AMA Innovations in Adult Learning

Book Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Series Editors

William J. Rothwell, Ph.D.
Human Resource Development
The Pennsylvania State University
301 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-2581
Fax: 814-235-0528 or 814-863-7532

Victoria J. Marsick, Ph.D.
Adult Learning & Leadership
Department of Organization & Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120 Street
New York, New York 10027
Phone: 212-678-3754
Fax: 212-678-8148

Andrea D. Ellinger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Human Resource Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
348 Education Building, MC-708
1310 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-333-0807
Fax: 217-244-5632

© Copyright 2005 by Amacom
The AMA Innovations in Adult Learning

The Need for This Series

Adult learning has become more important in today’s knowledge era because lifelong learning is a necessity in all venues. Learning has become integrated with working. At the same time, diversity of the population in the U.S., combined with the growing importance of (and impact of) globalization, creates the need for better understanding of the differences in how adults take in and interpret information, acquire skills, build and share knowledge, and use what they know. And learning is no longer a solo affair, if it ever was. Adult learning is inextricably intertwined with the learning of others: in groups, communities, networks, organizations, institutions, and other social settings.

At the same time, the adult learning field--broadly defined--has been fragmented. Rather than focusing what is known in one professional group, people working in many settings have begun tackling problems of adult learning in their own contexts. This makes a good deal of sense because context plays a key role in how adults learn. But it also encourages ideological / professional silos and works against sharing what is known and how to use diverse perspectives to challenge thinking and approaches currently used to facilitate adult learning in other settings.

This book series offers an opportunity to bring authors together across professions, disciplines, and geographical/cultural boundaries. The series will be complemented by other vehicles for catalyzing and supporting dialogue across boundaries about adult learning. For example, meetings and panels at conferences could be used to spur dialogue, with the content produced in such venues used in edited versions on the series website or in AMA journals.

After reading each work in this series, readers or users will be able to:

  • Describe a new issue or theory in the adult learning field
  • Know where to apply the new knowledge and insights
  • Find key sources of additional information about the approach that was described
  • Describe the results of new, original research (or provide an overview of older, tried-and-true research) on that approach
  • Apply fundamental principles to guide practice when applying the theory

Manuscript Length

Books in this series are to be approximately 55,000 words—about 170 manuscript pages in double-spaced, 12-point font--including all illustrations and other information.


The target market for this series include those who facilitate, manage, and support adult learning in workplace and organizational settings. Secondarily, this series could be valuable to educators in community colleges, postsecondary institutions, and other settings.

Practical Application Elements

While academic readers will appreciate the description of theory about state-of-the-art issues, practitioners will find books in this series helpful because each book will go beyond providing mere theory to providing practical materials (such as worksheets, questionnaires, and activities) that will help them apply theory to real-world settings. Examples of such materials include the following:

  • Principles, directions, instructions, and tips for facilitating adult learning.
  • Worksheets, questionnaires and other useful resources that can be turned into handouts to use immediately with learners.

Books in this series should also be based on theory and research. Theory should not be presented “for its own sake” but in ways that support effective practice. Authors can review and draw upon what is known from research. Authors can also include, or base the book upon, original research on the topic.

Periodically, the series will include an edited volume focused on cutting-edge topics related to a common theme. The series editors will solicit contributors to these periodic volumes that are designed to capture forward-thinking theory and research for which applications to practice are less well understood or tested through experience. These edited volumes are meant to provoke new ways of thinking about emerging and challenging issues around adult learning.

In short, the editors want each book to contain both research-based theory and practical tools for application. We want information presented in a way that readers can instantly use.

Titles and Topics Sought

Many books in this series will be recruited directly from authors who are known for their work in adult learning. However, the Series Editors are also seeking less well published authors who would like to write a book in this series. (Procedures for submitting a proposal are described below.)
Some examples of book topics considered appropriate for the Series currently include:

  • Creating effective learning environments
  • Informal learning
  • Learning technology
  • Assessing strategic value of learning
  • Action Learning Coaches
  • Role of leaders in facilitating learning
  • Self-directed learners
  • Leveraging diversity in learning
  • Knowledge creation and sharing
  • Communities of practice
  • Links between adult learning and organizational learning
  • Capturing and passing on wisdom / tacit knowledge of older generation to successors
  • Cognitive science applications to adult learning
  • Storytelling
  • Discussion as a way of learning/teaching

Of course, the Series Editors welcome other titles and topics if they can be shown to be related to cutting-edge and leading-edge theory or practice in adult learning. The Series Editors encourage prospective authors to contact them to discuss other titles or topics.

