View Full Version : Favorite and Profitable Small Presses in SF&F

10-02-2006, 11:58 PM
Heya all! I think triceratops made a very interesting suggestion (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=835638&postcount=88) over in the Capri Publishing thread that is deserving of its own thread. ;)

Folks, I have been thinking about this issue for the past six months. We DESPERATELY need to define and list our favorite AND profitible small press publishers. I would love to create an entire thread that caters to SF and Fantasy, but maybe we can include them all. We need to list them and examine their operations, as far as can be gleaned from current authors that have books out by these companies. How would we define a legitimate, worthwhile small/independent press?

Small advance ($200 and up?)
Large to deep discount? 45% to 60%
National distributor?
Offset print run or POD?
Fair contract
Good royalty percentage with esculating clause?

I think you get the idea. Because of the internet, just about anybody can now own their own label, and many of them start by publishing their own books. This can be a mine field. I'm seeing literally hundreds of these small outfits that function a few notches above PA, and more are appearing every day! I've fallen into a few ruts myself, as I currently have a trunk novel under submission with some of them.

Is anybody up for this type of list? We can call it the best 50 independent labels, and perhaps have a seperate catagory for e-pubs.
Anybody with me on this?


Depending on what format triceratops had in mind, I can provide some modest but sturdy webmastering talents. But I'm not exactly "in touch" with the market (besides what I read here, that is).

What? I did my BIC for the day already! (Mostly.)

10-03-2006, 05:16 AM
Soloset--thanks for bringing this over here. We need this badly. For the past six months I've been tripping all over myself investigating small press and indies. We're also facing a POD stigma, and that does not mean that all of them are incompetent or lacking in industry knowledge--but a HUGE percentage of them are, by masquerading as legitiment presses, when in fact they are labels for their own books. (Reagent Press comes to mind as a fake front, IMO). I'd like to include "horror" pubs in on this since many times that genre is listed with SF and Fantasy.

Some criteria to consider:

Small advance ($200 and up? Or do we really need it, if given a large enough royalty percentage with (some) guaranteed book store placement?
Book store placement
Large to deep discount? 45% to 60%
National distributor/s?
Offset print run or POD?
Fair contract (No major rights grabs)
Good royalty percentage with esculating clause?
Able to obtain reviews in recognized trade sources?

Okay, we certainly don't have to have all of this on our plate, but it would define a publisher that we'd be proud to represent with one or more of our books. I've also noticed a select few small niche publishers who require agents--we can eliminate this bunch if you wish.

I'm off to do some research. I'll be back with some of my favs. For the time being, I'll list Behler and Nomad, even though they are not in this genre. Just thought our newbies should know these two examples since they are represented here by active members, who have a ton of savvy about real publishing.

MUNDANIA--I've always like this press. They seem to be growing by leaps and bounds--getting very big for their britches. I'm not sure if they offer small advances--perhaps they would if approached by an agent, who had a knife in one hand and a money bag in the other. I think they have some pretty good distribution channels and some book store placement. They are so popular they are inudated. But they are well worth the effort and wait on replies.

Main Office
Night Shade Books
1423 33rd Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: 415-759-8901
Fax: 603-590-2754


Night Shade is actively seeking submissions, primarily novels. We are looking specifically for science fiction, fantasy and cross-genre novels, but we'll also take a look at dark fantasy novels.

We are not accepting proposals for anthologies. We do them very rarely, and generally they will be developed in-house.

Short story collections are by invitation only. That means we will contact the authors we are interested in talking about collections with.

We are not accepting any horror submissions at this time. We don't publish a lot of horror, and horror is 95% of the manuscripts we receive. If it's cross-genre and horrific, we'll look at it.

We are not accepting poetry, individual stories, non-fiction, crime, or mainstream fiction. We like those as well, but that's not what Night Shade does.

Submissions must be emailed to submissions@nightshadebooks.com. We are no longer accepting printed manuscripts. Length should be 70,000-120,000 words. We do not care what font you use, or whether it's double-spaced. Please include a synopsis in the body of the email, and please attach the ENTIRE manuscript as an RTF file. We're not looking for queries or sample chapters. Unless you email us the entire manuscript with a synopsis, we're just going to delete the email.


10-03-2006, 05:47 AM
I'd like to include "horror" pubs in on this since many times that genre is listed with SF and Fantasy.

Excellent idea!

I think all of the criteria you've listed are fairly doable; I don't see any information on there that a reputable company wouldn't want to share.

The only thing I'd change is to give "bookstore placement" its own line. <g> I think it's a hugely important part of making a decision which small pub to go with.

Oh, and one more -- has the publisher published anything not by the founder of the publishing house. That's one of those things I know I'd want to know up front.

10-03-2006, 06:03 AM
Thanks, I just included book store placement (slaps forehead). Also, there are quite few small publishers that have exstensive message boards, and I don't know how effective this is in terms of sales. I guess it certainly couldn't hurt since the audience is built in and the members support each other via purchases. Black Death Books comes to mind--kind of a nice little horror press with a lot of enthusiasm. Addmitedly, some of the Black Death authors I've talked to have said that distribution could be better, since they feel "cut loose" after publication. But this is certainly a trend we see in most POD.

I think what we're looking for is a POD that does a fair to good amount of marketing, which is an entire department by itself.

ETA: Yes, I think that a publisher who uses their own press for his/her own books, or invites a close knit few friends in on the operation, probably doesn't harbor the sincerest concerns for the general author audience. It's a question that should be addressed.


10-03-2006, 07:57 AM
There are a lot of E-publishers who also produce tradeback versions of the book for sale and sitribution:

Ellora's Cave
Whiskey Creek
Chippewa Publishing
and a lot of others--are they in the ball park?


10-03-2006, 02:42 PM
Good observation, Scott. I forgot about the publishers who are, and have gone in both mediums. EC is certainly one of the brightest stars coming up, as well as the others you mentioned.


10-04-2006, 04:27 PM
Ooooh, I like ArcheBooks! I would qualify them as a MEDIUM publisher, but they do require an agent. An AW member has gone this route successfully, and I'm impressed with the layout and production.


10-04-2006, 09:25 PM
Archebooks has a nonstandard contract, and according to a number of authors who've contacted Writer Beware with complaints and documentation, its marketing and distribution capacity appears to be somewhat south of iUniverse's. Authors report sales in the double digits, and have had trouble getting royalties for even that tiny amount. Except for one, who seems to be connected with the publisher's owner, all the "agents" I've found who work with ArcheBooks are questionable in some way.

There's an extensive thread about ArcheBooks in Bewares.

- Victoria

10-05-2006, 02:14 AM
Thanks for the heads up, Victoria. I'll go check it out. Matter of fact, I'll check our bewares beforehand.


ETA: Okay ArcheBooks looks like it's had some problems with timely royalty payments and production schedules. This is fairly recent news and unless they've changed policy, you'll have to have your agent negotiate any flaps or doodles out of the contract. Their distribution channels are questional. Seems like they publish hardback and e-book only.

10-05-2006, 07:47 AM
Add Loose Id to the list of epublishers with some print books and bookstore placement. My publisher, so I have a vested interest, but I also had a vested interest in going to check whether the distribution deal with Borders was actually resulting in books in bricks-n-mortar stores, and it was. No advance, but I mention them because they have a specific interest in cross-genre erotic romance and are looking for sf/fantasy/horror romance.

Alan Yee
10-05-2006, 08:17 AM
And of course, there is Small Beer Press (http://www.lcrw.net/index.htm), run by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. Their books get reviewed in Publishers Weekly and other venues, there's an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated audience who specifically likes Small Beer's books, they get lots of word-of-mouth publicity among writers, and I think independent bookstores tend to stock their books. To really understand what they like, you have to be familiar with their books (of which they only publish 3-6 per year). They tend toward weird, quirky fantasy for novels. They publish Kelly Link's short story collections, novels, the chapbook series, full-length story collections, some non-fiction, and some other weird-but-cool stuff.

10-05-2006, 03:44 PM
Thanks Jules and Alan. Duly noted. I think good reviews, distribution leading to at least some book store placement qualifies for what we're talking about. More and more we're seeing the no advance policy, so I suppose we're going to have to take it on the chin as far as this goes regarding the small press.

The biggest argument that I see will be the authors that are dead set against POD, who see no future in it at all, and those of us who see an alternative, but certainly with limitations restraints.


