Lukhanyo Publishers is a quality publisher of academic, trade and educational books. The publishing house has a specific aim to target new voices, new perspectives, and marginalised groups mainly from South Africa. It therefore aims to promote African scholarship and to be the publisher of choice for African scholars. We are open to all African cultures and groups, provided that they address African issues from an African perspective. Our research is from South Africa and the African continent and our books have an impact in South Africa, the African continent and globally.

We publish single or multi-authored works such as edited collections, scholarly-trade crossover books in the humanities, social sciences, politics, socio-economics, natural sciences impacting on humanities and social sciences, history, gender studies, literary criticism, literature and current affairs. We also publish trade and educational works for the general public, as well as academic textbooks. Lukhanyo Publishers is creating a platform for fresh ideas, current and relevant topics, which result in innovative and world-class, research-based books. Our books are assessed by an independent Editorial Board and they go through a rigorous double-blind peer-review to ensure that they meet the DHET peer review criteria as well as meet international standards for scholarly publications.



Solicited manuscript – the publisher approaches the author/s

  • The Publisher identifies gaps in the market.
  • The Publisher identifies, selects and approaches suitable authors with a new concept about which the authors will write to close the gap.
  • Publisher writes a brief/concept and briefs the author/s to write a book based on the new concept.
  • The author/s writes a sample chapter/introduction and submits to the Publisher for approval and guidance.
  • The Publisher gives feedback to the author on the sample and provides guidance on completion of the manuscript.
  • Lukhanyo does a double-blind peer review to ensure the anonymity of both the author and the readers/reviewers.
  • The author is given the opportunity to revise the manuscript.
  • The manuscript is approved by the editorial board and/or the publisher.

Unsolicited manuscript – authors submit a proposal to the publisher

  • The author works on a concept.
  • The author writes a proposal and a sample chapter (preferably an introduction) and submits these to the publisher for consideration.
  • The publisher requests a full manuscript if the editorial board is interested in considering the full manuscript.
  • The manuscript is sent out for a double-blind peer review.
  • The author is given the opportunity to revise the manuscript.
  • The manuscript is approved by the editorial board and/or the publisher.

Guidelines for submitting an unsolicited manuscript to Lukhanyo Publishers

An author who is interested in publishing with Lukhanyo Publishers may submit a proposal with a sample chapter (preferably an introduction), or may submit a full manuscript to the publisher at:

A submission must contain the following:

  • A working title and the length of the book (minimum 80 000 words)
  • A short summary of or rationale for the proposed book
  • A detailed description of the intended readership
  • A brief review of existing literature in order to explain the gap in literature that the proposed book will be addressing or closing
  • A detailed statement to differentiate the proposed book from competing titles on the market
  • An expanded table of contents, and a list of abstracts per chapter for all the proposed chapters
  • If the proposed book is an edited volume, please submit a list of contributors and a short biography of each contributor
  • An abbreviated CV of the author for single authored books or monographs
  • An abbreviated CV of each of the editors for an edited volume
  • A sample chapter, preferably an introduction to the full manuscript

Initial Assessment by the independent Editorial Board

Lukhanyo Publishers has an independent editorial board that considers all submissions. The editorial board goes through all the submission to assess them based on the DHET criteria for scholarly research books. Manuscript selection at Lukhanyo Publishers is a two-stage process. In the first stage an independent editorial board assesses the manuscript to determine whether the topic falls within the scope of Lukhanyo Publishers’ publishing programme and whether it conforms to the requirements for a scholarly work as set out in the DoHET funding policy (‘Research Outputs Policy 2015’, Government Gazette, Volume 597, No. 38552, Pretoria, 11 March 2015). The editorial board may reject a submission at this stage should they feel that it will not go through peer review successfully. This can be the case because it does not meet a number of categories in the DHET peer review criteria or it does not meet the standard of Lukhanyo Publishers. If the editorial board considers that the manuscript meets these first requirements, then it is put through the second stage of assessment, which is the peer review by external readers who are subject specialists.

Peer Review Procedures

As mentioned above, the editorial board decides on manuscripts to be sent out for peer review. The publisher then sends the manuscripts out to two independent peer readers who will assess against the DHET peer review criteria and write detailed reports on the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscripts. This is a double-blind process to protect the anonymity of the authors and the reviewers, and also to ensure that there is no bias. The subject specialists who are appointed to do the peer review can be based in South Africa or abroad to ensure that the manuscript meets both the local and international scholarly research standards.

