GUIDELINES FOR NOVELS, NOVELLAS, AND COLLECTIONS SUBMISSIONS
Hiraeth Publishing is now open to consider novels, novellas, and collections for publication. These must be in the genres we publish—science fiction, fantasy, and horror—or in one of the related subgenres, such as paranormal or steampunk.
A story of 40K words or more qualifies as a novel. Ideally, we’d like to see stories in the 70K to 110K range.
A story of 17.5K to 40K qualifies as a novella.
Collections of stories should total at least 40K words.
Collections of poems should lay out to at least 40 pages.
Now to the details.
First, the downside: we’re picky. We decline upwards of 75% of submissions. The main reason is that most of them simply do not have what we’re looking for (see below). Another reason is that the submission is poorly written—while we understand that the work might have a misspelled word or three, or a bit of punctuation out of whack, if it’s going to take us too much time to edit, we’re going to send the piece back.
With regard to novels, novellas, and short story collections, we’re looking for character-driven, well-plotted works. Yes, virtually all publishers say that, mostly because it’s true. We love character development. This means your protagonist and/or other significant characters must be affected by the events of the story. It also means that you must create your character[s] in such a way that the reader cares what happens to him/her/them, and wants to read to find out what. This caring can be positive or negative. The reader wants to see good characters succeed, even if they are killed in the process; the reader wants to see bad characters get their just desserts.
We love good plotting, and so do our readers. Make us wonder what’s going to happen next. Build up some suspense as to what’s just around the corner. Conflict is good—but more often than not, it does not refer to fighting or warfare. It refers instead to differences of opinion; annoying habits; arguments on how to proceed (against a dragon, frex). Make us wonder how this conflict (and unlike Highlander, there can be more than one) gets resolved.
A note about dialogue: dialogue is a tool used by writers to advance some part of the narrative. Conversation is what you hear in elevators, in corridors, in the break room, and elsewhere. Use dialogue, please, but try to make it smooth enough to sound like conversation.
Stories in collections may be previously published or as-yet unpublished, or a combination of the two. Do, however, tell us when and where the published stories first appeared.
And now, the rules:
All novel, novella, and collections submissions go to sdpshowcase at yahoo dot com (please recombine the address so that it will work). We prefer rtf or .doc files. Actually, we pretty much insist on them.
General: Other than some of the short stories or poems in collections, we’re looking for original stories, not reprints.
Novels: submit a 500-word synopsis and the first ten pages of the novel. If we like what we see, we’ll ask for the rest of it. If not, we will tell you.
Novellas: submit a 200-word synopsis and the entire novella.
Short-story collections: query us first, and tell us what you have in mind. We’ll instruct you, one way or the other, from that point.
Poetry collections: query us first, and tell us what you have in mind. We’ll instruct you, one way or the other, from that point.
A few words of caution are appropriate here. First, collections are difficult sales. Poetry is even more difficult. The author is usually the best promoter of the work. We do ISBN (most of the time) and list so that bookstores can order what we publish.
Second, we do not at this time offer advances. In January and in July we pay 15% shares of sales of print, and when available, 50% shares of sales of digital. If print sales are good, we have the option of increasing the print shares of sales to 20%. Contributors may purchase extra copies of their work (they receive two contributor copies) at a 25% discount.
Finally, if you have other questions regarding these guidelines, please query us at sdpshowcase at yahoo dot com. We look forward to seeing whatcha got.