Proposal Preparation Guidelines

The Series Editors suggest that prospective contributors adhere to the following guidelines in preparation of book proposal submissions. A complete proposal includes the book proposal form containing author contact information and questions and responses about the proposed book, a detailed outline of book proposal, including an annotated draft Table of Contents, and two sample chapters from the proposed book. Please email the complete book proposal to the Series Editors.

Book Proposal Form

The Adult Learning Theory and Practice Series: Crossroads in Adult Learning

Author Contact Information

Your Name: (Who will be the authors of the work? List all names.)

Your Title:

Your Organization:

Your Office (Day) Phone Number:

Your Home (Evening) Phone Number:

Your Cell Phone Number:

Your Email Address:

Your Preferred Mailing Address: (Please include Number, Street, City, State, and Zip Code.)

When would you deliver your completed manuscript?

Questions and Responses About the Book Proposal:

1. How will this book contribute to the reader’s understanding of adult learning?
2. How will this book incorporate theory? Research? Practice?
3. Will you conduct original research for this book? If so, is the research completed and what is the design of the study? If not, how do you plan to incorporate findings from research studies?
4. What is new about this book?
5. What are the nuts and bolts of the book? What sort of aids or useful tools will readers get from this book? What benefits will the reader derive from your proposed book?
6. What ideas do you have that will make your book come alive? What experiential activities will you provide in each chapter of the book (such as case studies, role plays, surveys, worksheets, questionnaires, etc.?).
7. What are the key features and selling points of the book?
8. What books specifically compete with your proposed book? (Identify the books by authors’ names, titles, price, length, format, publisher, and ISBN). Explain how your proposed book is different from each competitive title.
9. What special marketing and promotional activities will you undertake for the book?
10. What are your qualifications for writing this book? Please include information about your education, work experiences, previous publishing experience (books and articles), recent speaking engagements, and media appearances?

Detailed Outline of Book Proposal

Please respond to each question and include an annotated draft Table of Contents and two sample chapters.

I. Book Overview

A. What is the problem/challenge/opportunity this book will address?
B. What is the argument the author will make in / through this book?
C. What is the background that helps us understand what the author is proposing and why it is important for improving adult learning?
D. How does this book meet the vision behind this series, i.e., that it addresses concerns at the crossroads of adult learning across professions, disciplines, and geographical/cultural boundaries; provokes dialogue across boundaries of adult learning; and speaks to adult or organizational learning in knowledge-intensive settings where learning is often integrated with work and with the learning of others?

II. Market

A. For whom is this book written? What adult learning audiences are served by this target market? What secondary markets exist?
B. Why does the author think this market will be interested in buying and using this book?
C. In more detail than specified above, provide a description of books that compete with this proposed book. How will this book be different than these books?

III. Focus and Organization of Book

A. What is the book’s purpose?
B. Include a Table of Contents and a discussion of what will be covered in each chapter. If the book will be divided in sections, describe what those sections are, how they link together, and how the theme of each section is developed in chapters encompassed in that section.
C. Describe how theory, research, and practice will be presented, i.e., will separate chapters be focused on each? Will they be integrated with respect to particular issues?
D. If the book has multiple authors, describe how the strengths of each author will be used in this book.
E. Describe the way in which the author(s) will include practical applications based on theory/research, i.e. case examples, exercises and worksheets, assessment instruments, etc.
F. Identify the proposed length for the book
G. Identify a delivery date specified in months from the signing of the contract with the publisher.
H. Identify any supplementary material that might support the book, e.g. CD-ROM, training materials, learning guides, worksheets, etc.

