Thursday 19 January 2023

Novel Submissions

Please check the submissions page to see whether we are currently open to novel submissions and which genres we're seeking. Please be aware that we generally publish only a couple of novels per year, so yours needs to be exceptional to make the cut. Please also note that due to the number of submissions received, we acknowledge receipt of your submission but will not contact you again unless we'd like to discuss further. If you've not heard back from us within three weeks, it means we are not interested. 

Below are the general details regarding what we're seeking, what you can expect from us, and what you'll be expected to do. 

Your submission should include a short synopsis or summary of the novel, a statement of its genre as per below, a biography with social media links, and confirmation that you have read and understood the information below in the body of the email. The complete and fully edited novel should be sent as a .doc or .rtf attachment. The file should read: Novel Title - Author Name

a) Only submit your novel if it matches one of the following genres and the genre is listed as open on the submissions page.

* Fair-play Mystery featuring a private investigator or other non-police protagonist. We love traditional mystery puzzles, which means you need to make the reader play along. There will be an original protagonist, a gripping mystery, a limited range of suspects, clues and red herrings and foreshadowing, and we won't know who the culprit is until the final chapter/s. You get the picture right? We're talking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and John Dickson Carr here. Our mystery titles will give you an idea of what we like. We particularly like a clever locked-room mystery and mysteries in which a seemingly supernatural agent is logically explained.

* Post-Apocalyptic Thrillers. It's easy to work out what we want here. All you need to do is buy a copy of Tales from the Ruins. We want novels in the vein of those short stories.

* Ghost Stories / Folk Horror. There are few greater challenges in the literary world than that of writing a truly chilling ghost story. If you've met that challenge, we'll want to know. Likewise for folk horror, we don't want splatterpunk...give us a truly quirky tale of creeping fear and weirdness, an eerie setting, legend and superstition, and off-kilter characters.

There is no specific word limit but 50,000 to 90,000 is standard. Fully edited and polished manuscripts.

b) What can you expect from us? Well, first of all, we don't want to burst your bubble, but independent publishing is no gold mine. We're a small publisher, so don't expect your book to be sold in airport lounges around the world and don't quit your day job just yet. In a typical month, we sell between ten and thirty copies of all our titles put together. This means you can expect a handful of dollars per year in royalties. That's just how it is. We don't want to turn you off but honesty and clarity are essential to us. This brings us to the third point...

c) The number of books sold per month is clearly and dramatically affected by the amount of time put into social media networking and marketing. We'll do plenty of this, but it's ultimately your job as the author to do the vast majority of this work. Posting on social media platforms, answering interview questions, participating in guest posts on blogs, chatting online with fans and potential readers. The more you do, the more you sell. We don't pay for advertising and we never pay for reviews. All our marketing is organic.

Royalties: The author receives 50% royalties on ebooks and paperbacks. This percentage changes according to how the book is sold, but for a $3.99 Kindle book sold via Amazon USA (the majority of our sales), this will be roughly 70c, and for most other markets it's twice that at $1.40. Royalties to be paid quarterly. Please be aware that your book will be featured in the occasional 24/48-hour free ebook promotion because this generally leads to increased paid purchases immediately afterwards.

Author Copies: You'll be provided with ten print copies of your book. If you'd like to occasionally purchase a small number of additional discounted copies of your novel for direct sale at markets or conventions, this can be negotiated. 

Printing, distribution, and marketing: Black Beacon Books uses Amazon exclusively for both print and ebooks. Our print books are available for purchase directly from Amazon as well as through its broad network of affiliates. Our print books are also listed with Nielsen, making them available for customers to order through bookshops around the world. Our ebooks are exclusive to Kindle, allowing us to make them available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers (this is a huge market of avid readers) and to control giveaways and promotions. We aim to use social media effectively as a means of communication and marketing but we almost never use paid advertising.

Rights: We are looking for exclusive Worldwide English rights for paperback and ebook, which are what we publish. Hardcover, audiobook, and translation rights remain with the author. We ask for four years exclusivity, after which the rights return to the author, and you can choose to remain with us or take your book and run.

Costs: Any and all costs related to the publishing of your work, including ISBN purchase and cover design, are paid for by this press. If you can provide a quality cover design that we approve, we are willing to negotiate an increase on the royalties percentage you receive.

Get in touch with any questions.

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