Can I submit my proposal to multiple presses? And will you consider a manuscript that is under review elsewhere?
You can contact more than one press in order to gauge their potential interest in your project. You need to be transparent when you reach out to presses—that is, inform them that you have also contacted other presses. The important moment is if a press decides to send your manuscript out for peer review. Presses have different policies about whether they will review a book that is under consideration with another press; some may ask you for an “exclusive review,” which means that no other press will send out your project for peer review while it is being reviewed by that press. Other presses will allow for multiple submissions and for the project to be reviewed by multiple presses at the same time.
If you would like to have more than one press formally review your work, you should disclose this information to the editor you are working with. The editor will want to know how many other publishers are involved and ensure that you will see the review process through with all of the presses to which you have submitted and that, further, you will not enter into a contractual agreement with a press until all offers have been made. The decision on whether to move forward with the peer review process after this disclosure will differ from press to press and project to project.
—NYU Press, November 2020
Most presses allow for simultaneous submission of proposals but will not want to peer review a manuscript that is out for peer review with another press at the same time. When in doubt, it’s best to be transparent and ask all of the editors from the presses you’re considering.
—AUPresses Faculty Outreach Committee, April 2020