10-05-2006, 07:04 PM
A few additional small/independent SF/fantasy presses in the US and UK that are respected within the SF/fantasy community:

- Prime Books
- BenBella Books
- Gale Group/Five Star (they sell mainly to the library trade, but do a good job of marketing and production. They're handled by a packager, which makes for a somewhat less attractive contract)
- Edge/Tesseract (this Canadian publisher does a very nice job, but is reportedly quite slow on turnaround)
- Red Deer Press (also Canadian; may specialize in Canadian authors, but worth a look)
- Golden Gryphon Press (mostly does collections, but seems to be branching out into novels)
- Meisha Merlin
- Monkeybrain Books
- Tachyon Publications
- Wheatland Press
- Earthling Publications
- PS Publications
- Cemetery Dance (does mostly horror)
- Telos Publishing

- Victoria

10-05-2006, 07:10 PM
Re: the POD issue--many of the small presses in my previous message use POD, or use a combination of POD and offset. However, as a publisher becomes successful--in the sense of increasing its sales--it will move away from POD, because POD has a higher unit cost, and if you're printing in volume, offset is more cost-effective. If a publisher uses POD exclusively, that tells you something about its average level of sales per book.

- Victoria

10-05-2006, 07:40 PM
Thank you so very much, Victoria, for this list. I didn't have the courage to bug you for your recommends, but certainly you have the files, intelligence, and inate knowledge to know who can pass muster.

I agree with you about the offset print issue. If a small press is gaining any headway in the business of popularity and sales, I would think that eventually trading over to offset would be a good indicator of success, via public demand. Afterwards, who knows, small advances could follow, more distribution, more frequent and better reviews=larger readership=more sales.

I think it was Comstar that said they first started out with offset print runs, but then later decided that POD was the way to go. I can't help thinking that this reason for the switch had something to do with lack of sales and other provisions that were not intack. Kinda like one step forward and two steps back.


10-06-2006, 02:55 AM
Ah, crud. The list above is so popular that most of them are closed to subs, two are book sellers (it appears), one is canadian writers only, and one is for horror. They all look very, very good. But alas, we'll have to keep our eyes on their websites for reading and query announcements.


10-06-2006, 04:20 AM
Which two appear to be booksellers? I saw books from all these publishers except for Red Deer Press this past year.

- Victoria

Alan Yee
10-06-2006, 04:29 AM
Victoria, I was up in Vancouver this summer, and in one of the Chapters bookstores I picked up a brand-new anthology of stories based on Canadian songs and legends.

Mythspring, edited by Julie E. Czerneda and Genevieve Kierans. It was published by Red Deer Press this year, but since it's of Canadian-only interest, it's probably not found in as many U.S. bookstores.

So Red Deer Press is still alive, as of August of this year.

10-06-2006, 05:45 AM
Hi, Victoria PS pubs takes me to Wriggly Cross books which seems to be a seller of titles. I don't know if I'm hitting the right webiste or not, but that's where it took me.

Monkey Brain shows no submission or author info. Just a tiny website about distribution and titles. I can't glean too much from them unless they have another website I haven't seen.


10-06-2006, 05:58 AM
Golden Gryphon is totally legit. We're in contact with Gary, but he's not ready to read yet.

Ben Bella books (glenn Yeffeth)--My agent submitted to them. But I'm confused. They list themselves as a science publisher of non-fiction only. Unless I'm missing something here.

Lou Anders of Promethus checks out okay, but he rejected me with a referal to Baen.


10-06-2006, 06:03 AM
PLEASE NOTE: Due to our government funding and grants, we are limited to publishing books that are written or illustrated by Canadians and that are about or of interest to Canadians.

This is Red Deer Press.


10-06-2006, 06:14 AM
Mesiha Merlin is probably an excellent press but this message has been displayed under submissions since last Paril:
Meisha Merlin is currently not accepting submissions. Due to an increase in our work load with the new Heinlein project and the past reshuffle of previous projects with Diamond Distributions, we will not be accepting submissions for new work.
Please check back with us at a later time. (There is no such thing as sending submissions in early to get in line). If you have any questions, please email me. And please...no queries via email.

10-06-2006, 06:15 AM
"- Gale Group/Five Star (they sell mainly to the library trade, but do a good job of marketing and production. They're handled by a packager, which makes for a somewhat less attractive contract) "

Five Star was prompt getting back to me after a full manuscript, but they were not terribly interested in sci-fi at that time, that was last June.

10-06-2006, 06:17 AM
Edge Books says they are reading submissions at this time:

"Writer's Guidelines


Printer-friendly version

We are currently seeking high-quality novel-length science fiction and fantasy submissions of all types. We are not interested in young adult, horror, erotica, religious fiction, short stories, dark/gruesome fantasy, or poetry.

Manuscripts should be written in good taste and be aimed at an older (aged 20 and up), well-read, mature audience. We prefer novels of between 75,000 and 100,000 words, although we occasionally accept longer works. We work with new and established authors.

We particularly like stories with:
depth and insight
great writing
original ideas
interesting characters who have believable behaviors, motives, and relationships
believable dialogue
strong plots
solid science or magic systems
unique settings
well designed, innovative alien life forms and environments, and
richly detailed and original cultures.
Please be sure that you send us the best version of your work. Before you submit your work (see requirements below), your novel should be complete (not a work-in-progress) and have already undergone extensive editing and revisions."

They weren't when I was submitting Sword of the Dajjal.


10-06-2006, 06:21 AM
Tachyon posts this in their FAQ:

"Question: How do I submit my manuscript/artwork?

Unfortunately, we are not taking writing submissions at this time, as our publishing schedule is set for a while. We recommend that you check out the excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website: www.sfwa.org. Please do check back at our website, as we hope to take submissions again soon.

Happily, we *are* taking art submissions. Please don't send us attachments, as, like everyone else, we won't open them unless we already know you. If you can point us to a link on your website, that'd be optimal. "

This has been the case since last May.

10-06-2006, 06:23 AM
I have been watching Meisha for some time, but am resigned to the fact they will be closed to submissions for, well, pretty much ever.

10-06-2006, 06:25 AM
heatland Press's website seems to offer no submission information other than that their collection Polyphony 6 will probably have a reading period between January and February of next year.

10-06-2006, 06:25 AM
Telos takes me to Shocklines which is a store.

late 2000, Schwartz began selling horror books full-time via ebay under the name of SpinMatt Auctions, which was the forerunner to Shocklines.com, a site that aims to be the one-stop shop for horror-related merchandise on the web, with a focus on horror fiction and poetry as well as artwork and related areas.


10-06-2006, 06:28 AM
Wheatland looks like an anthology collection pub house and they're not reading right now--queries at least from the outside.


10-06-2006, 06:32 AM
Earthling Publications has been NO unrequested manuscripts since 2005 with no change of intent on their website since.

"How can I submit a manuscript or art for publication consideration?

Due to Earthling's publication schedule during 2005 and 2006 (books both announced and yet-to-be-announced), I regret to say that I am no longer accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Earthling has had a relatively open door policy over the past 4 years and has published some great work that arrived uninvited, but the volume of unsolicited work has increased (a nice thing) to beyond my capacity to seriously read and consider most (a bad thing). I will most likely invite unsolicited manuscripts again in the future, and I look forward to the day I can do that. Artwork is still invited, preferably by referring me to your site or alternatively, via hard copy"


10-06-2006, 06:37 AM
To me, Tachyon is the SF's cat's pajamas. I know just about all their authors from the old schood of the SFWA, and have been to a number of Sheila Finch's parties. I'd love to go with them. Alas, they're full up for now and not reading.


10-06-2006, 06:44 AM
Cemetary Dance used to be a magazine I submitted to 16-years ago, very popular. Now they have a book division I see. That's great. Space and Time has been around for 40-years and and Gordon tried his hand at books and knocked out about six titles. Alas, Space and Time is shutting its doors this year so no more from them either.


10-06-2006, 06:44 AM
The old cemetary dance website had info for submissions, the new one does not, other than to say they take no e-mail anything, hard copy queries are probably acceptable.


10-06-2006, 06:47 AM
Victoria's list is wonderful, but sadly, most are not in the market for submissions at this time. That limits those who do not yet have a relationship with publishers with fewer doors to knock upon.


10-06-2006, 06:53 AM
I noticed. I'm seeing closed shops everywhere. I might have to go Poddy, and I don't mean to the bathroom.

Looking at the Tor website the other day depressed me to where I almost crapped my heart out my keester. Most of the new titles were by their inhouse authors, and they were the big-name scribblers.

This is getting tough. (ETA, what am I saying...it always been tough)

Alan Yee
10-06-2006, 07:10 AM
*sigh* It seems that most of the good small presses are swamped with submissions and/or closed to new ones. Small Beer now accepts queries, but they only publish 3-6 books a year. Prime Books is swamped and booked full for the next couple of years (but they're publishing lots of good short story collections and anthologies in the meantime). Meisha Merlin has been closed for, like, ever, and will continue to be closed. Night Shade Books is really popular now but it is swamped and it might be closed to new subs for now.

I'm hoping this isn't a bad sign. On the one hand, it means these presses are getting word-of-mouth publicity and are likely to be publishing lots of good books in the future. But on the other hand, it's not very hopeful for new and unpublished writers.

