The publishing model for ACM Books was developed jointly by the ACM Publications Board and Morgan & Claypool Publishers. This page outlines the publication process from the proposal stage through peer review, decision making, author contracts, manuscript development, and publication. The marketing and selling of ACM Books is covered under the Marketing & Sales section of the site. Feedback is welcome from all prospective authors.
ACM Books is managed by Editor-in-Chief, Tamer Özsu, of the University of Waterloo, and an international editorial board comprised of world renowned subject-matter experts, each responsible for a specific area within the field of computer science.
Each proposal received will be reviewed by the appropriate editor, who will manage and oversee the peer review process for each submission, often with the help of additional reviewers enlisted from the community. Both accepted and rejected proposals will receive feedback from the editor responsible for their submission and for those submissions offered a publication contract, feedback will be geared toward helping the author to refine and improve the overall quality of their finished manuscript prior to publication.
Upon acceptance, a representative of ACM Books will discuss scheduling, reviewing, and other details of the process with the author. As with all ACM Publications, authors will have a choice of either an exclusive License to Publish or a Transfer of Copyright Agreement. Authors wishing to discuss the relative merits of either Agreement should contact ACM to have such a discussion. Once the schedule is agreed and the author selects the version of the Agreement they prefer, the author will receive the appropriate Publishing Agreement for signature, along with LaTeX style files and samples.
For all books in the series, timing is critical. It is our goal to provide a superior author experience for those working with ACM Books and doing so requires expeditious decision making on both sides to move from initial proposal, to review and acceptance, to contract, and finally to the manuscript development phase within approximately one month's time.
- Subject discipline
- Tentative title (and subtitle, if any)
Primary Author Information (provide for any coauthors as well)
- Position and affiliation
- Link to Curriculum vitae and/or biography
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Type of publication: Textbook/level; monograph; practitioner’s guide, etc.
- Overview: Include a brief description of the publication’s objective and explain exactly what it will be about. How will your selection, organization, or treatment of the subject encourage readers to buy the publication?
- Table of contents: Include a table of contents indicating chapters and subdivisions within chapters, as well as special materials to be included in the appendixes.
- Sample chapter: If available, please include a sample chapter or more. If you have published other books, attach a list of those materials.
- Market need: Explain why there is a need for the proposed publication. Have there been changes in this field to cause a need for it, or is there a gap in the existing literature that needs to be filled?
- Primary market: Indicate the audience(s) for this material (e.g., academic/research, graduate students, professionals). Be as specific as possible. If the book is aimed at graduate students, indicate whether it is a primary or supplemental text.
- Secondary market: List groups with an occasional need for this material.
- Sources: List in order of importance the SIGs and other organizations and professional or trade publications whose members or readers would be likely subscribers.
- Competition: List publications that compete with or are similar to the one you propose, describing their weaknesses and strengths and how your publication will be superior. Provide as much data on competitive products as possible (publisher, date written, price, page length, etc.).
- How many manuscript pages do you anticipate to fully cover your topic? How many pages of appendixes/bibliography?
- Electronic product: Please provide a description of the platform and the interface.
- Timetable: Please provide your best estimate for completing and delivering the reviewable draft manuscript.
The subject area editor and a representative from ACM Books are available to work with the author throughout the development process.
One goal for this period is to select a small team of reviewers for the manuscript. Reviews will be arranged for well in advance of the manuscript's completion, whenever possible, in order to reserve time with the reviewers to avoid potential delays to the publication process.
For longer manuscripts, the area editor and reviewers may decide that reviewing the manuscript in parts over time, rather than as a whole, is more efficient. If authors have particular questions or opinions to ask of reviewers, those will be included in the initial request.
Once the reviews are completed, the author and subject area editor may, at their discretion, discuss any issues raised during that process and decide on the best course of action to move forward. At that time, the author(s) and area editor will schedule the necessary amount of time to complete any revisions or corrections, and work toward that goal.
The final stage of the above process is the author's delivery of the following, which comprises the completed manuscript:
- the final manuscript files (LaTeX files or Word files)
- an abstract
- a detailed list of keywords
- a preface
- author acknowledgements
- the original art files (jpeg, tiff, png, pdf, etc.)
