Choosing the most appropriate publisher for a book you are intending to write is no easy task. Before contacting a specific publisher you should check:
Many institutions and professional societies and associations maintain lists of recommended publishers, such as CERES (Social Sciences and Humanities).
Before contacting the publisher of your choice, keep in mind that most of them will require some information about the planned book:
An edited book is a collection of chapters by different authors brought together by an editor (or editors). These are original scholarly works presenting different viewpoints on a specific topic.
In some disciplines edited books are a very common and an important form of scholarly publishing, sometimes becoming "classic" texts in their area of research.
Until recently contributions to edited books were considered a less visible form of publication as book chapters were not easily discoverable (unlike books or journal articles). This is changing with the creation of the Book Citation Index in Web of Science Core Collection and the inclusion of tens of thousands of edited books in Scopus. Depending on the licensing and copyright agreements, some publishers also allow book chapters to be uploaded to an institutional repository, such as Research@THEA, which can greatly enhance their visibility,and potentially, impact.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit long (10-digits before 2007) unique number that helps to quickly identify books in databases, catalogues or other media. Every book publication gets an ISBN assigned by an authorised entity. It is usually the publisher that assigns ISBNs to their books.
Where a book is published by an organisation (such as a university, or an individual school) ISBNs can be issued by an authorised unit.
Self-published books are generally less well-regarded than those edited and published by commercial publishers but they can be a useful way of raising your profile or visibility, and also of making content or information openly accessible to a broader audience, such as guidelines or lecture notes. There are various platforms available for authors to self-publish and distribute content including iBooks (iTunes), Amazon Kindle and Scribd.
As the author of a work you are the copyright holder. If you wish to allow others to use and/or adapt your content, you can publish your material with a creative commons licence which allows others to reuse it (with appropriate attribution). More information on Creative Commons is available through the links below: