Our authors have an active role in our publishing process, which involves a high degree of choice. Below we have outlined what to expect when publishing with Borderless Press.
Production and Design
With our commitment to the Majority World, Borderless Press maintains an interest in publishing books in many different languages, provided the author is translating or has arranged translation services, and particularly if translation is utilizing voices of the Majority World. At this time we are not able to offer translation services, however we welcome conversations around publishing non-English works. For non-English publications the author must arrange copy editing services and ensure the final manuscript will be to the highest standards of readability to protect the credibility of both the author and Borderless Press.
Particularly for scholars working in Majority World context, often there are scant resources and opportunities for academic mentoring. Borderless Press seeks to make the playing field more equitable. We do this in three major ways. First, we collaborate with Postcolonial Networks to offer writing and publishing workshops around the world. The most recent week-long workshop with Dr. Esther Mombo in Limuru, Kenya assisted nearly 40+ African scholars in fine tuning their work. Second, we offer assistance to beginning scholars in identifying writing mentors. Third, we sometimes offer what we call a “pre-peer review” that is intentionally non-blind, so before going to peer review scholars can get a feel for how their work will perform and gain valuable feedback from trusted and more established scholars. We provide these services because we want those doing promising work to succeed. Fourth, we offer short-term writing residencies at our partner universities and schools in the US for eligible Majority World scholars to complete their book projects. Offering resources is something we are dedicated to doing because we believe in our authors.
Production and Design
In addition to what is outlined above, authors also have say in the design of the book. Cover design services is the responsibility of the author. We have cover designers to recommend. These designers work collaboratively but independent and charge fees for their services. Alternatively, authors can contract their own cover design, but must work in collaboration with the Borderless Press production team for approval. Design is judged by legibility, graphic quality, contemporary aesthetics, appropriateness to content, and compliance with copyright laws.
VI. The Publishing Process
- Proposal. The first step in the publishing process is completing a proposal. This information gathering stage is necessary for us to determine whether the work is both cutting edge and within the mission of Borderless Press (BP).
- Acquisition. If the proposal demonstrates significant potential for publication, then we will reach out to the author to submit a full manuscript. We ask that manuscripts promised to Borderless Press not be discussed with other presses as a professional courtesy. Formal contracts are signed at time of acquisition given the major investment of resources that from this point on Borderless Press will make working with our authors towards successful publication.
- Fine tuning. During this stage of informal acquisition we place an emphasis on building a relationship with the author. In some cases, this may include mentoring or a non-blind pre-peer review with an established scholar in the field who takes an interest in a beginning scholar’s work.
- MSS submission. After such a fine tuning stage, the author submits the full manuscript for review using the following formatting guidelines.
Double Blind Peer Review. For academic manuscripts, peer review ready manuscripts are sent out for double blind peer review.
- Selecting Reviewers. Blind peer reviewers are sought out by Borderless Press editors, and work is sent to them blind (the author’s name is not released). The author may suggest reviewers however they will not know who is selected.
- Blind Peer Review. Peer reviewers are given 4-6 weeks to review the work thoroughly and write comments and recommendations. Comments are sent to Borderless Press, reviewed by our editorial team, and then shared without attribution with the author. There are three typical responses from peer reviewers: 1) the work is publishable with no changes or minor changes 2) the work is publishable with major changes 3) the work is not recommended for publishing.
- Author Acceptance. Once the author has received the peer review feedback, the author has 21 days to respond to Borderless Press with what is called an “author acceptance letter.” This letter outlines the suggested changes they commit to make based on review feedback, as well as a timeline for when revisions will be completed in a full and satisfactory manner. Depending on the amount of changes the author commits to, the post-peer review editing stage can take 1-6 months.
- Peer Review Pass. Once all promised changes had been made to the work, the work is considered to have passed peer review and is ready for publication. The author and Borderless Press move into formal agreement and sign the contract (see below).
III. Copy Editing
- Pre-copy editing. Once the book passes review and all changes are implemented, we request that the author seek copy editing in their own network before submitting the final manuscript. This is particularly applicable for non-native English speakers or for those who have difficulty copy editing their own work.
- Copy editing. Borderless Press provides basic copy editing. Authors have primary responsibility for copy editing including proper citations following Chicago style.
- Indexing and bibliography. While the work is being copy edited the author is encouraged to fine tune their bibliography and index (if applicable).
IV. Layout and Production
- Endorsements. Our team works with authors to identify notable endorsers for the book and reaches out to them on the author’s behalf.
- Cover design. Borderless Press works with author to select cover art. We provide contacts to designers that authors may retain at cost. Our associated designers have significant experience with Borderless Press and express the spirit of the work to the highest design standards.
- Pre-publicity. As soon as the cover is designed, the BP team will provide graphics for announcing the work and begin publicizing pre-release.
- Layout. Once Borderless Press receives the post-peer review manuscript that has been copy edited, and is in final form, then we begin the book’s layout and publishing phases. During this phase the author will have the chance to review one proof with Borderless Press’ production team and make final minute changes (changes to structure and content are not permissible in this stage).
- Indexing. If applicable, once layout and pagination is complete the author will provide an index with proper pagination.
- Release. Borderless Press publishes the book.
V. Post-publishing Relationship
Borderless Press maintains and ongoing relationship with authors.
VI. Additional Information
Formatting and Style Guidelines
- Borderless Press uses the Chicago style.
- Borderless Press can only work with completed manuscripts that are in final draft form and free of errors, and therefore we reserve the right to return manuscripts unread that have a significant number of errors. Borderless Press provides peer review but limited copy editing services free of charge; extensive copy editing is the author’s responsibility.
Peer Review and Copy Editing
- Borderless Press does offer and frequently recommends a pre-peer review process before an author converts their dissertation into a book. Pre-peer reviews offered by senior scholars advise the new author of the ways their dissertation needs to be revised in order to become a publishable book.
- Borderless Press reads and reviews the revised manuscript and makes suggestions to the author for the degree of copyediting required to begin final stage of publication. The only exception to this is when the peer reviewers required a complete manuscript resubmission for a second full peer review. Extensive copyediting may sometimes be necessary for some manuscripts.
- If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer, please contact us.
Publishing Etiquette and the Author-Publisher Working Relationship
The Borderless Press editorial team of senior scholars reviews full manuscripts to determine readiness for peer review. At this point the author should not be shopping their manuscript to several book publishers. The author should be committed to work closely in a timely manner, with Borderless Press to publish their book. Timely means that the author prioritizes the publishing project with their teaching or work schedule and not take on more publishing projects that delays work with Borderless Press. We commit and prioritize our resources to our authors and we require the same of our colleagues.