10-06-2006, 07:20 AM
Yeah, I've been alloting two hours a day just hunting down markets for the past six months. It's bleak, I can tell you. God bless Lynn Price of Behler, but they are not taking our genre any more.

I guess we have to remember that the publishers we are discussing are genre specific for us. I have no idea how the mystery writers are doing but it has to be doing better than us. I think Romance, chick lit, is still going very strong with more oportunities for unagented writers. Sometimes I wonder if writing outside of my genre will get me out of this mess.


10-06-2006, 09:17 AM
Loose Id guidelines:

Erotic romance epress, but the guidelines note that they focus on cross-genre and one of the things they're specifically looking for is "Strong, well-built science fiction, paranormal or urban fantasy worlds that support multiple stories." 20,000 words and up.

Opened July 2004, initially ebook only, but has started experimenting with print. Only a few print titles initially, to keep it at a level they can handle. Lightning Source POD with a distribution deal with Borders/Waldenbooks in the US.

Running through Tri's list:
No advance
Online catalogue for readers. There's also a print catalogue of the print books used for bookstore buyers.
Bookstore placement -- distribution agreement with Borders, and I've seen the books on the shelf in the romance section in my local branch.
Returns -- I believe so.
Large discount -- not sure what it is, but enough to make Borders happy.
National distributor -- not as far as I'm aware, other than the Borders deal (though wholesale through Ingram etc, of course).
Contract -- I had my original contract looked over by an agent friend of a friend (Victoria and Jim would recognise the name) who didn't think there was anything particularly obnoxious. The contract has since been changed, and I've only recently seen the new version. As yet I haven't had it checked for weirdness. There are clauses I am not happy with by Jim's "if the publisher fell under a bus" methodology, but nothing that would make me throw it in the bin without even trying to negotiate the boilerplate.
Royalty percentage - reasonable for ebook (35% gross on direct sales, 50% net on sales via distributors). No escalator. I'll need to dig out the contract to check for print editions.
Has been reviewed in Romance Times multiple times.

This is *small* press. My sales are a few hundred to several hundred copies per title in the first one to two years. But they continue to sell a few copies each month even on backlist and the royalties are paid in a timely fashion. And they take novellas.

10-06-2006, 05:03 PM
The romance and most notably erotic romances have been selling well. It seems chain book buyers are far more open to small pubs in these areas. In the end, no matter the true genre, sex sells.

As for pubs closing doors on the little guy, it's a terrible thing. That's why I have so much trouble in other authors who believe to not be pubbed by a big NY company is being published badly. Another fine reason for your list, to separate the good from the bad.

On a side note, I know someone who used to write for Harper Collins, now this person writes for a small epub. Did she suddenly lose the ability to write? No. The big pubs stopped taking the genre that she wrote in. The same happened to a lady with Kensington. It's not always skill that gets the deal but the swing of the market.

On the same note, a couple of EC authors had editors from large NY houses call them. That's right. No query. An RT review and a need in the market worked in their favor.

As for me, I recently received a rejection from Dorchester. On it was a personal note stating that they liked the book but the horror market had gone soft leaving little room. Ah well.

10-06-2006, 06:37 PM
Here's PS Publishing (http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/).

Here's BenBella (http://www.benbellabooks.com/).

Here's Telos Publishing (http://www.cuttingsarchive.org.uk/telos/index.htm)

Monkeybrain (http://www.monkeybrainbooks.com/contact.html) is releasing new fiction titles, but its output seems to be quite small.

"No unsolicited manuscripts" just means "don't send us the ms. without us asking for it." You can still query. It's worth querying even publishers that claim to be closed to submissions--if they're intrigued by a query, odds are they may ask to look at your work anyway.

- Victoria

10-06-2006, 07:08 PM
Thanks, Victoria. Much better now.


10-06-2006, 09:08 PM
BenBella is not interested in fiction right now:
"BenBella Books welcomes submissions from authors and their agents. We are looking for non-fiction only. Our guidelines are as follows:
If you have written or are planning a non-fiction work that you'd like to submit to us, please send the following information:"

10-06-2006, 09:12 PM
Post Script Press has no information about submissions on their website in particular.

In the contact section it only says:
"How to Contact PS Publishing
To Contact PS Publishing with enquiries about publicity, advertising, forthcoming titles, or for any other general reason, please send an email to:

editor [at] pspublishing [dot] co [dot] uk"

10-06-2006, 09:33 PM
Scott, what do you think about Windstorm Creative? They have a five-step program, and it's quite confusing and complicated. Good mission statement and sample contract--15% on gross, etc. But for the life of me I can't interpret the rest of their quidelines for SF and Fantasy. They want you to read their books in this genre first? Are they email submission?
This might be a good house, but I got cross-eyed reading everything! I'll hit the search on this one in Bewares.


10-06-2006, 10:01 PM
There's a thread here in Absolute Write Bewares that goes back to 2003. I would say there are some caveats to Windstorm Creative. I haven't read the whole thread as it goes back to before I was around or even writing seriously for publication.


10-06-2006, 10:15 PM
P&E says: Poor contract, not recommended

Looks like you should scrutinize the contract and attempt to negotiate it they want the book. That will probably result in them declining the book though according to the Bewares thread.


10-06-2006, 11:05 PM
Yeah, I almost read that entire Windstorm thread before I got buggy-eyed. Sheesh. Two good points to consider: Apparently they do have a book store presence--this is documented, so it means they do have some type of distribution in place. They must have recently changed their royalty percentage of 15% net to 15% gross. Well, a good sign at least.

But, they have numerous complaints with production time, royalty payments, and low sales. I can't make a solid determination on this one yet until I've got some fresh, current info. P&E gives them a "Not recommended" for contractual reasons.


10-06-2006, 11:35 PM
There's DNA/Nartea as a small publishing house. I do not know much about them, they don't say they're closed to submission, but neither are they encouraging in their tone. There's no contract data or detailed distribution information though they seem to have distributors in several European countries besides in the U.S. They have a neutral rating at P&E.

Contact Us
We receive a large volume of publication inquiries.
Please respect our time so we can better serve our authors, distributors, and clients.
The best way to get in touch with us for publication matters is to mail us.

Write to us at

DNA Press (Nartea Publishing)
PO Box 572
Eagleville PA 19408, USA


10-07-2006, 01:10 AM
Manuscript Submission DNA

Here are a few tips for your manuscript submission. (http://www.dnapress.com/index/CustomerService_AuthorResources#75b6d9edaa7e66d941 9591c1ee5ddf1b)
1. Mail a disposable copy of your manuscript. Your manuscript will not be mailed back. (http://www.dnapress.com/index/CustomerService_AuthorResources#d72f0ca5f855a2cfc4 498cccb543185a)
2. Enclose a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) (http://www.dnapress.com/index/CustomerService_AuthorResources#0fb8eb61f214e10e22 2fa9857e9fbb83)Dear Authors:
DNA Press and Nartea Publishing are always looking for exciting book or journal proposals. We publish books about science in any form and for any audience. Whether it is an academic monograph, an exciting thriller, or a children's book – it should be always related to the advancement and spreading of scientific knowledge. If you think you can share your thoughts and experience related to science with a large audience then we are your publisher.

If you have an idea for a new book, game, or a journal, and would like to be contacted by a DNA Press Editor, please send your proposal or manuscript to:

DNA Press (or Nartea Publishing)

Acquisition Editor

10-07-2006, 02:54 AM
Okay, looks like there is a new kid on the block in the form of Solaris, which is an imprint of BL Publishing. I really like the website, and it looks like they're pouring massive publicity and resources into this new launch. They claim to publish books in the U.S. and England at the same time, and have had a lot of news, suport and interviews. I'm a wee bit distressed because their mission statement indicates that they are looking for previously published authors that have agents. Further reading indicates a rather pompous, or elitest soliciation for big names or great mid-list novelists. They go so far as to say "Big Name author, if you have a trunk novel that you're in love with, but can't get it pubbed, just pitch our way."

I dunno. I might barely qualify with lots of short story stuff out in the magazine markets, plus an agent, but they could tell me to take a walk too. They do have an online query box, so I suppose one could ask about projects.

I read good house and all, but I also read "Fancy Pants" publisher who might not be interested in the little guy.


10-07-2006, 09:51 PM
A friend recommended this one.

It looks like all erotica to me but she claims they take all genres. They are in bookstores, at least their eroticas are. They do ebooks and POD. I've heard that they offer $100 advance. Not much but that's more than most.

10-07-2006, 10:08 PM
Thanks for that listing, Harris. Yes, they've on my thumbs up list from the beginning. Reputable small pub that is growing by leaps and bounds. It's nice to see even a small advance offered.