The editorial board and the publisher require two favourable reviewers’ reports. In a case of conflicting reports, i.e. one report supports publication and the other report rejects the submission outright, a third review will be commissioned to ensure that there are two reports either rejecting or supporting the submission.  When reviewers recommend publication subject to revisions, the authors will be expected to respond to the recommendations, in consultation with the editor and publisher, and expected to make the necessary revisions. The length of the period of the peer review process depends on the availability and schedules of the various reviews, as we aim to use the best subject specialists who are often in high demand. However, we do try to keep the period to about two months.

The peer review criteria require the reviewers to assess the manuscript based on the following categories:

  • The quality, soundness and depth of scholarship
  • The importance of the subject matter
  • Whether it advances knowledge in its area of study
  • Whether the work brings anything new to the existing literature and/or closes a gap in literature
  • Whether the manuscript deals with an identified research priority in its discipline
  • Whether the author adequately covers and analyses the existing literature on the topic
  • Whether the research is factually accurate
  • Whether the research and analysis is current

The peer reviewers may make any of the following recommendations:

  • To reject the manuscript outright
  • To accept publication unconditionally (with or without suggestions for minor revisions)
  • To accept publication subject to revisions – this typically includes cases in which the scholarship cannot be faulted but the manuscript is an adaptation of a doctoral dissertation and still clearly bears the hallmarks of the dissertation.

Acceptance of a manuscript for publication

The publisher writes a combined report detailing all the recommendations from the reviewers. The publisher briefs the author/s on the recommended revisions and allows them time to attend to the revisions. The author writes a detailed report indicating how they have addressed the recommendations by the reviewers in the process of revising the manuscript. This helps the publisher to make a final decision whether or not to publish. The publisher then communicates the decision to the author. The publisher draws up a publishing agreement at this stage and starts discussing the agreement with the author.


  • The editorial board and the publisher require at least two favourable reviewers’ reports in order to publish.
  • Author/s are expected to address the recommendations of the reviewers as stipulated in the report/s.
  • The publisher encourages the author/s to send a detailed letter indicating how they have dealt with the recommended revisions, along with the revised manuscript, to the publisher.
  • The publisher checks the revised manuscript and the revisions letter against the peer review reports in order to see that the revisions have been effected before making the decision to publish.
  1. Editorial and production
  • An editor and/or project manager will be assigned to the project. The author will be handed over to the editor or project manager as their point of contact between the publisher and the author during the production process.
  • The manuscript will go into copy-editing. During the copy-editing process the project manager will refer some queries to the author for resolution. The author is encouraged to attend to queries and resolve them timeously to avoid delays in getting the manuscript ready for publication.
  • The next step is typesetting (layout). The author will be given an opportunity to proofread and mark-up any errors for correction by the typesetter.
  • The project manager will commission a cover design.
  • Some books require an index; in this case the project manager will send the pages to the indexer.
  • When the proofreading has reached final pages, and the cover and the index have been finalised, the book is then sent to the printers.
  • The production period takes about six months. The marketing staff will start communicating with the bookshops during this period. They will therefore make contact with the author to discuss a marketing plan for the book, plan publicity, launches and other events.
  1. Contractual agreements for authors

Solicited manuscript

The publisher identifies a subject specialist to become an author or a volume editor. The publisher briefs the author/s or volume editor/s on the work and enters into a publishing agreement with them. The work goes through peer review and revisions before it is approved for publication. The publishing agreement can be between publisher and the author/s or volume editor/s or between the publisher and an institution wherethe author is employed.

Unsolicited manuscript

The author/s or volume editor/s submits a revised manuscript guided by the peer review recommendations. The publisher checks the revised manuscript against the peer review recommendations and accepts the manuscript formally should the publisher be satisfied that the review recommendations have been attended to in a satisfactory manner. The publisher draws up an agreement between Lukhanyo Publishers and the author/s or editor/s or an institution where the author/s or volume editor/s is employed.

The publishing agreement

The publishing agreement stipulates the copyright; the royalty specification or percentage; the rights, responsibilities and restrictions of the publisher and the author; the deadlines the author has to meet; the requirements for financial subsidy where applicable; and author copies, including the number of free copies an author is entitled to, the number of free copies based on a subsidy amount (these can be for the author or for any individual or entity that has contributed in the form of a subsidy or a donation towards the book), and any author discounts on further copies that the author should receive.

