Publish a book
Why publish with UCL Press?
UCL Press combines the benefits of traditional scholarly publishing with open access dissemination to make books free to download in digital form. We welcome proposals for monographs, short monographs, edited volumes, and textbooks across all major disciplines in the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. For more information on publishing a journal with UCL Press, please contact our journals team.
All UCL Press books are free to access and download both via our own bespoke platform and via partners including JSTOR and OAPEN. As a result, readers around the world are able to access our books regardless of financial or geographical barriers. We also produce low cost hardback and paperback editions of our books.
By publishing with UCL Press, you will benefit from:
- Editorial support to guide you through the publishing process
- Professional design and production to enhance your work
- Marketing campaigns to publicise your book
- Worldwide distribution in both open access and print formats to make your work easily available to individuals and institutions regardless of geographical or financial barriers
We invite submissions from non-UCL authors; however, a Book Publication Charge (BPC) is applied to cover production costs. The BPCs are as follows:
- Books of up to 100,000 words: £5000
- Books of between 100,000 and 150,000 words: £6000
- Books of between 150,000 and 200,000 words: £7000
Please add £1000 to all BPCs for colour printing.
Please note that non-UCL contributors to edited volumes are not required to pay a BPC, nor are non-UCL authors writing for a book series. Please view a list of our series here.
- We are happy to consider proposals for books and book series. Please see our list of current series here.
- If you would like to publish your book with us, follow our author guidelines
- Please email your proposal together with any sample material as Word documents to the commissioning editor for your subject.
- We ask for sole consideration of the project while it is under review.
Please address any questions to the relevant Commissioning Editor:
- Dr Chris Penfold, at email@example.com (All subjects excluding education)
- Pat Gordon Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org (Education and related subjects)
Once the Commissioning Editor is confident that your proposal is complete and fits the scope of our publishing, it is reviewed by UCL Press’s Executive Editorial Board, which comprises senior academics, senior UCL Library management, and UCL Press representatives. If the project qualifies for further consideration, your proposal (or full manuscript if available) is sent to at least two reviewers. Authors are free to suggest reviewers on the proposal form, but the Commissioning Editor may not use these suggestions.
The reviews are presented to the Board. If they are positive, the Board will likely recommend proceeding to the contract stage. Publication will be subject to a further review of the full manuscript if it was not available at the time of the initial review.
If the reviews are negative, or the reviewers have conflicting opinions, the Board will discuss how to proceed. You may be invited to revise the proposal or manuscript in light of the comments, and the revised material will be reviewed again.
Your editor will pass on the readers’ comments as soon as they are available (generally within 6 to 8 weeks). You will then be invited to respond to the reports where appropriate and to amend your proposal if necessary.
If the academic criteria have been met and your proposal is accepted, you will receive a contract.
In recognition of the work that goes into reviewing a proposal or manuscript, we offer all reviewers a fee. The fee is determined by the amount of material reviewed and the required turnaround time.
Please see our author guidelines for information on the publishing process, including submission guidelines, how to prepare artwork, copyright, house style and indexing. Once your final manuscript has been submitted, the Managing Editor will be in touch with you to outline the schedule and next steps. The Managing Editor oversees the copyediting, proofreading and typesetting, as well as prepare the files for print and online publication, and will be your main contact during the production phase. Our aim is to produce titles to the highest production and editorial standards to agreed schedules, and we look forward to collaborating with you on this.
Creative Commons licences determine how open access content can be reused, and each licence permits the content to be reused in different ways. Instead of transferring rights to the publisher, an author allows the publisher to release the content under their preferred non-exclusive Creative Commons licence, which in turn grants users the right to reuse the content within the terms of that licence. It is important to remember that Creative Commons licences do not replace copyright but are in addition to it: they empower authors to decide how others may use their content beyond the fair dealing argument of copyright law. The most common licences are:
- CC BY: Allows others to redistribute, edit and build upon the content, even commercially, as long as the original author is credited.
- CC BY-SA: Allows others to redistribute, edit and build upon the content, even commercially, as long as the original author is credited and the new content is licensed under identical terms as the original content.