IV. About the Author(s)

A. Provide a biographical sketch and contact information for author(s)
B. Provide proposed delivery dates.

Final Manuscript Elements

Once a proposal has been accepted and the book is under contract with Amacom, author(s) will receive more detailed Amacom book submission guidelines from the publisher. However, the draft manuscript should at least contain the following elements.

  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables, Figures, and Exhibits
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Foreword (optional; a Series foreword is included in each book; if you wish to include a book-specific foreword, please let the writer know that the foreword should be no longer than 3 double-spaced manuscript pages)
  • Preface (communicates need, purpose, audience, scope and treatment, and summary of contents)
  • Acknowledgments (optional)
  • Introduction (this may be in place of or in addition to the preface, depending on need)
  • All chapters
  • Art (each table, figure, or exhibit should be on its own page and in a separate file, inserted in the manuscript after the page on which it is first mentioned)
  • Reference List/Bibliography
  • Resource List (optional)
  • Any Required Permissions
  • Author Biographies (2-3 paragraphs for each author)

Steps in the Submission and Review Process

1. Author submits the following (with consultation, if desired, with one of Series Editors):

  • Completed book proposal form including contact information and responses to specified questions.
  • A detailed book proposal outline that includes a draft annotated Table of Contents and proposed delivery dates.
  • Two sample chapters from the proposed book.

2. Series Editors will review submissions in consultation with Amacom. The Series Editors will inform the author of the decision.

3. Amacom will negotiate a contract with authors whose proposals are recommended for publication.

About the Series Editors

William J. Rothwell, Ph.D., SPHR, is Professor-in-Charge of the Workforce Education and Development program in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems on the University Park campus of The Pennsylvania State University. He is also President of Rothwell and Associates, Inc. (see, a full-service consulting firm. As a consultant, he has worked with over 30 multinational corporations. As an academic, he heads up the #2-ranked graduate program in Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) in the U.S.

Before arriving at Penn State, Dr. Rothwell had nearly 20 years of experience as a human resources practitioner in the private and public sectors. He was previously Assistant Vice President and Management Development Director for The Franklin Life Insurance Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Fortune 48 corporation. Before that, he was Training Director for the Illinois Office of the Auditor General, a state government counterpart of the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO).

Dr. Rothwell received his undergraduate degree at Illinois State University, his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Among Dr. Rothwell’s latest books are: Bernthal, P., Colteryahn, K., Davis, P., Naughton, J., Rothwell, W., & Wellins, R. (2004). The ASTD 2004 Competency Study: Mapping the future: Shaping new workplace learning and performance competencies. Alexandria, VA: The American Society for Training and Development; Rothwell, W., & Kazanas, H. (2004). Improving on-the-job training: How to establish and operate a comprehensive OJT program. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Pfeiffer and Company; Rothwell, W., Gerity, G., & Gaertner, E. (Eds.). (2004). Linking training to performance: A guide for workplace developers. Washington: American Association of Community Colleges; Dubois, D., & Rothwell, W. (2004). Competency-based human resource management. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publishing; Rothwell, W., & Kazanas, H. (2003). Mastering the instructional design process: A systematic approach. 3rd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer; Rothwell, W., & Kazanas, H. (2003). The strategic development of talent. Amherst, MA: Human Resource Development Press; Rothwell, W., Lindholm, J., & Wallick, W. (2003). What CEOs expect from corporate training: Building workplace learning and performance initiatives that advance organizational goals. New York: AMACOM; Rothwell, W., & Kazanas, H. (2003). Planning and managing human resources: Strategic planning for human resource management (2nd ed.). Amherst, MA: HRD Press; Rothwell, W., Donahue, W., & Park, J. (2002). Creating in-house sales training and development programs: A competency-based approach to building sales ability. Westport, CT: Quorum Books; Rothwell, W. (2002). The workplace learner: How to align training initiatives with individual learning competencies. New York: Amacom; Rothwell, W., & Benkowski, J. (2002). Building effective technical training: How to develop hard skills in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

Dr. Rothwell is also North American Editor for the International Journal of Training and Development (Blackwell-see the website at and series coeditor of two book series with Pfeiffer: The Organization Change and Development Series (see the website at and the Using Technology in Training and Learning Series.

