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Information for Authors
What we publish
At Oxford University Press Southern Africa, we publish educational books for learners and students of all ages.
OUPSA’s local dictionary publishing programme focuses on supporting learning in schools, in order to ensure that our dictionaries support the curriculum, are user-focused, and acknowledge the multilingual nature of the South African learning experience, while maximising our strength in both the Trade and Schools channels.
The Schools Department at OUPSA focuses on publishing school textbooks for Grade R to Grade 12, in line with the South African CAPS curriculum, and other supporting educational resources. Our literature for the younger grades (grades 1–7) is usually in the form of readers that accompany and support our core language series. We do not publish outside of the CAPS curriculum and do not publish children’s picture books, story books, nursery rhymes, or any other type of fiction or non-fiction outside of the CAPS curriculum.
The Prescribed Literature Department publishes fiction that is suitable for teenagers and that has the potential to be prescribed as a setwork for Grade 8 to Grade 12 (ages 13–18) in secondary schools in southern Africa.
- We publish in all of South Africa’s official languages.
- We are currently outside out of a tender season for the Department of Basic Education, so we are focusing on novels and plays.
- The language level, characters, themes and plot should be appropriate for literary analysis and study within in the school classroom.
- The main character of the novel should ideally be of school-going age, so that the learners can see themselves in the story, and the themes should appeal and be relevant to teenagers.
- Usually we would be looking for manuscripts between 30,000-60,000 words long.
- In terms of poetry and short stories, we only publish multiple-author anthologies that are suited to the South African school curriculum.
We do not publish single-author poetry and/or short story collections, science-fiction/fantasy-type novels, biographies, autobiographies, spiritual, motivational, self-help, coffee table books, recipe books, teach-yourself-how-to books, travel or religious novels..
The Higher Education Department publishes textbooks for tertiary studies at university level in the fields of business, economics, law, and social sciences.
The TVET Department publishes technical and vocational education training textbooks for students at TVET colleges in South Africa.
Please read our general publishing information before submitting your proposal
- If you have self-published and would like to explore distribution opportunities for your work, then The Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) should be able to provide you with information on distribution groups in South Africa. You can contact PASA on (021) 762 9083 or via their website: at http://www.publishsa.co.za/
- PASA will also be able to answer most questions on publishing and the different publishing houses in South Africa.
- We do not offer editorial services such as proofreading, editing, typesetting and translation to the public.
- We do not have a printing facility, so we cannot print anything for you.
- If you would like to find a literary agent, you can consult The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.
- We receive so many manuscripts that our publishing team is unable to meet in person with potential authors to discuss possible publications before submitting the work. We therefore kindly ask that you follow our guidelines below for submitting your work. If your work matches our publishing plan, we will then make contact with you to discuss matters further.
- OUPSA cannot assist in recommending or providing ghost writers so if you would like to get in touch with someone to help you write a book, we can suggest contacting The Professional Editors' Group (www.editors.org.za) or the South African Freelancers Association (www.safrea.co.za). These organisations should be able to put you in touch with a freelance writer.
- We publish primarily for southern African learners and students. If the main audience for your book is in another part of the world outside of Africa, please send your proposal directly to the relevant Oxford office, which you can find by going to www.oup.com.
In order for us to evaluate a book or proposal effectively, it is helpful for us to receive additional information about the book and about you! This information enables us to reach a decision on whether or not to publish. When you are planning your book proposal, here are things you should consider:
- First and most importantly, who is your audience? Be as specific as possible.
- Why will these people choose to buy your book specifically? What is the unique selling proposition?
- Who is your competition? In other words, what other books are there on this subject, and particularly, in the South African market?
- What things make your book better than any of these competing books?
- Think about how many people will buy your book. As far as possible, you should know how large your market is.
- Where will they go to buy your book?
- Finally, will people continue to buy your book for several years? The most successful books do not go out of date quickly.
How to submit a proposal
Once you're ready to send your proposal to us, please send it to the appropriate publishing managers listed below. At Oxford, our publishing teams consider all the proposals that we receive.
In order to provide information about yourself, please use one of the following Manuscript Submission Forms:
Your proposal should contain:
- A copy of the complete manuscript for literature; a copy of one chapter for HE, Schools and TVET
- A synopsis of the book in English, including the ending
- the completed Manuscript Submission Form
- a covering letter outlining the proposed market for the book (see above)
Please do not send any sole original copies. While Oxford University Press South Africa practices reasonable care in safeguarding the works that we receive, we cannot be held accountable for any loss or damage.
For School book, school prescribed literature, TVET and dictionary proposals, please send your proposal to:
For attention: The Publishing Manager Schools Division
For Higher Education proposals, please email your proposal to:
For Attention: The Publishing Manager: Higher Education Division
Whether you are hoping to become an Oxford author or are already writing for us, read our Guide to authors of tertiary books to find out about how we work and how to write your book.
(This is an Adobe Acrobat .pdf document. Please click here to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view this file.)
Publishing your research
Although we are not able to publish monographs or journal articles locally, such proposals are of interest to Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom.
Visit the journal websites to read the latest research and sign up for email table of contents alerts.