10-08-2006, 03:55 AM
A new E-publisher has some good words from Piers Anthony:


Piers Anthony speaks well of them, though they do not officially open for business for a few days.

From Mr. Anthony's web site:

"I understand that this is a startup founded by two competent editors from Awe-Struck. It will release its first titles on October 2006. Present needs are for Georgian, Regency, Victorian, and Western American Historical Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal, mysteries, and nonfiction books and humor. Query if you have something else; they might be interested. They hope to respond to all manuscripts within 60 days; nag them if they don't. Royalties are 42% on books sold from the publisher's site, less otherwise. They have a sample contract, and it has an audit clause. "

10-10-2006, 10:23 PM
Dragon Moon Press seems to be worthwhile. Alas they are closed to subs.
If I'm reading this right, it looks like about 50--60 percent of the small houses are closed to submission. It might be higher. I haven't seen it quite this bad.


10-11-2006, 03:01 AM
Maybe somebody can chime in on Kedzie Press. I've never heard of them and don't know too much about them. They do have a website.


11-21-2006, 09:31 AM
Whew, haven't been here in a spell. I contacted two editors, one at Journey Books, and the other at Monkeybrain. They are not open to submissions at this time and neither could tell me when they would be.

I'm waiting patiently on the following small houses for answers on queries and partials.

Tyrannosaurus (They've just recovered from Katrina and back online)\
Zumaya (This one looks prettey good)

Gosh it seems like a long time for these. Maybe some don't answer back at all unless they like the project.


11-29-2006, 08:06 AM
I'll post a few tomorrow.

11-29-2006, 08:31 AM
Hi, Scott, glad you found it again. Can you hear the echoe in here? Nobody visits or cares about this site, so I'm going hog wild.

Juno Books was pretty neat in an email. The editor actually had a sense of humor and told me not to spend too much X-mas time in Wal-Mart. She's English, a delightful sort. I love the Brits! I sent her three chapters, and she said she'd get back about the 2nd week of January.

Sent three to Robert at Adventure Books. I believe he's the chap who insulted my title, but took a synopsis and three for the heck of it. I'm as brash as he is so I wasn't offended.

Breakneck took a synopis and two. A little controversy about this pub.

NF's publisher bowed out due to sickness and transfered everything over to her American partner. I have a full of the old book with them at the new address. Very sweet team here--gawd I hope they make it and learn something from this site.

Velluminous Press sent a very nice talkative note. Called me a great idea man and wanted two out of the three books for a full read.

Here's two I haven't checked out: Dandelion and Strebor. I'll get back on those.

NOTE: These are micros and small press outfits. Some have got their feces together and are gaining some ground. Many are downright clueless. What I'm doing is studying their websites and then writing personal letters to "feel out" the CEOs, before I send anything. It kind of gives me a leg up on where they're coming from. Most are nice and answer honestly about returns, store placement, advance, royalty, rights and other things. But the fact is, we're in Poddy territory here. Just trying to find the best of the shrimpos.

I'm red-shifting



11-29-2006, 08:46 AM
Well, all I can say about Dandelion Press is that they have one of those complicated online forms that you fill out, which reads like a psych (sp?) exam. Ninety percent of the form deals with what YOU can DO for THEM as far as guaranteed sales and marketing. I stopped right there. I just got the impression it was too close to the PA model for me. On top of that they wanted a chap by chap outline. In your dreams, unless you're talking about non-fic.


11-29-2006, 08:50 AM
Strebor is currently accepting queries in the following areas:

Youth Books (ages 11-17)
Christian Fiction and Non-Fiction
Erotica Novellas (30,000 words of less)

If you would like to submit a query for one of the above categories, please send a query letter, a detailed synopsis or proposal (for non-fiction) and three sample chapters to:

Charmaine Parker
Publishing Director
Strebor Books/Simon and Schuster
Post Office Box 6505
Largo, MD 20792

A minority publisher with a pretty cool message.

11-29-2006, 10:18 AM
I sent a query for Jars of Doom as an "Erotic Paranormal Thriller". Charmaine Parker very nicely answered in a couple days saying it seemed that my book had an interesting premise and ethnic characters and to send her four chapters and a synopsis by snail mail She said not be concerned if it took her three or four months to get back to me, that should give me something in late February next year.

I sent several chapters to John Jarrold since I noted he had picked up a rather hot and humid series of paranormal fantasies called "Spellcrackers.com".
He got back to me the next day from an internet cafe. It seems his house hasn't gotten re-wired for high speed nternet as yet and he's having to go to public internet access to do his correspondence.

I also have the book out to Ocean View, Saga Books, Plainsmart and half a dozen agents who have requested material from queries. I am hitting one out of four so far for the query letter. I think that's pretty phenomenal.

At least the query is improving.


11-29-2006, 10:20 AM
Oh, don't forget Strebor signed a distribution deal with MacMillan last summer, so distribution will be top notch.


11-29-2006, 10:27 AM
I'll go back and look at Strebor again. Nice to hear about their increased distribution. I like John, and just discoverd the Chronicles site last week and joined up. They're mostly brits and I like their taste and posts. It's a full on SF and F site, heavy on TV and movie related discussions. I never knew that site existed--it's slightly larger than AW, which was a shock to me. But they're light on the craft and publishing in comparison.

I'm thinking that Strebor leans more toward minority works, but I could be wrong. Let me know how it goes.


11-29-2006, 01:20 PM
It only has a small writing section, but there are some industry experts there and some published fantasy and SF authors - SFFWORLD.com (http://www.sffworld.com/forums) - apologies if you have already visited this place.

I lurk at Chronicles but SFFW is my main home on the net.

11-29-2006, 02:07 PM
Thanks, Justin. I'ma check her out now.


11-29-2006, 07:03 PM
http://www.bohemian-ink.com/About-Bohemian-Ink.htm (quality hardbacks for unusual SF&F fiction)


(A new imprint for Champagne Books)


http://www.javelinahousepublishing.com/ This belongs to Dee Powers and Brian Hill. It will not start taking queries until after the first of the year and plans to publish only a few select books per year for the first few years to establish the company. They have distribution set up for non-fiction books they have published. Don't bug them or flood them until after the first, and keep an eye on their website for additional news.

This appears to be strictly e-Book so far. They do pay 40% on cover price, though.

11-29-2006, 10:39 PM
Well, all I can say about Dandelion Press is that they have one of those complicated online forms that you fill out, which reads like a psych (sp?) exam.If you're talking about Dandelion Books of Arizona, avoid. Horrid contract is the least of the problems with them.

I hope it doesn't need to be said to throughly research any publisher before you query/submit. If any are unsure how to differentiate between a professional, commercial small press and an amateur POD house or back-end vanity, please don't hesitate to ask.

12-07-2006, 08:33 PM
I can verify that JJ at Bohemian Ink is very professional and a more than competent editor. One of his authors told me that he's had a better experience there than at large houses that have published some of his other stuff.

12-07-2006, 08:34 PM
Does anyone know of any good small presses devoted to provocative/controversial or surreal literary stuff?

12-07-2006, 08:43 PM
Look up Juno Press. They seem to take a wide variety, but there must be a strong romance element.


12-09-2006, 11:09 PM
Chiming in here rather tardily...

DNA/Nartea is a vanity press, and it seems to manipulate statements and distributor's fees to avoid paying royalties. Puzzlingly, it has a very good distributor, but I can't discover that it has any greater bookstore penetration than a POD.

I echo CauPaux's warning about Dandelion. It's the subject of this alert (http://www.nwu.org/nwu/index.php?cmd=showPage&page_id= from the NWU.

NF is the brainchild of a PA author. It strikes me as being very much at the clueless end of the micropress spectrum.

- Victoria

Alan Yee
12-10-2006, 10:37 AM
And the popular small presses continue to be swamped with submissions and books to be published.

"Night Shade is not accepting unagented manuscripts as this time. We're simply getting way too many manuscripts for us to keep anything resembling a reasonable turnaround time."

This is a bit disappointing, once again, because all the small presses I'm familiar with are swamped out of having any open submission periods, or are closed indefinitely to submissions. The small presses tend to publish more anthologies and short story collections by some of my favorite short story writers, like Theodora Goss, Tim Pratt, Jeffrey Ford, and others. It's a good thing, because they keep their fans happy and saves them money by putting them all together in one collection.

Though it's not quite so good for new writers. I think it would be easier to get a deal from them once you have a solid number of short stories published in reputable venues.

12-11-2006, 12:22 PM
Sigh... does this mean I need to spice up that sf/f book I just wrote? Looks like erotica is getting to be the thing...

Oh, and don't forget ebook publishers: www.thereadersretreat.com (they're growing by leaps and bounds)!

