I N F O R M A T I O N F O R A U T H O R S
ISI Books specializes in the publication of accessible nonfiction titles aimed at both the scholar and the educated layman. We see our mission as one of filling the widening gap between university presses and trade presses; that is, we eschew academic jargon and overspecialization on the one hand, and the oversimplification of complicated ideas on the other. We aim to be the home of public intellectuals working within the traditions of religious humanism and conservatism, the boundaries of which we prefer to delineate by the titles we publish rather than in abstract terms.
Smart, powerful cultural criticism is our forte; a few recent books in this category would include Robert George's Clash of Orthodoxies, Peter Lawler's Aliens in America, Roger Scruton's The West and the Rest, and Chantal Delsol's Icarus Fallen. We also do history (see Allan Carlson's The "American Way," Richard Gamble's The War for Righteousness, George Nash's Conservative Intellectual Movement in America), literary criticism (John Rodden's Scenes from an Afterlife: The Legacy of George Orwell, Glenn Arbery's Why Literature Matters, Myron Magnet's Dickens and the Social Order), biography (Gregory Wolfe's Malcolm Muggeridge, Joseph Pearce's Unafraid of Virginia Woolf: The Friends and Enemies of Roy Campbell, Daniel Kelly's James Burnham and the Struggle for the World), classic reprints (Who Owns America?, edited by Herbert Agar and Allen Tate, Romano Guardini's End of the Modern World, Röpke's A Humane Economy), and much else besides. Besides those already mentioned, our list of authors includes Israel Kirzner, Wilfred McClay, Victor Davis Hanson, Harvey Mansfield, John Lukacs, and many other prominent scholars.
ISI Books publishes about twenty titles per year. Our titles are distributed and sold to the trade through a special partnership with the University of Chicago Press. We advertise in national trade magazines and mainstream publications, and our books are regularly reviewed in national journals and newspapers, including the Times Literary Supplement, the New Republic, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and First Things.
Because ISI has a membership network of well over 50,000 students and faculty, and because ISI publications have a combined annual print run of about 575,000, our books have a disproportionate influence on campus intellectual life. And because we are selective about the books we publish and put a lot of energy and resources into the titles we choose to market nationally, our authors can count on a high level of personal and institutional commitment. We seldom let our books fall out of print, nor do we forget about them once they are backlisted. For ISI Books, every year brings new faculty, new students, new book-buyers.
In addition to the substantive merit of ISI books, we are proud of the physical quality of books we produce. We have received awards and widespread recognition for the aesthetic quality of our books' production qualities and designs.
Proposals should be directed to the editor in chief and at minimum should consist of a query letter, CV, manuscript précis, projected table of contents, and sample chapter. Please allow for up to ten weeks for a response. Only manuscripts sent with self-addressed, stamped envelopes will be returned. The editor prefers to receive proposals via post rather than e-mail. Please do not call with manuscript proposals.
ISI Books does not publish fiction or poetry.
Please note that due to a heavy backlog ISI Books is not reviewing unsolicited manuscripts and proposals.