ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman

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Publisher analysis

About the publisher

Name: ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman


Purpose, objective, or mission: Publishing resources for librarians and LIS professionals worldwide “to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy..”1 ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman is interested in publishing coverage of any library type, including cross-disciplinary topics, and is dedicated to diversity and inclusion. They cater to wide and varied audiences.2

Target audience: “Library and information professionals, faculty and students, researchers and scholars, archivists and other cultural heritage professionals, and library advocates.”3

Owner: American Library Association (ALA)4

Are published books peer reviewed? Proposals and manuscripts undergo an internal review, and, depending on the title, are reviewed by peer advisory boards.

Types of books published: Print and digital.5 Notably, among many types of publications, they publish highly regarded textbooks used in LIS programs.

Medium: Print, digital, and interactive formats.6

Topics covered: Coverage of publications “spans” the types of libraries namely academic, public, school, and special libraries. They are interested in cross disciplinary topics such as copyright, censorship, ethics, law, and sustainability.  Overlapping disciplines are desired as well including information studies, archives, and records and information management. 7

ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman encourages authors to consider how diversity and inclusion impact their topic. “We are dedicated to acquiring and creating content that reflects the unique experiences and backgrounds of librarianship. We want readers, library staff, and patrons to feel empowered by the written word and reflected in the books and content that we publish..”8

Number of titles published per year: In 2019, ALA Editions published 65 new titles and distributed more than 200 titles for its publishing partners, which include Facet Publishing and the Society of American Archivists

About the publisher’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Also click here to download PDF of proposal guidelines: Download Proposal Guidelines (.docx)

Types of submissions accepted: ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman is interested in proposals that:9

  • Have clear subject, scope, content, and approach.
  • Are distinct and compelling
  • Fit an intended market and audience
  • Stand out from the competition

Types of submissions the publisher is not interested in: This publisher is not interested in proposals that:

  • Have unclear value to intended audience(s)
  • Offer outdated perspectives
  • Do not value diversity and inclusion

Submission and review process: Start by submitting your proposal here. Email your query or proposal to the appropriate member of the editorial team: click here and scroll to bottom of page for editors’ contact info. The three editors specialize in these areas respectively: LIS education, archives, and special libraries; Academic libraries and Library Technology Reports; Public and school librariesThey will consider completed manuscripts but inquire before submitting them.

Allow 6-8 weeks for evaluation.10

For more information, such as details on what happens after your manuscript is submitted during the productions process, please see the Author Guide.11

Editorial tone: Employ appropriate tone that is suitable for your intended audience such as library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators. 12

Style guide used: Utilize The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), 17th edition, primarily. Also use Merriam-Webster (MW), 11th edition, as your primary dictionary; and Garner’s Modern American Usage for questions not answered in CMS.13

Conclusion: Evaluation of publisher’s potential for LIS authors

The ALA is a widely recognized and respected LIS resource, consulted by librarians and information professionals worldwide. ALA authors are leaders in their field, and so having a manuscript accepted for ALA Publication would provide authors with a large market for potential readership, amongst LIS professionals and peers. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman work closely with authors to market their work, both before and after publication. This includes promotion, distribution, exhibits, and many other marketing avenues. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman has their own catalog, and the ALA has an online store.1415 From the Writer Guidelines: “Your work is in the hands of seasoned professionals. We develop, manufacture, and market your project in a way that draws good reviews and customer interest.”16


Audience analysis

About the publisher’s audience

Size: This is a very large, encompassing publishing house. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman sends their catalog to over sixty thousand recipients twice per year. Books are listed in the online ALA store, which has over fifty thousand visitors per month.17

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Although based in Chicago, IL, ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes and reaches librarians and LIS professionals around the world.18 ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman “publications are promoted, translated, and distributed worldwide.”19

Reader characteristics: This is the more professional ALA publishing imprint, focusing on LIS professional development and improving library services. Readers are interested in library and information science, with backgrounds varying from librarian, educator,  LIS administrators and professionals. ALA is the premier Library and Information Science group around, and it would be well worth any author’s time to try to work with them. Their bias is simply pro anything LIS, rather than other publishing houses who have an LIS focus. With ALA, LIS is everything.20

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Strong, as this is the imprint of the American Library Association.21

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

You’re guaranteed a knowledgeable audience eager for new LIS material when you publish with ALA. Not only are ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman books marketed on the ALA website (including ALA Store), but they’re promoted at ALA conferences and events, emailed to a huge mailing list, and heavily marketed through a partnership with Amazon. Readers of ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman books are seeking LIS material specifically, and will most likely be up to date on your subject matter or, if not, curious to learn from like-minded professionals in the field. This is the first stop publisher and organization for anyone seeking LIS reading material, and is an excellent group to be a part of.

Last updated: September 18, 2020


Show 21 footnotes

  1. “Home,”, accessed September 10, 2020,
  2. “Write with Us,”, accessed September 10, 2020,
  3. “Write with Us.”
  4. “ALA Publishing,”, accessed September 9, 2020,
  5. “Home.”
  6. “Write with Us.”
  7. “Write with Us.”
  8. “Write with Us.”
  9. “Write with Us.”
  10. “Proposal Guidelines,”, accessed September 15, 2020,
  11. “Author Guide.”, accessed September 15, 2020,
  12. “Home.”
  13. “Author Guide.”
  14. “Marketing.”, accessed September 15, 2020,
  15. “Catalogs.”, accessed September 15, 2020,
  16. “Write with Us.”
  17. “Marketing.”
  18. “Marketing.”
  19. “Write with Us.”
  20. “Write with Us.”
  21. “Home.”
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