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What Paladin Looks for in a Manuscript or Video Proposal

Many potential authors wonder how Paladin decides whether or not to accept a manuscript for publication or video for production. Paladin welcomes book and video ideas from veteran authors and first-timers alike, and our editorial staff gives all of them serious consideration. Although we award contracts to only a small percentage of the hundreds of submissions we receive yearly, you can improve your chances of becoming a Paladin author by reading this inside glimpse of how we critique a submission and decide whether it's worth the risk--and hopefully the reward--to produce, publish, and market it.

The editors at Paladin evaluate each submission by asking a series of questions to determine whether the manuscript or video meets certain criteria. If it meets one or more, we will seriously consider it for our list. Some of the major questions (along with recent examples of how they've been answered successfully) include:

  • Is the project on an entirely new subject not covered by the current offerings in our catalog? We've put out scores of martial art books and videos on how to bang people up in the ring—whether it's boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, or today's hugely popular no-holds-barred (NHB) competition—but we had nothing on how to fix them up after the bell has been rung or the matt tapped. That's why we knew Dr. Michael Kelly's Fight Medicine: Diagnosis and Treatment of Combat Sports Injuries for Boxing, Wrestling, and Mixed Martial Arts would be a hit with medical professionals, fighters, trainers, and managers.
  • Is it a new angle on an old topic? Paladin has released books and videos on self-defense against virtually every type of criminal activity, yet we never carried anything that focused on an all-too-frequent danger ripped from today's headlines: workplace violence. That is why we published Loren Christensen's hard-hitting how-to guide Surviving Workplace Violence , the only non-academic approach to the subject available today.
  • Is it a fresh look at a particular topic? Bill Valentine's seminal books Gang Intelligence Manual and Gangs and Their Tattoos are still required reading in law-enforcement circles, but we knew Matthew O'Deane's Gang Investigator's Handbook would bring Paladin customers up to date on the very latest developments in the fight against dangerous street, biker, and prison gangs.
  • Is it a definitive piece of work on a particular topic? Many Paladin titles are considered the definitive works on their subject matters, from Mark Hatmaker's massive DVD/workbook combination The Complete Grappler to Brian Price's monumental instructional tome Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction . Or the meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated History of Sniping and Sharpshooting by Maj. John Plaster.
  • Is it controversial or provocative? One of the most debated incidents in the history of American law enforcement is the deadly gunfight that took place in Miami, Florida, between FBI agents and two violent felons. Forensic Analysis of the April 11, 1996, FBI Firefight is the most detailed scientific and tactical analysis of that day, thoroughly addressing all of the questions and controversies that continue to echo in the decade since the last shot was fired
  • Is it historically significant? Paladin is well known as the publisher of some of Jeff Cooper's most famous books, including Principles of Personal Defense and The Art of the Rifle , which is why we jumped at the chance to carry the DVD set Jeff Cooper's Defensive Pistolcraft Tape Series . We knew our customers would be eager to see Colonel Cooper in his prime in 1986, personally giving instruction in the core concepts that form the Modern Technique of the Pistol.
  • Is it eagerly anticipated? Ever since the publication of Jim Cirillo's Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights and the release of his follow-up training videos, Jim Cirillo: Modern-Day Gunfighter and Secrets of a Master Gunfighter , customers had been clamoring for more details about Jim's years with the New York City Police Department's famous Stakeout Unit. Author Paul Kirchner knew this, which is why he took on the project that has become one of our most recent bestsellers, Jim Cirillo's Tales of the Stakeout Squad .
  • Will the author's credentials appeal to a significant number of customers? Kelly McCann ("Jim Grover" from his days when he published a popular column under that pseudonym for Guns & Ammo magazine) is well known and highly regarded in the professional security, counterterrorist, combatives, and combat shooting communities. His book, Street Smarts, Firearms, and Personal Security , and numerous videos on firearm and unarmed combatives training are simply among the best products Paladin Press has to offer.

Although this is not an exhaustive list of the types of questions we ask when evaluating manuscripts and video proposals, it gives you an idea of some of the things we must consider before committing to the considerable time and expense of publishing a book or producing a video. But unless you develop an idea, write it down, and submit it to us, you'll never know if your book proposal has "it" – that blend of being topical, well presented, informative, and marketable.

For detailed information on how to submit your manuscript, please read through our Submission Guidelines and/or E-mail our Editorial Department.