Write for Us

Find out what you need to do to become a YS author.

Guidelines for product proposals
Submission info for the Ideas Library

Write For Us: Guidelines for Product Proposals

If you've got a great idea for a new YS resource, we want to know about it. Here you'll find the guidelines for product proposals.

Youth Specialties publishes books, videos, CD-ROMs, and other resources. For simplicity's sake, we'll use the word “book” to refer to whatever it is you're proposing.

Section One

Your name [Type it exactly as you would like it to appear on the cover and title page.]

Information about yourself: Prepare an extended bio, including your—

Your marketing opportunities: A description of potential marketing channels to which you have access (e.g., contacts you have in key organizations, groups you speak to regularly, key people you know who might endorse your book, etc.)

    • Address, telephone
    • Present position
    • Educational background
    • Biographical information
    • Previous publications
      • Web sites/magazines/other media
      • Books: title, publication date, and life to-date sales on any other of your books
    • What qualifies you to write this book?

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Section Two

Description of the book

Describe the book and make a strong case for why the book must be created and published. Be sure to include:

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Section Three

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Write For Us: Submissions Info for the Ideas Library

Ideas books now paying you for your ideas!

At some point in your ministry, you've probably come up with a brilliant game, ice-breaker, activity, or something else that you think other youth workers would love. If so, submit it to us and we may include it in an upcoming Ideas book (and you'll get paid!).

Ideas is now paying at least $40 for unpublished, field-tested ideas that have worked for you. If you're familiar with the Ideas books from Youth Specialties, you know that theoretical, unproven, sanitary, and tidy ideas aren't what in-the-trenches youth ministers are looking for. They want—you want—imagination as well as scriptural soundness in Bible studies, take-'em-by-surprise novelty in parties and other events...ideas that have been tested and improved in the very real, very adolescent world you work in.

So here's what to do:

  •  As you write, remember that you're trying to sell us on a book idea. Give us a realistic but positive description of what you propose. If you can't build a good case for why the book should be published, perhaps you should reconsider whether it's worth your time and effort to write it. (When possible please use short bullet points)
    • Tentative title of the book
    • Subtitle
    • Possible alternative titles
    • 1-2 Page Synopsis of the book
    • Focus/Purpose
      • Clarify the focus, purpose, and argument of the book.
      • What is your thesis?
      • What are you advocating, defending, or otherwise trying to achieve in the book?
    • Target Market
      • Who is the intended buyer of this book?
      • Secondary Audience?
      • Is the intended end user of the book different than the buyer?
    • The rationale for writing this book.
      • Why is the book needed?
    • Competing Titles
      • What are the other competing titles?
      • How will your book be superior to or different from them?
    • Academic
      • Does the book have realistic potential for textbook adoption or as a required supplemental text in undergraduate- or graduate-level youth ministry courses?
      • If so, what courses?
    • What will be the books unique contribution?
    • Projected word length and completion date of the manuscript

    Brief Synopsis

    Give us one sentence that sells the book; in one sentence what's the hook, why would anyone want to put down $15 bucks to buy this book? This is your one sentence pitch to the sales and marketing team.

    Table of contents

    At this stage, of course, your table of contents is tentative. But you have at least a firm idea where the book is going. So give us—

    Sample chapters

    Incomplete proposals will be returned; responses will be generated within two months of receiving the proposal.

    Please email all ideas to ideas@youthspecialties.com.

    •  Tentative chapter titles
    • A few sentences (paragraph) that explains the focus and development of each chapter
    • Please include one or two sample chapters (Do not send any more than 2 chapters)
    • Tip: Pick your favorite/strongest chapter and send it in
    • If you have an intro worked out, include it

    If your idea passes the meticulous standards of our fussy Ideas editor and gets published in one of our Ideas books, you'll get yourself at least $40 per idea!

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    • Sit down at your computer and type out one or more of your best ideas (double-spaced, please).
    • Include diagrams, photos, and whatever other art you think will help explain your ideas.
    • And include your mailing address, phone numbers and e-mail address to reach you.
    • Mail it all to:

      Youth Specialties
      Attn: Ideas
      833 Broadway, Suite 201
      El Cajon, CA 92021
    • or fax it to 619/440-4939
    • or e-mail it (including your full name, mailing address, and phone number) to Ideas@YouthSpecialties.com