Become A JKP Author

Have you got an idea for a book? Always wanted to be a published author, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you are a professional keen to share your expertise or a talented writer with lived experience on a topic you’d like to share with the world?

The publishing process can be opaque from the outside, and every publisher does things a little differently.

Below you’ll find some tips on getting published and what our approach is at Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP).

Is JKP The Right Publisher For You?

The purpose of JKP’s publishing is to create positive narratives about difference, and encourage social justice by making information and knowledge available in an accessible way. Generally, we are a non-fiction publisher, but some of our children’s publishing uses stories to help champion understanding and empowerment.

It’s important to find the publisher that works best for you. If you are interested in submitting a book idea to JKP, we’d recommend starting off by taking a look at our website and asking:  

  • Do we publish on the subject of your idea, or on related topics?
  • Is one of our editors looking for ideas that reflect what you want to publish?
  • Do you have perspective, experience or knowledge that will inspire, help or educate readers?
  • Could you see your proposed book fitting in alongside ones we have recently published?
  • Does our Publishing Mission speak to you?

You could also check out our social media feeds on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Author Testimonials

Submit Your Book

At JKP, we accept book proposals through our online portal Submittable*

Click here to submit

Your proposal will be carefully read by our editorial team. The consideration process can take some time, but we will usually let you know whether or not we would like to take your proposal forward within 8 weeks, unless it's really busy in which case it can take a little longer.

When you submit a proposal to us, it will be assigned to the most relevant commissioning editor. These are the people who make decisions about what an organisation will publish. They will review the proposal and discuss with fellow editorial, marketing and sales colleagues.

If your idea gets taken forwards, the proposal will be pitched at a board meeting and if successful there it will be moved on to contract stage, where the delivery date of the book is agreed. 

* Please note that Submittable is a third party organisation and is not managed by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. You can find Submittable’s Terms & Conditions here.

Submission Guidelines and Accessibility Information

  • As we operate with a hybrid work model across multiple office locations, we kindly request that submissions not be sent via postal mail. Please note that materials sent to our offices will not be returned, and while we aim to respond to all submissions, we cannot guarantee a reply.
  • Where there is existing printed material that you wish us to consider (for example, a self-published book), please complete our proposal form first to tell us about your work. If interested, we will then ask for additional material after having reviewed the proposal.
  • If, for access reasons (for example, health or disability), you find it difficult to use our online proposal form, please email proposals@jkp.com with ‘Accessibility’ in the subject line and we can provide the proposal questions in a different format.
  • For a list of commissioning editors and the areas in which they publish, see the People page.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about the proposal submission process please contact proposals@jkp.com.

Author FAQs

Collapsible content

Who exactly are JKP?

Founded by Jessica Kingsley in 1987, JKP started as an independent publisher and was later acquired by Hachette UK under John Murray Press, the oldest imprint of HUK which has been publishing since 1768. Being a small part of a larger company affords us the benefits of working with specialist teams such as Rights, Sales and Audio to name a few. View our brief history here.
 

Why write a book?

In the world of publishing, there are countless reasons to write a book. You might want to share specialised knowledge or your own lived experience, or you might realise you have a unique idea that has not been written about before. Whatever the reason, writing a book can offer a powerful platform for connecting with others and making an impact.

Authors can reach a wider audience, inspire change, and open doors to new opportunities. Books spark conversations, share insights, and build meaningful relationships with readers, leaving a lasting impression on both author and audience.

Do I need an agent to submit my book?

No, we accept both agented and non-agented submissions.

Can I submit to other publishers simultaneously?

Yes

I'd like to submit my book project to you. What do I need to include in my proposal?

The proposal form is made up of a set of questions about your proposed project. It is an opportunity for you to tell us about your book idea – what it’s about, the primary audience and why it is needed. It also asks you to provide a short author bio where you can outline your expertise, experience or specialist knowledge related to the book. 

If you have a sample chapter available, you can include it with your proposal. However, this is not essential at this stage.

You can save and edit your proposal at any time, so it doesn’t need to be completed in one go. 

What are the advantages of working with a traditional publisher, rather than self-publishing?

Self-publishing can be a great option for anyone who wants to have control over the entirety of the publishing process.

