Writing for O'Reilly


We're always looking for new authors and new book ideas. Our ideal author has real technical competence and a passion for explaining things clearly. We're happy to work with first time authors, and encourage inquiries about virtually any topic. However, it helps if you know that we tend to publish "high end" books rather than books for dummies, and generally don't want yet another book on a topic that's already well covered.

At the same time as you might say that our books are written "by and for smart people," they also have a down to earth quality. We like straight talk that goes right to the heart of what people need to know.

If you browse through our catalog, you'll get a sense of the kind of books we tend to publish. Before you decide to send us a proposal, read about the dos and don'ts of proposal writing in Proposing a Book. Then you should consult So You Want to Write a Book, a handbook for would-be authors. In particular, consult the section that describes our major book series and the list of topic areas we're particularly interested in right now. The O'Reilly Stylesheet and Word List may also be a helpful resource as you prepare your proposal.

  • Send proposals and proposal inquiries to
  • Send customer service related inquiries to

Your query or proposal should include information about why you are uniquely qualified to write the O'Reilly book on the topic. This might include a description of your technical experience as well as your experience as a writer. We receive thousands of query letters and unsolicited proposals each year, and without this kind of information, we really can't respond properly. Oh, and be sure to use a descriptive subject-line. A sure way to get your proposal left at the bottom of an editor's inbox is to use the subject "Book proposal" without saying what the proposal is for!