Book Author Guidelines
What should I know about Our Sunday Visitor?
Our Sunday Visitor is the country’s largest not-for-profit Catholic publishing company. It was founded in 1912 by Father John Noll to “serve the Church.” Today, OSV publishes a newsweekly, periodicals, religious education materials, pamphlets, and books. We publish between 30 and 40 trade book titles a year.
We have two main trade book publishing seasons: spring and fall. The bulk of our sales are to distributors (web and print), bookstores, parishes, schools, and individual consumers – the man and woman “in the pew.” Our primary audience is North America. (A copy of our book catalog can be obtained by writing: Book Marketing Department, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
What kinds of books are of interest to Our Sunday Visitor?
We are particularly interested in the following categories:
- Personal/Spiritual Growth--Books that accompany readers on their spiritual journey and offer unique, practical insights for growing in friendship with God
- Prayer—Devotionals that help readers draw nearer to God
- Scripture—Books about how to read, understand, pray and apply Scripture, as well as Bible studies aimed at target markets or specific themes in Scripture
- Family and Marriage—Books that reflect on the nature of marriage and practical books on marriage prep, parenting, and family life
- Biographies —Informative and inspiring biographies of saints and other key figures in the Church's history
- History--Informative, unique histories related to the Catholic Church, especially in the United States
- Faith and Culture—Books about the intersection of faith and contemporary culture
- Evangelization, Apologetics, and Catechetics—Books that help readers explain, defend and share the faith with others
- Worship—Books about understanding and experiencing the graces of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist
- Parish—Books that help pastors, leaders and parishioners conduct parish life more effectively
We do not currently publish fiction or poetry.
Why should I publish with Our Sunday Visitor?
Our Sunday Visitor is dedicated to publishing books that accompany Catholics on their walk with God, wherever they are in their faith journey. We are always interested in partnering with authors who can join us in our mission to serve the Church by serving her individual members. We reach a national Catholic audience through our many periodicals, our highly successful web, email, and mail campaigns, and other promotions. We also work with authors to build their personal platforms and lend their ideas and expertise to selling their own books.
How should I submit my proposal?
First, we require that you submit a proposal that will help us evaluate your project. We prefer a digital copy. Please do not submit a completed manuscript unless requested.
A fully developed proposal must include the following items:
A brief cover letter that includes
- your name, address, phone number, and email address
- your manuscript’s working title
- a one- or two-line "elevator pitch" for your book, explaining why it's needed and your motivation for writing it
- proposed audience
- whether you are simultaneously submitting to other publishers
A proposal document that includes:
- total word count and completion date;
- comparison to related books currently on the market (at least 3), showing why your book is unique;
- a brief summary of the message of the book and an annotated table of contents that describes the content and purpose of each chapter in a few sentences;
- any other relevant features of the manuscript, such as illustrations and appendices;
- A statement of your qualifications for writing the proposed book and a summary of your personal and professional background;
- A sample chapter from the manuscript.
While we do our best to reply to all submissions within 8 weeks, due to the number of manuscripts we receive, we cannot always do so. Please follow up via email if you have not heard anything at the end of 12 weeks.
What happens next?
Your proposal will be reviewed by an acquisitions editor. If the editor considers the proposal worthy of publication, it will be brought for review to OSV's editorial and publishing committees (consisting of representatives from our marketing, sales, design, and editorial departments). If all reviewers find that the proposal meets our standards, we will notify you of acceptance.
What about a contract?
After approval by the editorial and publishing committees, your acquisitions editor will discuss contract terms with you. Once terms have been finalized, you will be mailed your contract. Please note: we pay royalties on net sales of books in all formats.
What else do I need to know about submitting a manuscript?
Please submit your manuscript in electronic format. Microsoft Word is preferred. If your manuscript includes quotations from copyrighted materials, you will be responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holders to reprint such material, as well as the payment of any permissions fees.
If your manuscript contains photographs or illustrations, please coordinate with your acquisitions editor about when and how to submit the images with proper specs for our design department.
Who will be my editor?
You will work closely with your acquisitions editor or an assigned developmental editor as you complete your manuscript and provide requested revisions. After you and your editor have accepted all revisions, the manuscript will be given to a project editor, who will copyedit it and have it designed and proofread for publication. The project editor will inform you of any necessary deadlines.
Can I get started now?
By all means. Send us your ideas or proposals at any time, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.