Author Guidelines

Publication Background

SolarPro magazine is a technical trade publication that is distributed to more than 20,000 professionals working in the North American solar market. Our readers include system designers, engineers, integrators, project managers, installers, equipment manufacturers, product wholesalers, and business owners and executives. These readers are active in all major solar market segments including utility, industrial, commercial and residential.

Subject matter experts with significant experience working in the North American PV or solar heating markets contribute to our editorial content. We welcome working with new authors to develop relevant articles for publication in SolarPro. Contributors can assume that readers have a high level of technical competency and industry literacy.

Writing for SolarPro

Please review the following information before you begin an article draft.

SolarPro articles are intended to be substantive, useful and actionable rather than intellectual or theoretical or sales pitchy. For example, we are very interested in sharing best practices related to PV system design and deployment; identifying common mistakes along with practices for avoiding them; exploring the intent and implications of new codes and standards; and so forth. We are less likely to be interested in content that is marketing, product specific or related to technologies that have yet to make it to market. Note that we do not cover markets outside of North America.

Submitting an Article Proposal

While we are open to receiving unsolicited manuscripts and working with new authors, our preference is to work closely with contributors from concept through delivery to ensure that published content is both relevant and timely. Submitting an article proposal is generally a 1- or 2-step process.

Step 1: If you have an idea (or a list of ideas) that you think is a good fit for SolarPro, please email it along with a brief author bio to: editor@solarprofessional.com.

Our editorial staff will quickly determine whether the content is appropriate for our audience and, if so, identify a target department in the magazine.

Step 2: If the proposed content is appropriate for a feature-length article, we will request an outline detailing the general organization of the article and identifying key technical concepts.

Our editorial staff will review the outline as expeditiously as possible. We will compile a list of suggestions, questions or comments and return these to you in writing—generally along with an Author Agreement that includes the target word count, delivery date for your first draft and contact information.

Article Development Process

Unless you are submitting an unsolicited manuscript, the article development process begins after you have signed your Author Agreement and returned it to us. At that point, we will put you and your article on our editorial calendar. Your delivery schedule will vary from several weeks to several months, depending on the target word count and publication date. If problems arise that may delay your delivery schedule, please inform us immediatley.

While you will typically be working independently on your manuscript, you can contact us at any time with questions or requests for assistance. For example, our editorial staff can assist you by sending out photo or interview requests while you are working on your manuscript. If you need developmental editing assistance or start to run over your target word count, please contact us.

After your first draft is delivered, it will be assigned to a technical editor. In some cases, your first draft will be returned to you with specific questions or comments that need to be addressed. If major revisions are not needed, the technical editor will begin formatting and preparing your article for copy edit and simply contact you with any questions that arise during the process. If substantial changes are made to your manuscript, we will likely have you review and mark up the file while it is still in Word text format.

Your article will then go to our graphic designer for layout after it has been through both technical and copy edits. After the article is formatted as a PDF and ready for publication, you will have an opportunity to review and mark up the file. You will provide us with a “good to print” approval at this time.

Article Delivery Details

  • Submit your article as a Microsoft Word document. Please do not include any advanced formatting or layout in your draft. Photos and illustrations referenced in your article should be submitted as separate files.
  • Please provide the following contact information for byline publication: Your Name / Company Affiliation / City, State / Email Address / Company URL
  • We encourage you to reach out to industry peers and subject matter experts to source other perspectives and direct quotes for inclusion in your article. This adds credibility to your published piece.
  • We also recommend that you reference and quote relevant primary source materials in your manuscript. In addition to adding credibility to your article, these published resources provide references for readers who wish to do further reading on the subject. At the end of your manuscript, please include a list of suggested articles, research papers or websites that provide readers with additional information related to your article subject matter.
  • Along with your article draft, please submit photos or graphics (diagrams, charts, tables and illustrations) that support the information presented in your piece. For publication, photos require a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at 4-by-6 inches. Higher resolution files are always better. Photos can be submitted via email to the technical editor assigned to your article or to our FTP site (see upload information below.) Please provide photo credits for all submitted images.
  • We will likely publish a short bio in “The Contributors” section of the issue with your article. Along with your draft, please submit a 50-word bio that details your credentials and industry experience, especially as it relates to the article’s topic. In addition, please provide a high-resolution (300 dpi at 3-by-5 inches) color head shot for us to include with the bio.

Compensation

All contributing authors are compensated at $0.50 per published word. You are permitted to use your published content in training, marketing and sales materials. Testimonials from past authors attest to other professional benefits associated with contributing to SolarPro magazine.

Testimonials

“The articles I authored for SolarPro changed my career. My phone immediately started ringing with calls from prospective employers and recruiters. Not only was I able to double my salary, but I have also sealed deals with prospective clients after presenting them with my published articles.”

—Matt Taylor, performance manager, Swinerton Incorporated

“As an applications engineer, I work with my company’s sales team and I interact with potential customers. About a year ago, I was part of a team that attended a site walk and put together a proposal for a large, well-known technology company. During the site walk, an employee at the technology company recognized me from my work with SolarPro, and we spent some time discussing the articles I had written. We won the project, and while I can’t claim that the win was based on this interaction, I do believe that my work with SolarPro lent me—and the company I work for—an assumed credibility, which helped to move us onto the short list of companies that were seriously considered for the project.”

—Tarn Yates, applications engineer, Borrego Solar Systems

FTP Upload Instructions

Please use your web browser to access our FTP site.

URL: upload.solarprofessional.com:8080

Login ID: ftpaccess

Password: hp!2ftp5now

Note that Login and Password are case sensitive.

  • Double click on the “Article Submissions In” folder.
  • Click “Create Directory” at bottom of page, name the directory—for example, <your company name> photos—and click OK.
  • Double click your new directory, click “Upload” at bottom of page and navigate to the file or files to be uploaded.
  • Once your photos gave been uploaded, please let your technical editor know via email.