When can I expect a contract? What is the difference between an advance contract and a final contract?
Contracts are given at various times. Some presses may offer a contract before the peer-review process is complete and before their editorial board has approved the project. These contracts, which are sometimes called advance contracts, may be given on the basis of a partial or complete manuscript, and they may be given before or after some form of peer review, but advance contracts are most likely contingent on successful peer review of the complete manuscript and approval by an editorial board, so having an advance contract does not necessarily mean your book will definitely be published. Other presses offer contracts only after a manuscript has been peer reviewed and approved by their editorial board. These contracts are sometimes referred to as final contracts because the condition of editorial board approval has been met. Although given at different points in the process, advance contracts and final contracts are usually the same document. When in doubt, it is best to ask your editor when you might be offered a contract.
—AUPresses Faculty Outreach Committee