The editor should inform all other contributors about the terms of the contract for multi-author works, but each author may have to sign a contract. Alternatively, the volume editor may be authorised to enter into a contract on behalf of all contributors and guarantee and assign copyright for the published work.

Additional contractual expectations

  • The manuscript should not be submitted to another publisher while it is under consideration for publication by Lukhanyo Publishers.
  • It is the author’s responsibility to obtain clearance and pay the permission fee attached to reproducing any previously published section of the work, which could be a previously published chapter or chapters.
  • By signing the contract, the author warrants that the work is original, has not been plagiarised and has not been published previously in any form.
  • It is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission to reproduce photographs, diagrams or any other illustrative material as well as extracts of text from other sources. In cases when copyright holders charge fees for the reproduction of their material, the author is responsible for paying this cost.
  • Copies of all correspondence regarding permissions must be submitted by the author to the publisher with illustrative materials, including full credit or source information.


  1. Marketing

The marketing officer is likely to ask the author a range of questions. The list below suggests the type of input that will be needed from the author:

  • Who is the target market for the book? Describe them in detail.
  • Would it appeal to a local or international audience or both?
  • Do you know any universities locally or internationally who offer programmes for which we can promote the book as part of the course or supplementary text?
  • Who are the target readers? (e.g. scholars, researchers, postgraduate students, undergraduate university students, policymakers and activists, or readers from the general public).
  • Can you provide a list of conferences, colloquia, seminars locally and internationally where we can exhibit the book? We can have a book stand or a bookseller at these events. We also provide flyers advertising the book (often inserted into conference packs). We also exhibit the books at local and international book fairs and book festivals.
  • Can you suggest journals? We advertise in journals for possible book reviews (sometimes very specific journals). We also use the media in order to publicise and market the book as widely as possible.
  • Which academics should be notified? We inform academics in relevant fields about the book, so that there are orders waiting to be fulfilled when stock comes in.

Other marketing aspects that the author needs to know about include the following:

  • We draw up an AIS (Author Information Sheet) from the information supplied by the project manager. This is used to sub to bookstores and other potential buyers.
  • We organise one launch per book and we cover all costs for that main launch. We provide books for exhibitions only and we do not cover costs for any subsequent events/launches. We support authors for subsequent launches by designing and sending out invitations for subsequent events. We also sell books at subsequent events.
  • We use social media to promote new titles and any events. We have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and enlist the help of Books LIVE to highlight new releases, talks, launches and seminars.

Local and international marketing

The following channels are used for marketing:


Guidelines for scholarly publications, used locally and internationally

Peer review

The quality of scholarship

  • How sound is the scholarship (social science, humanities, other)?
  • How important is the subject matter? Does it advance knowledge in its area of study?
  • Does the work bring anything new to the existing literature, closing a gap in literature?
  • Is the topic relevant to the current discipline (social science, humanities, other) and does it fall under research priorities in the discipline?
  • Does the author adequately cover and analyse the existing literature on the topic?
  • Is the research factually accurate? Also look at credibility of facts, like recent dates, importance of events, calibre of names, etc.

The quality of writing

  • Is the writing organised in a logical and clear structure?
  • Did the author use a main theme to weave the chapters together?
  • Is the work original?
  • Comment on the level of language and writing style(s) used in the manuscript. Is there a need to standardise the writing style(s) in cases when multiple authors have written, i.e. in the case of an edited volume?
  • Is the underpinning research methodology consistent and credible?
  • How strong, coherent and relevant is the argument?
  • Comment on the clarity and quality of the writing.
  • Are there any weak chapters that need to be improved or that should be withdrawn?
  • Comment on the use of tables, graphs and illustrations? Are these effective and adequate?
  • Does the author use a variety of credible references?
  • Is there consistency in footnotes, references and bibliographies?

Marketing information/Readership

  • Who are the expected readers? (eg. researchers, postgraduate students, undergraduate university students, policymakers and activists or readers from the general public)
  • Would it appeal to a local or international audience or both?
  • Who is the primary readership, and if applicable, the secondary readership?
  • Is this book likely to be used as prescribed text in academic institutions?