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Writer’s Guidelines (Books)


Black Belt Books is a specialized in-house division of Black Belt Communications LLC and Black Belt magazine, the world’s oldest martial arts publication.

We are interested in manuscripts that address the martial arts industry gamut, which include mixed martial arts, reality-based combat, fighting philosophy and history, weapons and well-researched biographies of major martial arts figures.

If you’re still uncertain about what topics are of interest to us, then we recommend that you look over our titles, especially our more recent ones, in our online store at

As of 2007, Black Belt Books is operating on a production schedule that divides publication between two seasons: spring and fall. We recommend that you consider sending us your manuscript around January or July of each year, which is when we review submissions for publication.

No matter when we receive your proposal, it may take us a few months to process it. If Black Belt Books does decide to move forward with the project, authors need to understand that the book won’t be printed until a year or two later because of the depth of the production process.


When submitting your manuscript, please include the following:

  • a cover letter
  • a synopsis of the book
  • a chapter breakdown or table of contents
  • one to two sample chapters
  • a proposed list of photography elements (models, environments, charts, etc.) or a technique outline
  • an analysis of the book’s targeted market and appeal
  • a current author bio
  • any other item that makes your book unique

Send your manuscript as a Microsoft Word document either as a hard copy or copy on a compact disc.

You can mail the document to the address at the bottom of this page, or e-mail it to


Images should be numbered and kept on a separate disc, preferably in JPEG format.

Images need to be high-resolution—at least 300 dpi and at least 3 inches by 3 inches. (If the book is a technique-oriented “how-to” type, we will probably schedule a photo shoot in studio.)

Do not insert picture files directly into the document. We’ll do that later. Simply write where to insert the picture within the text, followed by the caption (if there is one). Here is an example:

Insert pic 122
Caption: If properly executed, techniques emanate from the saiki tanden, and your body will rotate and position itself to give your extremities the most power and the most concentrated ki.

Insert pic 123
Caption: When delivering a strike, it is always important to create maximum momentum.

If instructing the reader on a technique, the captions are generally written in the second person. (“Assume the ready position.” or “As the attacker swings, block the punch at a 90-degree angle.”)

For technique-demonstration photos, participants should generally wear different-colored uniforms to provide contrast between the demonstrators.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not return submissions to the authors, so do not send the original or only copy of your proposal. We also do not comment on a submission after we’ve decided against publishing it. Black Belt Communications LLC can not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of submissions (including but not limited to hard copies, computer disks, emails, photos, binders and folders). We apologize for the inconvenience any of these policies might cause.

Thank you for your interest in Black Belt Books.

Vicki Baker
Special Projects Editor


Black Belt Communications
ATTN: Book Editor
24900 Anza Dr., Unit E
Valencia, CA 91355