Author Submission Guidelines

Books on law do not need to be difficult, dull, and costly. At Irwin Law Inc., our aim is to produce books of exceptional quality at affordable prices. We are determined to produce books that are modern, lively, and interesting, as well as clearly organized and attractively designed, at prices substantially lower than our competitors. Indeed, our books are accessible to students and legal practitioners alike, while maintaining the highest standards of excellence. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please check our subject list and make sure your idea fits in with our line of books.

Supporting Diversity and Equity

Irwin Law stands in support of marginalized communities. Our staff comprises a group of individuals who are angered and saddened by the long-standing violence, injustice, and discrimination against Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour; those who identify as LGBTQIA2S+; and those from other under-represented communities. As a company in an industry known for its homogeneity, we are pushing to diversify our author list and our content so that our books are able to speak to, for, and about all Canadians. We are collectively and individually taking proactive steps to do more to promote equity and fairness, both in our work and in our personal lives.

We especially welcome submissions by writers who are Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA2S+, or living with disability, as well as People of Colour or members of other racialized and marginalized groups, as well as all submissions that address the important issues of equity and inclusion. Please note that while you are welcome to disclose whether you are a member of a marginalized community, there is no requirement to do so.

What to Include in Your Proposal 

It is not necessary to send an entire manuscript. However, a complete proposal should include two main items. First, it should include a cover letter containing the following information:

  • Overview: What is the general content and objective of your work? What do you intend to accomplish?
  • Audience: Who or what professional is most likely to purchase your work?
  • Market: Why is your intended proposal needed in its market?
  • Competition: What competing publications are currently on the market? How is your work different from them?
  • The category (or categories) in our subject index appropriate to your proposal
  • Author information: Provide information on yourself and your qualifications, including previous writing or relevant experience, and previously published works.
  • The rationale for your book (approximately 100 words)
  • The proposed length of your book and its current status (completed/ in draft form/ writing not yet begun). If the book is not complete, please make sure you include your estimated completion date

Note: If your proposal includes images, graphs, or figures in the book, please supply us with the original art as separate files (i.e., not inserted in the Word document) that include an image source, if necessary, or the original data used to create any graphs. If the format is such that we have to recreate any graph or figure, please ensure that what the graph or illustration means and is intended to represent is clear so that our designer can create something meaningful and intuitive. Please do not send image files.

Second, a proposal should include the following from the proposed manuscript:

  • A table of contents
  • A detailed chapter outline
  • An introduction
  • Two or three sample chapters.
  • Summary of the experience and background which qualifies you to write the manuscript (approximately 100 words)

What Happens after I Submit a Proposal? 

We acknowledge receipt of proposals within two weeks. Proposals are considered in the first instance by the Publishers, with input from Editorial and Marketing. We try to reach a decision within one to three months, but occasionally more complex proposals sometimes take longer.

Intellectual Property Issues 

Like most publishers, Irwin Law usually holds copyright in the work, although occasionally licence arrangements apply. All work is attributed to the author(s) and/or editor(s).

Manuscript Evaluation 

Once received, your proposal will be screened and forwarded to an editor for review. The review process may take up to twelve weeks, during which time an editor will evaluate your proposal based on editorial, marketing, and philosophical criteria. The purpose of such evaluation is to determine whether your proposal fits with our editorial mission, market niche, and product plans.

Accepted Manuscripts

When manuscripts are accepted for publication, authors are generally offered a royalty contract, according to the type of work and the market it serves. All manuscripts are subject to editing.

Your work will be assigned to an acquisitions editor. These editors are responsible for acquiring manuscripts that meet market needs, revenue goals, and Irwin Law’s publishing mission for any given year. They also develop product concepts, determine product feasibility, negotiate contracts, edit manuscripts for substance (substantive edit), serve as advocates for authors, and govern overall project management. Authors and editors who develop a relationship based on trust and honest communication are capable of producing high quality products.

Please Submit Your Proposal to:

Lesley Steeve
Vice President | Editor-in-Chief
Irwin Law Inc.
206 – 14 Duncan St.
Toronto, ON M5H 3G8
t: 416.862.7690 x229
e:  lsteeve at irwinlaw dot com

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