12-11-2006, 05:32 PM
I have found the same thing that Alan has found--a relatively sewn-up market in the SF field primarily. After reading all the agent blogs, and speaking personally with my agent, it appears that the biggies are on the lookout for dark fantasy/paranormal/romance/erotica/thriller type stuff. In fact my agent asked me to "spice up" my urban fantasy and give it a more serious/dangerous edge.

We actually missed roughly half of the SF markets with my off-planet thriller from the likes of Prometheus, Del Rey, Ben Bella, Kensington, Spectra, Tor, Time Warner, Pocket Books, and a few others. They didn't even request the manuscript from the query or phone pitch. And of course, this was ONLY MY experience. But I found the trend disturbing. The market for SF is so narrow as it is, that once you get in there, you are still competing with the great midlisters and large guns of Benford, Bear, and the others. Tor, for example, are publishing the same people they did last year, with only a few exceptions.

Romance and paranormal thrillers are riding a high horse right now and laughing all the way to the bank. I don't know how long this trend is going to continue. Romance will likely dominate the market, as it always has. Our own Jackie Kessler (DragonJax) has recently sold one of these types to Kensington, and she has woven a great story around a facinating concept, if I may say so.

I'm absolutely brain dead knowing how the traditional/epic or road fantasies are doing out there. I don't write them. Perhaps someone can chime in about any market news concerning this genre.

Nowadays with SF you have to exceed/push the genre to the max to get a raised eyebrow. Concept or orginal premise is beginning to trump all there, in my opinion. Keep in mind, this is still a very subjective industry. Keep your eyes peeled on the Raylan's site for brand new imprints that are busting out of the larger, more established houses. If you find a new startup house for SF, for gawd's sakes, research them thoroughly and look them up in our Bewares thread to find out straight-away what you're dealing with.

I just sold an urban fantasy and a SF novel to a small publisher. We haven't signed the deal yet. We're fighting for rights at the moment. We might come out with our noses bleeding. So be CAREFULL.



12-11-2006, 08:41 PM
For qualification in the SFWA:

Novels sold to the following publishers are considered qualified:
· Ace
· Archebooks
· Baen
· Bantam Spectra
· Black Library
· Del Rey
· Design Image Group
· Eos
· Fitzhenry & Whiteside
· Green Knight
· HarperCollins
· Kensington Publishing
· Meisha Merlin
· Phobos
· Roc
· St. Martin's Press
· Tor
· Warner Aspect

These publishers are likely to pay advances, and many of them require an agent.


12-12-2006, 02:32 AM
Does anyone know of any good small presses devoted to provocative/controversial or surreal literary stuff?

Emperor's New Clothes Press?


12-12-2006, 06:34 AM
ENC has an interesting site, I'll admit - though it really does drive me crazy when a publisher puts up the generic catchphrases "character-driven", "sharp", etc. Does that really tell me what they want? No. (yeah, I know, bitch and moan, but it's true).

Question, for kicks: has anyone seen an ENC book in the stores? Tri, after my own huge searching process (ongoing), I'm kind of leery.

12-12-2006, 08:29 AM
Naw, I haven't seen any ENC book in the stores. I get the impression that they are an e-book publisher, who occasionally does print. Did you see that too?

Yeah, you have to float like a butterfly around some of these so called micro-presses, who are masquerading as traditional outfits. Here's what I'm seeing--I'm finding that nearly all the POD outfits have no more or even less marketing than PA. I'm talking about internet ONLY everywhere. All of a sudden everyone is a publisher and sending PDFs to Lightening Source or Lulu. Why? Because it was done to THEM when they first saw print. So they're screwing back. I'm seeing vanity authors creating micro-startups and going bust in a few months. I can name you three that tanked right off the top of my head, but won't cause it's too embarassing.

All authors on this planet will fork over enough money for 20--25 copies of their own book, especially if they're not offered a generous allotment of free copies . These tiny micros, who know that, can probably make a little coin off these authors--nothing like PA mind you, where they have a 50 book minimum until a good cut starts. Bingo. Instant publisher.

When I was writing 17 years ago and getting published, we had small presses and medium presses that did press runs and paid advances. There were over two hundred of them. You don't even want to know how many there are now...it's too sad.

Another thing: 1/3 of all small and medium press have their doors shut for various reasons at the present time. Slots are filled, production is stealing their time, the editors are inundated, and their backlist is neglected.

Romance, fantasy/paranormal thriller and eroitca are enjoying a better ride than sf and fantasy right now--many new imprints breaking new ground here. Romantic or paranormal thrillers just might be a good bullseye for some writers who craft there.

There is a ray of hope for SF. Hint=England. They are enjoying an upsurge or or return to good stories, and even some golden age type stuff. I think they have about five major houses and quite a few smaller outfits. Orbit comes to mind. I don't know what Bloomsbury (sp?) is doing. You could ask Aruna, she's hot to know all about English publishing and knows her markets very well.

I forgot to mention Prometheus, with Lou Anders. Although he might require an agent (not sure), I believe it's a new outfit.


12-12-2006, 09:32 AM
"When I was writing 17 years ago and getting published, we had small presses and medium presses that did press runs and paid advances. There were over two hundred of them. You don't even want to know how many there are now...it's too sad.

Another thing: 1/3 of all small and medium press have their doors shut for various reasons at the present time. Slots are filled, production is stealing their time, the editors are inundated, and their backlist is neglected."

Not to mention that there are three or four times as many submissions out these days as there were back then puts the squeeze on very hard for those of us who do not have a fan-base and a recognized name. The list of publishers accepted by SFWA seem to represent houses who are concentrating more on their own stable of writers and finding fewer slots for new authors to fill. True, they publish first-time authors every year, but the ratio of first-time authors to total of books published each season is much smaller than it was even a few years ago. It's kind of a literary Depression Era in some ways, and finding a gig is a lot harder, and the mob looking for a 'day's work' is a lot bigger for fewer jobs than there were yesterday.

I was kind of surprised to find Archebooks on the list of acceptable publishers for the SFWA, that company has a lot of flags hanging over it.

I took one on the ear from Capri when it flushed, I'm glad to say that I have that book as well as Jars of Doom out in requested fulls right now. The publishers won't meet SFWA standards, I'm sure, but they are what I can reach at the moment, and I'll be glad to place the books if the opportunity comes through.

I certainly hope the e-Market grows, I'd like to see it become a viable industry.


12-12-2006, 11:03 AM
Yeah, it's true that anybody that pulls a keyboard into their gut nowadays can fancy themselves a writer and cluster-frig the cyber channels. It's a siege right now and I don't see it letting up soon. I'm at the point where I'll take what I can get (with limitations, of course), or fight for a better deal that I know is a deliberate rights grab.

I got a really good tip (I think) at the Chronicles forum. England is more receptive to SF and Fantasy than you might think right now. Especially SF. Have you tried anything there yet? I know of Orbit and about four other majors, with a dozen or so other houses, but I haven't tried anything yet. I have a "golden ager" looking for a home, and they opt for that kind of tale more frequently.


12-12-2006, 07:12 PM
ENC has an interesting site, I'll admit - though it really does drive me crazy when a publisher puts up the generic catchphrases "character-driven", "sharp", etc. Does that really tell me what they want? No. (yeah, I know, bitch and moan, but it's true).

Question, for kicks: has anyone seen an ENC book in the stores? Tri, after my own huge searching process (ongoing), I'm kind of leery.

Someone in my writing group published her novel with ENC. I've seen the books, they look well presented.

12-12-2006, 07:16 PM
Yeah, it's true that anybody that pulls a keyboard into their gut nowadays can fancy themselves a writer and cluster-frig the cyber channels. It's a siege right now and I don't see it letting up soon. I'm at the point where I'll take what I can get (with limitations, of course), or fight for a better deal that I know is a deliberate rights grab.

I got a really good tip (I think) at the Chronicles forum. England is more receptive to SF and Fantasy than you might think right now. Especially SF. Have you tried anything there yet? I know of Orbit and about four other majors, with a dozen or so other houses, but I haven't tried anything yet. I have a "golden ager" looking for a home, and they opt for that kind of tale more frequently.


Tor-MacMillan have bought new SF authors in the recent past.
Solaris are buying new authors.

12-12-2006, 10:48 PM
Tor-MacMillan have bought new SF authors in the recent past.
Solaris are buying new authors.

True enough.

Now look at their list of SF releases this year, note the total number, see how many are by new authors.

Do the same for five years ago or ten years ago. Are the proportions of new authors to total releases the same now as they were?

I don't think so.

Now compare the total number of submissions this year (you can find approximate numbers) with the total submissions five and ten years ago and see what proportion of successfully published new writers is to all the submissions made.

It gets depressing.


12-13-2006, 12:11 AM
England is more receptive to SF and Fantasy than you might think right now. Especially SF.

