If you’re wondering why I managed only one post between 10am and 8pm, it’s because I was asleep during that time as a consequence of having been up all night sending out manuscripts to publishers. It’s a surprisingly convoluted process as they all have different formatting requirements and other preferences you have to make multiple versions of your manuscripts to satisfy.
Still, I don’t know why it took me so long to finally get around to doing this. I think I felt as if time spent trying to monetize my work through traditional channels was time I could be spending writing. I’m going to die someday and I’d rather leave behind as much writing as possible than be wealthy. You can’t do anything with money when you’re dead.
However with SBD continuing to plummet somehow, I just plain need money to live. I’m not in great shape financially, which has forced me out of my comfort zone. I am not really suited to do any job but writing, so I’ve either got to make that work for me or die trying.
To that end, here are the publishers I submitted six novel manuscripts to, and dozens of short stories (only to Rainfall Books as short stories are specifically what they’re after) as well as their requirements:
Elder Signs Press
DOC or RTF only
name, contact information, and word count on first page
underline instead of italics
don’t double return between paragraphs
Times New Roman
left-aligned and indent
title of manuscript and intended book (if it’s an anthology story)
short fiction word count: around 5,000 words to less than novella length
novel word count: 80,000 and up
new stories preferred over previously-published
book submissions send a synopsis (including ending, genre, and word count) and first three chapters
In the body of your email message please include an author bio and a 3–5 sentence summary to pique our interest (worded like a back cover description).
Attached to the email include your full manuscript
Please include a one-page synopsis of your book on the first page of your manuscript or attach as a separate document. Writing a good synopsis is important because if we are not interested in your synopsis, we may not read any further into your manuscript.
Format your manuscript as follows:
Word document .doc or .docx or Rich Text File .rtf (no .pdfs please).
Times New Roman or Arial 11–12 pt font.
Your author name, email address, book title and word count should appear on the first page of your manuscript. All subsequent pages should have your name, title, and page number in the header.
Your manuscript should be well edited and free of grammatical errors.
Word count: We are looking for short story collections and novels of between 75,000 and 120,000 words
Subject matter and style: We would like to receive literary strange/supernatural fiction. We are not interested in high fantasy, violent horror or young adult fiction. If you write within a traditional genre such as vampire or ghost fiction then please make sure that the more clichéd trappings of your genre are, at best, a very marginal part of your work. Please note: we do not publish teen, children’s or young adult fiction.
Payment: to be negotiated.
Submissions: Electronic submissions should be sent to email@example.com and we would prefer your work as a Word or rtf attachment. Mail submissions can be sent to us at the address at the top left of this page, but please remember that if we are to mail a reply we will need a stamped, self-addressed envelope or return postage. (No IRCs or non-UK stamps please!) Please send a synopsis or first two or three chapters/stories when first getting in contact.
Please note, we are not accepting single short story submissions for the Strange Tales series at the moment.
Short stories only, Word format preferred. Include name and mailing address.
As you can see, some publishers are more demanding than others. It’s all a giant leap beyond what I’ve had to deal with in the past, as I’ve only ever self-published on Amazon until now. You can put literally anything up for people to buy on Amazon, for better or worse.
However waiting for millions of people to somehow stumble across my novels on Amazon hasn’t worked out. I’ve made perhaps $100 in total over 6 years that way. That’s a bit over $16 per year. I mean, I spent nothing on advertising which probably didn’t help, but I can’t afford to until my writing starts making more money. A chicken/egg problem.
I’m going to keep seeking out publishers that specialize in weird horror and the few other genres I write in. I’m gonna keep sending out manuscripts. Because really, I should have started doing so 5 years ago. Better late than never. I guess I have benefited from improving my writing skills in that time, which in turn approves my chances with publishers.
The microsecond I hear back from any of the publishers I have so far sent manuscripts to, you guys will be the first to know about it. If I hit the big time as an author, you’ll be able to say you followed my work back when I was posting it serially on Medium for peanuts.
Follow me for more like this! And why not read one of my stories?