The primary function of the Hakluyt Society is the publication of geographical texts, narratives and original translations, and to this end proposals are invited from prospective authors and editors who have prepared, or are tentatively considering the preparation of material that might be suitable for publication by the Society. However, it must be appreciated that the Society issues only two or three volumes per year, and that for much of the time there is a backlog of new volumes in preparation or awaiting publication. A new proposal is therefore unlikely to appear in print for several years even if the manuscript is nearing completion at the time of submission.
Proposals for publication must be submitted on a questionnaire which may be downloaded from this page. The questionnaire is designed to assist the Council of the Society in making its first assessment of the proposal. The completed form will be sent to members of Council for discussion at the next Council meeting. It does not commit either the Society or the proposer. If the proposal as presented here is provisionally approved, the next stage will be more detailed discussion with the Series Editor(s), and may also involve a request for a specimen of text, and referral to a specialist referee for a report. When the Society is satisfied that it wishes to confirm the project, the proposer will be informed, a contract will be issued, and a Series Editor will be assigned to the project. The final decision to publish is subject to approval of the delivered text.
In preparing a volume for the Society some thought should be given to the cost of publication. Ideally we seek to publish volumes not exceeding 300 pages in all (approx. 180,000 words, fewer if illustration is involved). Introductions should not be of excessive length, and should be specific to the text. The Society expects a high quality of scholarly footnote annotation. Illustrations should be genuinely relevant to the text, and colour can be used only in special cases, or at the editor’s expense.
It is highly desirable that authors and editors are computer literate, can communicate reliably by email, and can submit their manuscripts in a recent version of Microsoft Word or an equivalent established word processing program. It is also essential that authors thoroughly read and adhere to the Society's Guidance for Editors and house style sheet, downloadable below.
Successful proposers are expected to produce a usable text on disk or by email attachment, presented according to the Society’s house style, information about which is downloadable from this page. They should be prepared to accept editorial guidance and decisions made by the Series Editor on behalf of the Society, and to produce an adequate index when proof stage is reached. The Society for its part undertakes to offer detailed editorial guidance and to produce a well printed and well bound book.
Proposers should be aware from the outset that the Society does not pay royalties or other remuneration to volume editors, and that the contract will require them to transfer copyright in the title to the Hakluyt Society. They are, however, entitled to 20 copies of the book when published. Editorial expenses such as postage, publication, copyright or reproduction fees etc., are normally paid by the Society provided that they are agreed in advance.