Traditional publishers, like JKP, will help you develop your ideas; provide advice and guidance on your manuscript and handle all aspects of design and production. We’ll also manage sales through all mainstream bookshops, and organise global distribution as well as investigating rights sale opportunities (such as foreign language translations).

How will JKP's specialist knowledge help to shape my book?

Specialist publishers like JKP who have been active in publishing within their fields for many years will have a clear understanding of what readers in their specialist fields really want. This knowledge will help shape your book into the best book it can be – from the format and length, to the cover and fonts, through to the marketing treatment it receives. Trade publishers are less likely to have specialist knowledge of your subject or know how to reach its readership.

How will JKP's specialist knowledge help to promote my book?

At JKP, direct marketing is at the heart of how we sell books. Unlike most trade publishers, we have direct and ongoing relationships with our readers and communities - they engage with us on social media platforms, meet us at conferences and order titles directly from our website. We have extensive mailing lists we use to keep our readers up to date about new publications in their specialist areas, and remind them of books they may be interested in buying.

Will my book get publicity?

We don’t routinely offer publicity to mainstream channels, or organise book launches or book tours, as the majority of our titles are selling to specialist communities who can be reached more effectively in other ways. We prioritise marketing spend on activities that we know will maximise the sale of your book to its intended readership. This is more likely to be investment in ad spend on Amazon or social media and targeted campaigns that will reach the community of readers interested in your book.

Will I be offered an advance?

Advances are more
commonly offered by trade publishers releasing books within commercial genres
with broad appeal. They are not "extra money" on top of royalties,
but rather an advance payment that the author receives upfront against their
future earnings from book sales.

As a specialist publisher, our standard model is
not to pay advances, but authors get a royalty and we invest time and resources
into marketing and selling your book over time so that it will continue to sell
and generate income.

Where will my book be available to buy?

Visibility on mainstream online channels is prioritised to ensure our books fulfil their sales potential worldwide. This includes online retailers such as Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles and Bookshop.org among others. Our specialist sales team also works to create sales opportunities with organisations, charities and councils.

JKP books' presence in physical bookstores may be less pronounced due to their specialist nature, and the fact that each bookshop manager has control over their stock. However Customers can order in your book to their local bricks and mortar bookshop, if it’s not already available there.

What is the typical shelf life of a JKP book?

JKP books are usually cross-promoted and sold over long periods of time to the targeted communities we publish for. The shelf life of a specialist book is therefore usually longer than a trade book, as trade publishing focuses on selling a lot of copies in the first year or two, then might opt to make a title out of print. 

Will my book be available in eBook/audiobook format?

All of our books are also made available as ebooks, publishing at the same time as the print edition. These can be used with screen readers for accessibility purposes.

Audiobooks are agreed on a case-by-case basis depending on whether the content lends itself to this format and whether there’s a market need. For audiobooks we work with a dedicated audio team to plan recording, production and release.

I am neurodivergent - can you make any adjustments to support me as an author?

At JKP we understand how much of an impact small adjustments
to working practices can have in terms of wellbeing and confidence.

We will always be happy to have a conversation about your
individual needs, and how we can work with you most effectively.

For example, you might like to talk to us about the
following:

  • Video calls: please let us know if you prefer to have
    significant conversations via video call or email. If using video calls, cameras can be on or off at your preference. We are happy for you to record calls and/or use software to capture minutes.
  • Email: we will always try to make our written communication clear, but please let us know if you have any specific preferences (for example: to be sent a list of actions with due dates following a meeting). Note that not all editors are office-based so, when trying to get in touch, sending an email rather than trying to reach by phone may be more effective.
  • In-person meetings: most of our work happens digitally, but if you are due to meet the team in-person please talk to us about the environment that would work best for you/any concerns over travel, etc.
  • Planning: if not already offered, you can request agendas for meetings in advance to help you prepare and you can flag particular times of day when you feel at your best to talk. We welcome clarifying questions afterwards too as we understand that there can be a lot of information to absorb, particularly on initial calls. Our author guidance pages have been designed to act as a resource to help you as well.
  • Managing anxiety: we recognise that undertaking a book
    project can be daunting – we’re always open to hearing from authors who simply want to check in, and we will aim to provide reassurance where possible.

If you have any queries about our processes and what you can
expect throughout your writing journey with us, please speak to your editor. No
question is too small, and we will always be happy to help.

Useful Resources On The Publishing Process