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 we publish a newsweekly, magazines, religious education materials, pamphlets and books. We publish about 40 trade book titles a year, some in hard cover, but most in soft, in addition to releasing most titles as ebooks.

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:

What kinds of books are of interest to Our Sunday Visitor?

We are particularly interested in the following categories:

  • Prayer—Books and devotionals that help readers draw nearer to God
  • Scripture—Books about how to read, understand, pray and apply Scripture
  • Family and Marriage—Books that reflect on the nature of marriage and practical books on family life
  • Saints and Heritage—Informative and inspiring stories about Mary, the saints and Catholic identity
  • Faith and Culture—Books about the intersection of faith and contemporary culture
  • Service—Practical application of the call to serve the needy and love our neighbor
  • 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We do not publish fiction or poetry.

Why should I publish with Our Sunday Visitor?

Our Sunday Visitor is dedicated to publishing materials of use to Catholics everywhere. Through the pages of our many periodicals, as well as through our highly successful web and mail campaigns and other promotions, we reach a national Catholic audience. Of course, nothing helps sell books more than the dedicated involvement of authors themselves. That is why we always encourage authors to lend their ideas and expertise to the selling of their own books.

How should I submit my proposal?

First, we require that you submit a proposal which 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 tells us:
    • your name, address, phone number and email address
    • your manuscript’s working title
    • anticipated manuscript length and anticipated completion date
    • a comparison to other books on the same subject, explaining why your book is unique (this is an important element of your proposal).
  • 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, as well as 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.
  • If you have not published with Our Sunday Visitor before, you should send us a sample chapter from the manuscript.

You can expect an initial response within 6-8 weeks of your proposal. We would appreciate knowing if your proposal is being simultaneously submitted to other publishers.

What happens next?

Your proposal will be reviewed by members of our acquisitions team and if approved, a formal proposal is presented to the Publishing Committee, which consists of representatives from the marketing, business, production and editorial departments. The Publishing Committee may approve the project, ask for additional information, or reject it outright.

What about a contract?

After approval by the Publishing Committee is received, a contract will be sent to you with terms that the acquisitions editor will have discussed with you. In general, you should know that we pay royalties on net sales (as do most book publishers).

What else do I need to know about submitting a manuscript?

Please make sure to keep a copy of your manuscript. If your manuscript includes quotations from copyrighted materials, the responsibility for obtaining permission from the copyright holders to reprint such material (plus the payment of any permissions fees) is yours.

Who will be my editor?

An acquisitions editor will work with you as you complete the manuscript and provide requested revisions. After acceptance of your manuscript, it 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. Normally, it takes 12 months or longer from when a manuscript is accepted until it is published.

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.

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