I am a faculty member at a small liberal arts college and a colleague and I are working on a textbook that is still basically in outline stage. The idea is not completely novel but there are not a lot of other books of this type on the market (although we obviously think there is a need and a market). Recently a representative from an academic publishing house contacted faculty at our school to solicit book ideas and we have a meeting with him.

  • How much should we reveal about our book?
  • Should we worry that he might steal our idea and get another (perhaps better known) author to write the book?

1 Answer 1


Don't worry about them stealing your idea. Ideas are cheap. Publishers care less whether your idea is original than whether you can execute well on your idea.

Here is an excellent article about the topic.

And another from O'Reilly books.

So I'd say that you should reveal as much about the book as you need to in order to impress the publisher. You have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by being coy about your book idea.

  • 1
    +1 for the Writing World link. I can see where I'm going to be spending a lot of the next several weeks. :) Nov 12, 2011 at 15:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.