You know I have noticed this - I've gotten a couple things in magazines in the UK, and then there's the few people I know from England who have been writing comments in this US-based zine for years, they seem to like the stuff too. And then, well, there's Germany. So yeah, maybe that's an area I should concentrate on more. At least for story selling.

One note, though, for short stories: it's hard to break into the Aussie market for some reason, they keep telling me they don't often publish "overseas" (which always hits me as surreal:))

12-13-2006, 12:12 AM
BTW, thanks Waylander for the info! Good to know...

12-13-2006, 02:57 PM
Anyone heard anything about Pleasure Boat Studio?

An author popped-up at another forum, his book sounds great but I have never heard of the publisher and a search here yields nothing.

They are not open to subs and have a site HERE... (http://www.pleasureboatstudio.com/)

12-13-2006, 07:59 PM
Looks like they are fairly new, but not accepting subs due to a backlog of current titles in production. Their non-fiction, and even fiction, seems to have a bent toward sociology, or culture in some way. They publish poetry. Looks like they started out to reflect some type of literary persona, but have now started to cross those lines with more diverse selections. Mystery might appeal to them now. Gee, they are funny or unpredicatable, as far as I can judge. They put over six titles a year, which means they take time and effort, and don't rush things (a good sign). They claim other divisions (do they mean new imprints?). That's wierd for such a little guy.


Christine N.
02-03-2007, 04:58 PM
I'm bumping this old thread, since there's been quite a bit of discussion about small presses in the B&B board.

I was SO happy to hear that Tyrannosaurus Press was back up and running - I submitted Talisman of Zandria to them back in 2004, and they had actually requested the first five chapters when the book got picked up by LBF. When my book was released in Dec. 2005, I checked in on them, purely curious, and was horrified to find they'd been almost wiped out by Katrina.

Since I've got something to submit again, and they're back on their feet, I dropped them a query.

There's some good info in this thread.

02-03-2007, 05:07 PM
I'd been waiting all year for them, too, Christine. I exhanged a ton of emails with them, just general blabber, and sent them my chapters. I haven't hear anything yet, but I think the book they requested is the one I just sold. I'll have to get into records and find that out. Then I'll have to notify them.

But I'm glad to see T-Rex back. They were having a tough time before Katrina hit. So they were pretty devastated.


Christine N.
02-03-2007, 10:18 PM
And a note that Zumaya is now open to subs again, as long as you don't mind waiting until 2009 for publication.

02-04-2007, 11:45 AM
From the Raylan's site. A couple of newbies onboard and some that are closing:

Leaf Books Ltd. (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#LfBksLtd) - print novellas; any & all genres (fic); pays advance & royalty
Novello Publishers (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#NvllPblshrs) - print novellas; humorous h (fic); pays 1-time payment

Pitch-Black, LLC (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#Ptch-Blck) - closed down
Gothic Press (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#GthcPrss) - temp. closed to subs
Catalyst Press (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#CtlstPrss) - closed by the publisher
Cohort Press (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#ChrtPrss) - new URL
Double Dragon Publishing (http://www.ralan.com/publishr/publish.htm#DblDrgn) - closure to all submissions lengthened

Christine N.
02-04-2007, 04:34 PM
It's Ralan, Tri :)


02-04-2007, 04:49 PM
Thanks, Christine.


02-11-2007, 08:38 PM
Bumping this for a member.


Tia Nevitt
02-11-2007, 09:54 PM
Here are the results of some research I did on the SFWA approved publishers:

AceBooks - query package
Archebooks - no unagented
BaenBooks - complete MS only
Bantam Spectra - swallowed by Random House; no unagented
Black Library - specific to Warhammer games
DawBooks - has guidelines with sub requirements.
Del Rey - part of Random House
Design Image Group
Eos - cannot find current guidelines
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Green Knight
HarperCollins - no unagented
Kensington Publishing - no sff
Meisha Merlin - no subs
Phobos - no fantasy
Roc - Part of Penguin/Putnam
St. Martin's Press - no unsolicited material
TorBooks - no queries, exclusive partial only
Warner Aspect - no unsolicited material
White Wolf - game publisher, no unsolicited
WizardsOfTheCoast - game publisher; open to submissions in SeptemberIf I didn't put a dash after the publisher, I could not find any info. I mostly used Ralan and Google searches.

02-12-2007, 02:14 AM
No way should Archebooks be a qualifying market for SFWA. They don't pay advances--or at any rate, I've seen contracts where they specifically say that no advance is due, so at the very least it should be on a case by case basis. Not to mention that Archebooks doesn't market or distribute its books (average sales for some authors don't even reach three digits) and has offered stock warrant options in lieu of advances, despite the fact that it doesn't appear to have the right to issue stock.

I'm going to do some checking to find out how they got on the list.

- Victoria

02-12-2007, 02:34 AM
Yeah, Victoria. I thought Scott said something to that effect in an older post. I'm going to revisit their site and see what's up.


Christine N.
02-14-2007, 02:06 AM
Well, sent T-Rex a query and they requested chapters...

02-14-2007, 02:29 AM
Congrats, Christine. I had to pull my fantasy from them.


Christine N.
02-14-2007, 02:31 AM
So it was the one you sold? Well, good for you for selling it :D I also sent queries on the same book to Zumaya and Samhain, so we'll see what happens. I'd be happy with any one of them. (Not as happy as with a deal and a really huge advance from, say, Scholastic, but what can you do...LOL)

02-14-2007, 03:25 AM
We can only do what we can do--take the best of the little guys and make it work for us. Yes, out of the three books I sent her way she picked the fantasy romp for the full read above the other two. Unfortunately a Canadian publisher came in with an offer shortly after. I guess I mean 'fortunately' picked it up and another on top of that.

My agent scratched his head and said, "Wait a damn minute...I'M HOLDING THE BEST BOOK, SO WHY DIDN'T THEY WANT THAT ONE? I'LL TRY TO SEE IF THEY'RE UP FOR A SWITCH."

No deal. They wanted the SF book that neither my agent or I thought stood a snow ball in hell's chance. So my agent told me to go in an fix this, that, them and the other Quick, so the book read better. Of course, he was right, and I sent in TWO revised versions at light speed, so it all worked out in the end.

Christine N.
02-19-2007, 02:32 AM
Zumaya got back, also with a request for chapters...

They have nice covers.

02-19-2007, 02:41 AM
Good for you, Christine. Zumaya has always been on my hit list. I'll go back in my records and dig them up. I know they're very selective.


02-19-2007, 03:10 AM
Yep, my history goes back to Oct of 2005. Then I picke up with them again in Nov 2006. Liz passed on both SF novels, but requested the fantasy. I had to pull the fantasy after it sold a month later. Anything that is picked up now will be published in 2009 according to her latest email to me. So, I shot my wad early on Zumaya.

Christine, you might investigate Juno, and imprint of Prime. Paula is a very neat editor and easy to converse with.


Christine N.
02-19-2007, 04:14 AM
Thanks for the recommendation!

02-20-2007, 12:25 AM
I made it past the query and partial stages with Zumaya, and Liz has been holding onto the full of my SF novel for months now. They must be quite backed up. I think it was november when she requested it, and still no word.

I'm hoping that no news is good news at this point. Grr. I guess if she hated my writing, there wouldn't have been the full request. But then again . . .grr.

02-20-2007, 12:27 AM
RG--she is swamped, buried under piles of manuscripts. Just hang in there, they will get around to you.


02-20-2007, 12:42 AM
Yeah, I guess it's my own fault. I am voluntarily giving her an exclusive on it, because they seem like the best fit for the novel. Is that a dumb thing to do?

02-20-2007, 12:51 AM
Not really, although you could have put a time limit on it. But in this situation, I don't think it would have done any good. I would not wait months and months on an exclusive reply--I would continue to send out at least a few more subs--I don't know how ethical that is at this point, but I've never had an exclusive either.

Perhaps someone else would like to chime in on this one.


Christine N.
02-20-2007, 01:21 AM
Miss Snark says ... 'Exclusives suck.'

In general they do, because you're left waiting. But three months, or a 90 day exclusive is a little long, but not unheard of. However if the 90 has passed, drop Liz an e-mail and ask her about it. Tell her you're going to send it out other places. Keeping people informed goes a long way with most, and 90 days is more than enough for an exclusive.

That's my nickel.

ETA: My submission was logged in, and Liz said to wait at least 3-6 months to hear back. Now, I would just send her a little note to tell her you're going to sub other places in the meantime.

02-22-2007, 12:18 PM
Anyone know anything about Cerridwen Press? I see they're a mainstream imprint of Ellora's Cave. They do SF, but so far all I see are novels featuring women, and many still have that romance angle, so it looks a bit confusing to me. I mean, is this still women's fiction or what?

It's like nobody is doing serious SF anymore.