Bill can be reached by e-mail at or or by phone at (814)-863-2581 (office).

Victoria J. Marsick, Ph.D., is a Professor of Adult & Organizational Learning, Department of Organization and Leadership, Columbia University, Teachers College. She co-directs the J.M. Huber Institute for Learning in Organization at Teachers College with Martha Gephart. She directs graduate programs in adult education and organizational learning. Prior to joining Teachers College, she was a Training Director at the United Nations Children’s Fund. She holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.P.A. in International Public Administration from Syracuse University.

Victoria is a founding member of Partners for the Learning Organization and of the Institute for Leadership in International Management. She consults with both the private and public sectors on the design of learning organizations, action reflection learning™, and training approaches. Her clients have included PSE&G, AT&T, Coca Cola, Fidelity Investments, Imperial Oil/EXXON companies, CIBA-GEIGY, Travelers Companies, Arthur Andersen SC, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, UNICEF, the City of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

Victoria has collaborated with Dr. Martha Gephart on a survey-based assessment instrument of organizational learning and its links to performance. She has also developed diagnostic tools for team learning with Drs. Kathleen Dechant and Elizabeth Kasl; and for the learning organization with Dr. Karen Watkins.

Recent books include: Informal Learning on the Job (1999, co-edited with Marie Volpe); Action Learning (1999, co-edited with Lyle Yorks and Judy O’Neil); and (all coauthored with Karen Watkins) Making Learning Count! Diagnosing the Learning Culture in Organizations (2003), Facilitating the Learning Organization (1999), In Action: Creating the Learning Organization (1996), Sculpting the Learning Organization (1993), and Informal and Incidental Learning in the Workplace (1990).

Victoria can be reached by email at or by phone: (212)-678-3754 (office).

Andrea D. Ellinger, Ph.D., PHR, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Resource Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She recently completed a six-month term of service as the Interim Graduate Programs Coordinator in the Department of Human Resource Education. Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois, Andrea was a Research Associate at the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration at The University of Alabama working on a two-year Kellogg Foundation research grant. Prior to her appointment at CBER, Andrea was Assistant Professor of Adult Education and Doctoral Program Coordinator at The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg where she also taught in the Master’s of Training and Development program. She holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from The University of Georgia with a functional concentration in Human Resource and Organization Development. She received her Masters degree in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her B.S. degree in Business Administration from Bryant College. Prior to entering academe, Dr. Ellinger worked in sales and marketing for Hallmark Cards, Inc. and NCR Corporation. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Bryant College, Brenau University, and The University of Georgia.

Dr. Ellinger has published refereed journal articles in Human Resource Development Quarterly, Management Learning, The Journal of Management Development, Performance Improvement Quarterly, The Journal of Business Logistics, Advances in Developing Human Resources, and PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning. She has published five book and monograph chapters and has more than 30 refereed conference proceedings. She has presented her work regionally, nationally, and internationally. She was also the recipient of the 1998 Malcolm S. Knowles Dissertation of the Year awarded by the Academy of Human Resource Development for her dissertation, Managers as Facilitators of Learning in Learning Organizations. In 2001, Andrea was awarded a Cyril O. Houle Fellowship funded by The Kellogg Foundation. She is also the recipient of the 2003 Richard A. Swanson Research Excellence Award presented by the Academy of Human Resource Development. Most recently, she was invited to participate in a Salzburg Seminar in Austria. Her current research interests include informal learning in the workplace, organizational learning, evolving managerial roles, coaching, and the learning organization concept.

Dr. Ellinger served on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Human Resource Development from 2000 – 2002 and the Editorial Board of Advances in Developing Human Resources from 1998 – 2004. She currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Human Resource Development Quarterly, and International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, and joined the Advisory Board of Human Resource Development International. She also completed a three-year term on the Research to Practice Committee of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), where she served as the Co-Chair of the ASTD Dissertation of the Year Committee for two years. She is a member of the Academy of Human Resource Development, the Academy of Management, the American Society for Training and Development, the International Society for Performance Improvement, Society for Marketing Advances, the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, and the Commission of Professors of Adult Education.

Andrea can be reached by email at or by phone (217) 333-0807 (office).