- CC BY-ND: Allows others to redistribute the content, even commercially, as long as the original author is credited. If the material is modified, it cannot be distributed.
- CC BY-NC: Allows others to redistribute, edit and build upon the content, but not commercially. The original author must be credited.
- CC BY-NC-ND: Allows others to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, but not commercially. If the material is modified, it cannot be distributed. The original author must be credited.
Although authors are free to combine the licences to suit their needs – CC BY-NC-SA is also available – a clear preference for the CC BY licence has emerged in recent years. In keeping with the spirit of open access, CC BY fully realises the potential of open publishing to transform content into an effective tool for education and research: the less restrictive the licence, the more widely and flexibly the content can be redistributed and reused. For this reason, CC BY is promoted as the licence of choice by funding bodies including the Wellcome Trust and RCUK.
For more information about Creative Commons licences for Humanities and Social Science authors, click here.
Even before your book is published, the marketing team begin to work to make your book more visible and discoverable. Ways that we do this include:
- Feeding comprehensive information to our sales agents, distribution partners and trade customers
- Creating advanced information for our trade partners
- Including your book in key publications, including the bi-annual UCL Press catalogue
- Creating optimised web content for your book
- Social media posts about your book
- Social media posts about your book
- Conferences inserts/ advertisements
- Email and direct mail campaigns
- Blog posts about your book / including excerpts
- Directory listings (e.g. the Directory of open access books)
- Sending review copies (to both niche and, where appropriate, mainstream titles)
- Working with our platform partners to ensure that your book reaches its full potential on their platforms
- Collaborating with authors to enable them to effectively promote their work.
All UCL Press titles are disseminated across a number of platforms to reach readers worldwide, including:
We work with a team of sales agents and distributors, Compass Academic, who help us to sell print copies of all of our books to retailers (online, independents, chains, specialist and campus bookshops), wholesalers and library suppliers in the UK. In North America, UCL Press books are distributed and marketed by Chicago University Press.
We are excited to introduce a new waiver scheme that will allow us to waive our Book Publication Charge (BPC) for five selected non-UCL authors each year. The scheme demonstrates UCL’s commitment to Open Access publishing and our awareness of the challenges faced by non-funded authors.
We will consider any books of exceptional quality – monographs, edited volumes and textbooks – that offer a distinct voice, have the potential to make an impact, and are written in an engaging and accessible tone. Authors who wish to be considered for the scheme should note their interest in an accompanying email when they submit their proposal.Please address any questions to the relevant Commissioning Editor:
How is a thesis different to a monograph?
Many of the differences between a thesis and a monograph lie in their distinct purposes. The purpose of your thesis was to learn and demonstrate what you had learnt, and it was examined according to this purpose. It was, and still is, evidence of your ability to define a topic, develop and apply methodologies, and undertake research. Your monograph, however, will be evidence of your ability to explore and connect a range of ideas in a fresh way, creating a new perspective that will aim to inform and influence a field of knowledge or discipline.
The audience of your thesis reflected its purpose. It was a predetermined audience and likely comprised your supervisor and examination panel. The audience of your monograph will be international and considerably broader, potentially consisting of undergraduate and postgraduate students, professional researchers, policymakers and other groups of readers outside the academy.
Rethinking your project
Due to their different purpose and audience, your thesis cannot easily become a monograph. A revised thesis is often still a thesis. This is because the underlying foundations – your presence as the author, your tone and argument – have remained untouched, bound in the conventions of a thesis. There may be remnants of the referencing and signposting that made your authorial presence in the thesis difficult to identify, and it may still feel overly formal, with its passive voice retained along with a predictable structure.
During the rewriting process, you will embed the purpose and intended audience of your monograph in the foundations of the work. Your presence as the author will be stronger, you will quote sparingly, and your structure will help you to explore and connect ideas in a logical and comprehensible way.
It may be necessary to put your thesis to one side and revisit your research data to decide how you can make the most important contribution to your discipline. What do people need to know? What knowledge can you offer that is most in demand? What future trends can you detect?
There is a wealth of advice available to you on the thesis-to-monograph process, from books written by editors and researchers to your supervisor, examiners and peers. We encourage you to use these resources to help you grasp a clear understanding of how to approach the task.