02-22-2007, 12:43 PM
Well, take it from a diehard SF writer, that yes, the SF market has shrank in the last years. There are still some viable markets for it out there, but a lot of them have closed their doors due to a submission glut. England is experiencing a small revival in SF right now, and even receptive to some of the classic type stories. I have a classic Robinson Crusoe on Mars type story that my agent can't unload.

The only way I see American SF gaining some ground back is if Romance continutes to expand in this area. SF romance has been steadily gaining some ground, not like the other faster moving genres, but enough that opens up some markets.


Christine N.
02-22-2007, 04:01 PM
I've run across a Ceridwen press author a time or two. If they're an imprint of EC, no wonder they've got a Romance bent.

However, if they say they take SF (and their subs area says they are looking for books in all genres) it couldn't hurt to sub there.

Samhain is the same way - not an imprint, but started by a former part of the EC team, lots of romance books listed. But they ARE looking for all genres. I e-mailed and asked.

Could be they just haven't found anything they liked in SF yet. Yours could be that book.

Doesn't hurt to try, right?

03-01-2007, 01:42 PM
Just thought I'd give you guys an update on Kedzie Press (http://www.kedziepress.com).

I got the proofs through last week for the text and the type-setting and it looks amazing!

As I've said before, Kedzie are small but Thomas is a great guy, very enthusiastic and he has to be passionate about his projects before he will take them on. He is a very well respected academic publisher, working with world-renowned marketing and business experts... some I have studied myself!

He is the first to point out that he is new to genre publishing but he is very good at promotion and here is some TV coverage (http://www.irish-tv.com/dragons.wmv) he secured for Dragons in the Sky - a childrens' science fiction book with Kedzie by David Jowsey. In the UK, ITV is split into regional networks.

Kedzie are without doubt a micro press, but he is providing ARCs for reviewers, he has a deal with a distribution network and the initial print-run of my book is going to be 2000, 1000 of which will be a Limited Edition copy, individually numbered and signed by myself.

I think the differentiating factor about Kedzie is that Thomas is a very good marketer and networker.

My book is out in May in the UK and released in the States in May 2008. I am very happy with Kedzie and whilst a lot of would-be authors seem to look down on small publishers, I am very happy to be working with Thomas... plus John Jarrold edited my text, who is a legend.

As per the TV coverage, Kedzie sold the initial 1000 copies of Dragons in the Sky in ten days... not bad for a micro press.

03-01-2007, 01:53 PM
Justin, that's wonderful. Congrats on that accomplishment. Kedzie seems to be doing quite well--that was a nice TV promo for the Dragon book. It looks like you're on your way. Hey, they're doing offset press, what more could you want. Yea, you!

Hey, you must hand out at Chronicles. It's a wonderful place, and so is John.


03-03-2007, 07:20 PM
Just to follow up on previous posts: Archebooks has been removed from SFWA's Approved Publisher List (http://www.sfwa.org/org/qualify.htm#Q4), and added to SFWA's list of non-qualifying markets.

- Victoria

03-27-2007, 07:25 PM
Thanks, Tri... yea Chronicles is a great place, well, there and SFFWORLD.

04-24-2007, 09:34 AM
Meisha Merlin has made the official announcement on their website that they will be shutting down and closing their doors in May 2007. For more information, visit their website at Meisha Merlin Publishing (http://www.meishamerlin.com/)

Gak. they've been at it for 11 years. I'm sad to see them go. They speak of distribution problems. After 11 years they have problems with distribution? Nobody is immune.


04-24-2007, 01:36 PM
That is very sad about Meisha Merlin, they put out some excellent books

04-24-2007, 05:36 PM
It's sad when any, legitimate small press decides to fold it in.

Especially those who aren't out to screw new authors trying to bring dreams to life.

04-24-2007, 07:46 PM
They speak of distribution problems. After 11 years they have problems with distribution? Nobody is immune.Rumor has it that there's more than distribution problems involved.

- Victoria

04-24-2007, 11:49 PM
I don't know where this rumour about the UK SF industry is picking up. In theory it should do with the rise in popularity of YA TV shows like Dr Who, but hardly any of the mainstream SF publishers based or with imprints in the UK are taking on new authors. You can count the number of mags on the fingers of one hand - two fingers sticking up - OK maybe 3. At writers' conferences over here we are being told to go for the US market rather than the UK!

Nevertheless we write, revise, and submit -- repeat n times.


04-25-2007, 10:48 PM
I don't know where this rumour about the UK SF industry is picking up. In theory it should do with the rise in popularity of YA TV shows like Dr Who, but hardly any of the mainstream SF publishers based or with imprints in the UK are taking on new authors.


I dunno about that - have a look at UKSFBookNews.net - John Jarrold seems to be making sales to the major houses on a weekly basis and as good as John is, he can't be the only one.

04-25-2007, 11:05 PM
You have a point, but I believe I'm right to think most of JJ's sales to publishers have been with established writers and of fantasy rather than SF. He's a jolly good chap and nearly took me on as a client. I'm at AltFiction in Derby this coming Saturday with the BFSA Orbiters critique group so I'll find out more about the current scene. To be honest you could count the number of newly published scifi UK writers on one hand - at least from the mainstream publishers. I should have specialised in Fantasy, it sells 4 times better in the UK. But I am an optimist so I keep writing and subbing.

04-25-2007, 11:45 PM
Fair comment, Geoff... my bad, I see SF&F automatically when I read SF!

Good luck at the Con and please report on your findings back here!

05-17-2007, 01:44 PM
Just a heads-up guys.

Sigel and Kedzie have now parted ways, so my book is out on the Sigel Press imprint - as is the other SF&F title.

So anyone interested in Kedzie, should consider www.sigelpress.com

My Waterstones display went live this morning, and last night I was interviewed on BBC Spotlight. My publisher is coming over next weekend for the official launch and has already scheduled some UK signings for me. Another run of 1000 has been arranged in the US, so happy days!

Stuart Clark
05-26-2007, 06:08 PM
I'd like to give a mention to my Small Press Publisher - Silver Leaf Books - who specialize in Sci Fi, Fantasy and Mystery books.

They are very small but are growing fast, having gone from 1 to 4 authors in the space of the last 18 months - and they are constantly on the lookout for more people, both authors and artists.

Recently they have just posted ads for Nationwide sales reps on their site.

Just some info...

They aren't POD, my novel has an original print run of 3000
My contract was for royalties only (which suits me)
They do have a returns policy
As well as being with Ingrams and Baker and Taylor for Distribution, they have also just signed with another large Distributor, Bookworld.

Visit their site at www.silverleafbooks.com

07-07-2007, 01:35 AM
I'm bumping this thread (one of the most useful, IMO) just to test the waters and see if anyone as any news on favorite spec-fic publishers that haven't been mentioned yet?


07-07-2007, 01:57 AM
Thanks for the bump. I've heard great things about Solaris, if it hasn't already been mentioned. They are stationed in England and have an on-site query form you can fill out. I just queried them a few days ago. They heavy into SF and Fantasy.


07-07-2007, 11:14 AM
Solaris are certainly putting out books, but I'm not sure they could really be called a small press as they are part of Games Workshop who already have the Black Library imprint for their gaming-related fiction.

07-09-2007, 07:35 PM
Games or not, they do look pretty good -- I'd love to have a deal with them.

Unfortunately it looks like they're only up for agented submissions or submissions from "established" authors. Neither of which category I currently fall into.


I'll have to keep them in mind for later days, though. :) Good luck on that, Tri!

07-10-2007, 04:25 AM
Oh, I didn't see the agent requirement thingy. I might have to go through mine if I get thrown back in my face. Thanks for the heads up on that.


07-10-2007, 10:43 PM
There's a thread on it elsewhere here, but just to add another one: I expect to see good things out of Meadowhawk Press when they get their first run up & going: they have an advance, they seem to have some business savvy on their side, and I know they're attending a bunch of cons promoting their name.

They're closed to subs right now, though -- Jackie, their editor, told me they're concentrating all their efforts on their current projects (I think they plan to set the release dates soon).

Only time will tell, of course, but I'm certainly gonna watch their progress...

07-11-2007, 04:28 AM
I'll second the Meadowhawk thing. They gave me a wonderful critique on my chapters, more so than any other publisher. I damn well know what to do with it now. In fact, I've already done it. I think they're going places.


07-11-2007, 09:01 PM
They did the same thing for me -- I'd gotten some cryptic statements from a few agents, and Meadowhawk gave me exactly the explicit input I needed.

08-01-2007, 01:47 AM
Got a new one here--at least one that slipped by me. I like the looks of them. They seem to be willing to offer a small advance. They have a forum and myspace link as well as their website.

HADES GATE:http://www.hadesgate.co.uk/

Hadesgate will be open to submissions for the month of August ‘07. With a view to publishing during the course of 2008/2009.

Previously unpublished novel sized manuscripts. Our bias is towards horror & dark fantasy.