- an author biography
- a bibliography
- an index
- a complete double-spaced pdf for editing
- an author headshot (jpeg)
- a bibliography (for LaTeX books, please provide the .bbl file)
It is our expectation that all illustration files will be of high quality. Authors are requested to save all image files, individual illustrations as separate files. Even if you redraw an illustration you may still be required to obtain permission. Just changing the color of an illustration is not considered redrawing it.
ACM takes copyright and the proper attribution of intellectual property very seriously. ACM also takes the process of obtaining permissions for the inclusion of copyrighted materials in all ACM Publications very seriously. Obtaining permissions to include materials from third parties is often a complicated and time consuming process. Please begin the process of clearing the third party permissions as soon as possible.
With this said, it is ACM's goal to simplify this process for the author of ACM Books, wherever possible. Towards this end, permissions should be treated as belonging to one of two categories, those requests made directly to ACM as the copyright holder of materials the author wishes to include in his or her manuscript and those requests to be made of third parties for materials who's rights are not held by ACM. See below. Please review the following when using third party material: https://www.acm.org/publications/authors/third-party-material.
Citation Style and Reference Formats
You always need a citation when using third party material. Citations for third party material can appear at the bottom of the page, at the end of a chapter or at the end of the book. https://www.acm.org/publications/authors/reference-formatting.
ACM Copyrighted Materials
For authors of ACM Books who wish to use illustrations or small portions of text previously published in an ACM journal, conference, or magazine, permissions for those items shall be subject to the ACM Copyright and Permissions requirements posted at < http://authors.acm.org/main.html>.
ACM shall take a liberal approach to granting such permissions without any associated fees, although it is necessary for all authors to follow the official ACM procedures for obtaining such permissions.
Non ACM Copyrighted Materials
For authors of ACM Books who wish to use illustrations or small portions of text from works of their own or others copyrighted elsewhere, ACM Books will assist with copyright permissions, although it is ultimately the responsibility of the author to obtain these permissions prior to submission of the final manuscript for publication.
High quality production and rapid publication are important components of the value proposition ACM offers to those wishing to publish their manuscripts with ACM Books. One way to insure this for multiple-authored books is for co-authors to select a “responsible author” who will be responsible as the main point of contact for ACM Books staff and volunteer editors from the very beginning stages of the proposal through final manuscript delivery.
Once final manuscript files are received from the "responsible author", production will start immediately, sometimes even the same day as files are received. Authors cannot resubmit book files once they are initially submitted.
The first step in the production process is copyediting, using the author’s PDF of the double-spaced manuscript. Please note that for efficiency and optimization of the production process, chapters are processed in batches for copyediting, copyediting review, paging, first page review, and so forth. For example, the author is sent the copyedited text for their review as soon as the first set of chapters are completed by the copyeditor. While the author is reviewing this first set of edited chapters, the copyeditor is editing the subsequent chapters. This keeps the text moving steadily.
While reviewing the copyedited text, the author has the opportunity to mark any additional corrections they may have at that time. The text is then returned to the project manager to arrange to have the corrections inserted and the manuscript formatted. Once these tasks are completed (again, the work on the chapters is being done in batches), authors will receive the formatted page proofs for their review. The author must then proofread their text and submit their final corrections. The text will be corrected as needed and a revised proof will be sent to the author for their final review and approval. This final review should be brief, with a quick check to ensure that the author's previously requested changes were made correctly. It is expected that unless there is a serious issue prohibiting a fast turnaround, authors will provide their final sign-off within a few days’ time. Upon completion of the author’s final review, the text will then be indexed, if needed, and finalized.
When the finalized text is approved, files will be prepared for publication, including relinking any broken links, adding DOIs to references, and preparing various eBook and print publication files. Authors will be sent a notification when this is completed and their book officially published.
Once published, authors will be alerted and given the published file link, so that they can download and advise students and colleagues to do the same.
Authors generally ask how long this production process takes. For ACM Books, the following is our targeted goal:
- For shorter books, up to 150 or so pages, from receipt of final files to online publication can take approximately 3 months.
- For longer books, up to 350 pages, the goal is to publish online within 5-6 months.
- Print-on-Demand takes approximately two weeks for set up, printing, and delivery, which means that Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble will publish print copies within a couple weeks, and Kindle or Nook versions within two months.