Mountain Press Publishing Missoula Montana
For Authors
Book Proposal Guidelines   |   Requesting Mountain Press Permissions   |   For Contracted Authors

MOUNTAIN PRESS publishes nonfiction trade books for general audiences, both adults and children. We will consider proposals for projects in natural history (including field guides for birds, wildlife, plants, etc.), western U.S. history, and earth science. Mountain Press is probably best known for its state-by-state series on Roadside Geology Roadside History, and Geology Underfoot; extended guidelines are available for these. Other than reprints of the works of Will James, we do not publish fiction, including historical fiction. We do not publish memoirs or personal stories. Children’s books must be factual, without anthropomorphizing or storytelling.

STANDARDS. We accept only well-written, responsibly researched manuscripts. Your book must be both informative and engaging to the reader, written in lively, lucid prose. The topic must have broad, long-term appeal. The sources you rely on must be thoroughly documented and not infringe on any existing copyrights. You are responsible for supplying all photographs, maps, and other graphics your book may need.

STYLE. We urge authors to follow the tenets set forth in The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.

PROPOSALS. We accept unsolicited proposals from authors and literary agents. Please do not send your entire manuscript unless we ask for it. Include in your proposal:

A. Cover letter answering the following questions:

1. What is your manuscript about?
2. Who are you and what are your education, credentials, publishing history, and marketing strengths?
3. Have you given public presentations on your book topic or any other topic?
4. Who is your target audience?
5. What competing books have already been published, and how does your book differ from them?
6. Why should Mountain Press publish your manuscript?
7. Is your manuscript finished, and if not, when do you expect it to be?
8. What is the estimated length of the book in its final form?
9. How many illustrations, maps, and/or photographs do you have for the book?
10. Are images in color or black and white?
11. Who owns the rights to images?
12. Do you have permissions in writing for images you did not create?
13. Do you expect Mountain Press to provide any images?
14. Who is the market for your book, and what can you do to help market it?

B. Table of contents or outline

C. Sample of the manuscript (one or two chapters, double spaced)

D. Core bibliography of your sources

E. Copies of the artwork you plan to use. Please do not send original photographs, illustrations, or artwork unless requested.

F. Self-addressed envelope. Do not stamp your envelope in advance. Because of rules at the US Postal Service, please send us sufficient funds to cover return postage as either cash or a check.

Please do not send your submission by email or on electronic media. Normally we can respond to your proposal within six to eight weeks. Please call or email first if you have any questions.

Mail proposal to:

Mountain Press Publishing Company
P.O. Box 2399
Missoula, MT 59806