What Is a Call for Chapters?
A Call for Chapters or “CFC” supports two main objectives for a book, and they are 1) increasing visibility and 2) content recruitment. A book editor can most effectively promote their publication and pique the interest of prospective contributors by posting critical information about their book online in the form of a CFC.
Here is a list of some of the items typically included within a CFC:
The editor provides the editorship information as a brief introduction including their name, affiliation, city, state, and country, and their contact information. Often, listing an e-mail address is the only required contact provided, but sometimes editors will also list their phone number. Depending on the publisher, the contact information may not be required until the “Inquiries” section.
INTRODUCTION, OBJECTIVE, AND TARGET AUDIENCE
In this section, the editor provides a brief introduction to the book and its objective. The introduction is an overview of what the book covers and what field it applies to. The objective of the book is the why or what. The editor must explain the intentions of what the book is trying to accomplish and why it has value to the research field. These sections can be separate or combined, depending on the publisher. If the publisher requires the sections to be combined, the editor should be sure to include a sentence or two on the target audience.
It’s extremely important for the editor to list the topics they want prospective contributing authors to examine in their chapter submissions. When considering topics to include, the editor must list precise topics to keep the focus of the book intact.
It is important that, in order for prospective contributing authors to know their window to submit their work, that items such as a chapter proposal deadline and/or full chapter submission deadline as well as any critical deadlines in between are included as part of the CFC.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINESThis piece of the CFC traditionally outlines items such as the book and/or publisher’s style guidelines, submission instructions, links to an online submission system (or contact information and instructions on where to submit), and information regarding the turnaround and peer review process.
PUBLISHER INFORMATIONSo that the prospective contributors know what publisher, association, society, or university press will be publishing the book, it’s important that the editor lists this information along with the anticipated release date. Additionally, if the book is part of a series, that should be specified, too.
Editors must include a section at the bottom of the CFC that lists their contact information. This is vital for prospective chapter contributors to contact the editor with questions regarding the topics and overall scope of the book. E-mail is the most common form of contact.
What Happens After the Call for Chapters Is Prepared?
In order to successfully receive submissions and ensure that their CFC gets increased visibility, an editor must network their book appropriately. There are tons of outlets to promote and network to prospective contributing authors, but the editor must know the options for their book. This includes sharing the CFC on social media, posting it on their university or personal website, bringing a few copies to any conferences they attend, sharing it with any associations or societies they are a part of, and most importantly, posting it on Listservs.
Listservs are extremely helpful to editors as they are an efficient way to post relevant information about the book to a wide (yet relevant) audience. A few popular Listservs to potentially post a book’s CFC are CFP List, WikiCFP, and Pivot’s Papers Invited® database.
Finally, once the CFC has garnered attention and an author is ready to submit their work, they will format their chapter per the specifications outlined in the CFC, submitting it through the preferred means whether directly by e-mail or through an online submission system.
Continue following our series on the Academic Publishing Process by reading our next piece covering how authors should prepare an article or chapter manuscript with submission guidelines while adhering to a specified style (house style or APA style, etc.).