Step One with the Step Two submission to aid the panel in review. Include a header in your documents with your last name and proposed book title to help committee members keep your materials together and organized. 

What happens to a proposal once it's received?

The NATS Books editorial board meets regularly to review proposals. The decision to accept or reject a proposal is influenced by many factors, including the need for the publication, its potential market, the author's qualifications (subject knowledge and writing skills), estimated production and marketing costs, and estimated sales. The copublisher may conduct a market survey to determine the level of interest in the proposed book. 

What happens when a proposal is approved?

After the editorial board approves the proposal, the chair sends an acceptance letter to the author on behalf of the panel. However, a contract is not issued until further review by the copublisher. This often includes an outside review of the proposal. The author may be asked to fine-tune the outline. The steps that follow include:

  • The copublisher sends the author a contract. Contract negotiations are between the author and copublisher, not NATS. If you have questions about the contract, please contact Michael Tan, associate acquisitions editor at Rowman & Littlefield.
  • The author is sent an information packet including style guidelines, formatting specifications, and a tentative timeline for chapter submissions.
  • In general, the copublisher likes to see at least two chapters in the first six months after the contract has been signed and at least half the manuscript in draft form about three to four months before the final deadline.
  • Normal book production time is five to seven months.
  • The completed manuscript is reviewed by the copublisher and invited experts in the field, as needed.

Contracts between Rowman & Littlefield and a book’s editor(s) and/or author(s) will specify that the book is to be copyrighted in the name of the NATS. Writers who contribute a chapter to a book that is compiled or edited by someone else will retain the copyright to their chapter. Contributed chapters are subject to a 12-month embargo before they can be placed in the author's institutional repository. Questions about copyright or rights to either a whole book or a chapter can be directed to the NATS copublisher, Rowman & Littlefield, represented by Michael Tan.

Who is the publishing partner with NATS?

The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group (RLPG) is the copublisher for NATS for new book projects. The company publishes nearly 1,500 new titles each year, covering virtually all fields in the humanities and social science, including a strong list of music titles. Books copublished by NATS and RLPG are published under the Rowman & Littlefield imprint.

  • RLPG handles all phases of publishing and production — contract negotiation, project management, copyediting, composition, proofreading, and printing — once a manuscript has been approved by the NATS Books editorial board.
  • RLPG also handles marketing, sales, and order fulfillment.
  • RLPG is a hands-on partner with the author.
  • RLPG determines all business decisions related to the book.

Submit proposal

Step One Form

As a matter of policy for the NATS Books copublishing program with Rowman & Littlefield, individual board members do not comment on the details of proposal decisions. Instead, please contact the chair of the NATS Books editorial board (