The Alternate Press An independent book publisher
offering Information and inspiration
about natural family living since 1976

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Life Media

The Alternate Press Author Guidelines

Please Note: We are not currently accepting any unsolicited book proposals.

Life Media, under its imprint The Alternate Press, has published a variety of books using the following guidelines. If you plan to submit a book proposal, please read them carefully prior to submitting a query. We only accept queries by email; queries by regular mail will not be read or returned.

Does Your Book Fit With Our Editorial Mandate and Business Perspective?

The Alternate Press is a small Canadian publishing house with an international audience that specializes in positive, adult non-fiction about natural parenting; secular homeschooling, unschooling, democratic education and independent learning; green business; and green living. Please note that we do not publish health manuscripts, poetry, children's books, curriculum-oriented materials of any sort, books targeting school teachers, or religious materials.

Beyond its compatibility with our other titles for marketing purposes, the criteria we use to decide whether or not to accept a manuscript for publication include the following (please address these issues in your query):

  • Is there a market demand for the information?

  • What else has been published on the same topic and how recently?

  • How much knowledge does the author have about the topic?

  • Is the quality of writing good?

  • Does the book provide positive motivation and tools for change?

  • Does the book have an international focus?

How to Submit Your Proposal:

Having determined that your book could fit into The Alternate Press list (if you are still not sure, checking with us via email prior to submitting a full proposal will save us all time), please prepare your proposal according to the suggestions below. Note that we consider manuscripts for publication, not ideas. So we ask that you wait to query us until your book is written, or at least well on its way.

Send us the following, by email as an attachment in Microsoft Word:

  • A cover letter with complete contact information and letting us know if this is a simultaneous submission;

  • A synopsis or outline of the whole book;

  • A sample of approximately 25 consecutive double-spaced manuscript pages, preferably including the first chapter (please do not send the whole manuscript);

  • A brief biography or profile of yourself (one page or less) summarizing relevant professional and personal information. (We don't really care about your degrees but experience with the topic you're writing about is essential.);

  • A list of what you have already had published, including magazine articles and books, and whether or not any part of the submitted manuscript has been published already in any format.

What Happens Next?

We will acknowledge your query upon receipt. A more detailed response can take up to two months. We receive a large number of submissions, so please do not email us about yours until two months have passed and you still haven't heard from us.

When we respond, there are many possibilities. We may:

  • reject your manuscript as unsuitable;

  • ask for a longer sample;

  • ask for a more complete outline or a table of contents;

  • suggest the addition of material or a different approach to the topic;

  • accept it and offer you a publishing contract specifying royalties, copyright arrangements, etc. (We do not offer an advance on royalties.)

If your book is accepted by The Alternate Press, your contract will include a tentative publication date and we will send you an outline of the process from beginning to end. Then the editing process will begin, followed by book design. You should expect substantial input from the editor and be prepared to meet deadlines for revisions.


The Alternate Press is the book publishing imprint of Life Media