If it’s legible we’ll read it. Synopsis and chapter examples can be sent via email hadesgate@hotmail.co.uk, however if you prefer to post please email and I’ll provide a full postal address to the UK for either CD or printed papers.

Hadesgate authors are contracted; we will pay £250 (approx. $500) per mss on date of publication, thereafter 10% net profit annually.

Our books for November release will be launched at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK. Just about the biggest venue there is.

Gazelle Books Ltd, a well-established and well-respected distributor based in the UK, now represents us throughout the UK and Europe. Our books are sold on line and also on the high street across the UK.

If you are thinking of sending Hadesgate something with a view to publication, I would strongly recommend you see the kinds of things we have published in the past. The quality of our releases is a constant; we have an on-going excellent relationship with our printing house.

We’ve been around 2 years and have improved greatly in the areas that caused concern in the early days.

Hadesgate puts authors first, second and last. Their success is our payment.

Our authors are: -
Garry Charles – check out his myspace comments (100% genuine), that’s a payment right there.
Steve Dean – signed a three-book deal with us. Very versatile author.
Steven Deighan – A young writer from Scotland, we were delighted to publish him and will continue to support his endeavours, with a view to publication.
C J Lines – Filth Kiss, due out in November. MASS MARKET RELEASE
Rakie Keig – Terror Island, due out in November. MASS MARKET RELEASE

Additional information only
In conjunction with our 2 novels listed above we have Tiny Terrors Vol 2, set for release November ’07.

As you may be aware this is a Hadesgate self-funding project, which set out to promote new names in horror, accompanying each story chosen are illustrations from different artists. In support of the Tiny Terrors Vol 1 we have selected introductions for GUY N SMITH

Our author in support of Tiny Terrors Vol 2 is DEAN KOONTZ.
Our contributors for this volume are Authors: Fran Friel, Helen Taylor, Darrell Joyce, Edward Morris and Dominic McDonagh. Artists: John Bennett, Chris J Hall, Juan Moore, Andrew Gilmore plus one to be announced.

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO SLASHER MOVIES our final release for November. This release takes Hadesgate into a whole new area. This release has no fewer than 30 contributors, all just nuts about slasher movies. Contributors from the film world mixed with authors old and new. They give their reasons why, for them, one title above all others is their choice for the top.

Contributors include: Scott Nicholson, David L Tamarin, Dustin La Valley, Jeff Strand, C J Lines, Peter Tennent, Jesse Baget (Writer/director: ‘Wrestlemaniac’), Johnny Kalangis (Director ‘The Mad’),Greg Lamberson, Bryn Hammond, Johannes Roberts (Director: ‘When Evil Calls’), Sarah Dobbs, Aliya Whiteley, Lynne Hansen and Rachel Kendal, Horror Pimp (Columnist), Frazer Lee plus many, many more.

I hope this post in its entirety gives any would be submitter a fuller picture of the work at ‘Hadesgate Central.’

To close, I would advise that we work on an informal basis so if you do have any questions feel free to drop me a line.

That’s it, speech over and thank you.

Paula Charles (formerly Wilson-Buckle)

08-03-2007, 09:18 PM
Definitely interesting. Anyone with a UK vantage who's seen them in stores?

10-05-2007, 06:38 PM
Another one for those who may be interested: Mundania Press is reopening for submissions in early December. There's a thread on them elsewhere here so I won't go into too much detail, though they look pretty reasonable. Reasonable enough for Piers Anthony, anyway, and that's a good sign.

J. R. Tomlin
11-11-2007, 10:24 AM
Thought I would mention Swimming Kangaroo.


I think it would be classed as a micro press but they seem like nice people. I talked to some of their authors all of whom were very happy with them. As far as I could tell from my total inexperience, their contract looks reasonable. They have a link to it on their website. They seem to make a definite effort at marketing, although I can't really tell how successful it is. They seem to do both epub and PoD.

Edit: by the way, for the time being anyway HADES GATE seems to be closed to subs.

Christine N.
11-12-2007, 06:18 AM
Dindy (from Swimming Kangaroo) should be sending me review copies of a couple of their books very soon so I can review them for my small press blog - Independent Book Report ("http://independentbookreport.blogspot.com)

I'll let you know what I find out.

11-12-2007, 07:10 PM
I'd definitely be interested in your opinions on that, Christine. Please keep us posted! :)

Their contract looks reasonable to me, though others who've looked at more contracts would certainly have a more well-informed opinion. I'm not keen on granting worldwide rights for print to a new company, but that's probably negotiable. They say they pay around 50% of net (10-15% gross) for print books on their website but the contract says "___% of cover price," so that seems all right.

12-28-2007, 01:06 AM
Bumping this, since I found the thread (or re-found it, anyway, I remember reading the first part of it earlier this year) by doing a search for Snowbooks (http://www.snowbooks.com/authors.html)in the Bewares & Background Checks forum. But I don't think Snow Books has been mentioned here, so I'll mention it. It's not clear from their website if they actually want SF or fantasy, but on the other hand they say they're looking at pretty much any genre at the moment. They do accept horror. They're in the UK and do print runs; apparently they have bookstore placement. I haven't queried them, but I have them on my "maybe" list now.

The Wizards of the Coast open call is still going on, I think until the end of January. I know badducky has a book coming out in their new Discoveries line this spring. I have a requested full with them, so I'm crossing all my fingers and toes. :)

Calderwood Books (http://www.calderwoodbooks.com/) seems to be an okay if micro epress. I don't think they've been mentioned. I sent a query a few weeks ago just for the heck of it. They have an online form for querying.

Christine N.
12-30-2007, 09:09 PM
I just got a copy of The Fireborn Chronicles (from Swimming Kangaroo) in the mail yesterday.

The quality is very good. I'll let you know how the content is once I get to it. The TBR pile is threatening to take over the house.

12-31-2007, 06:35 AM
Yah, Swimming Kangaroo is kind of intriguing. But they're a little slow on the draw--got a request for a full from them yesterday, and also Drollerie. I had to decline both--the book just sold.


12-31-2007, 08:23 PM
I submitted to snowbooks some months ago, but haven't heard back yet. Will keep folks posted on their response.


P.S. Congrats, Tri! Give us some details!

01-01-2008, 06:08 AM
RTH--the book went to Blu Phi'er, and it was called Planet Janitor--Custodian of the Stars. My agent loved this book and repped it out to the majors. The SF market being what it is, just wasn't receptive to a title from a new author, I guess. In fact, the request for fulls was pretty dismal. It sat on the backburner for a long while, until I decided to send it out to the small press. It was picked up enthusiastically by a panel of readers at Blu Phi'er. I asked my agent to negotiate it for me, and not worry about listing it as a credit on his site. Agents have an image to uphold. LOL! He could announce it, but not claim it.

Anyway he did manage to pull off a small advance, retain most of the rights, up the author copies to 20, and write in a 25% on cover price clause. Which was just astounding to me. I was very grateful that this publisher would bend so much to gratitfy the author, which says a lot. Even their TP prices are way down there on Amazon, and they seem to be doing some brisk sales for a little guy.

Snowbooks, Drollerie, and Swimming Kangaroo answered later. Snowbooks was a "no." But Drollerie and Kangaroo were "very interested" and "intrigued." They wanted fulls after going over the partials. So I had to stop it right there and admit that the book was spoken for. To this day I'll never know what might have been with either of them. But I can't say that I'm regretting my decision.

I've had probably seven offers from small presses across the board and turned most of them down, except for two. I have two books reserved for the majors, and my agent is handling those at the moment. He believes we've "chumed" the small press enough and thinks I'm ready for a step up. We'll see.


01-03-2008, 07:53 PM
Sounds like a pretty good deal. I guess that means those contract/distribution issues that people were talking about on the B-Phi'er thread awhile back got taken care of to your agent's satisfaction?

Congrats again!

Happy New Year,

01-03-2008, 08:05 PM
Yeah, my agent followed that thread and studied the descrepencies, then totally rewrote the contract for me, and BP agreed with the changes. But Popeye (Scott Saylors) has been instrumental in getting a revision on the contract, the one that was talked about on that thread. This contract has gone through several morphs, and I haven't seen the latest one for the general public. I can only tell you that mine was radically changed, because my agent wouldn't have it any other way. I have noticed that they are now announcing small advances on their website. That was not the norm before. I also know that royalties are paid by the quarter now, instead of monthly--the authors did want that change.

Hell, they might even be paying on cover price now, too.

Improvements are always welcome with a publisher. This one listened and implemented many of those changes. Other publishers have cursed us and stomped off the board.


01-12-2008, 03:13 AM
Another update, since we've mentioned this publisher here before:

I've heard from one of Zumaya's authors that they're booked up for a good while right now. So while I don't think they're closed to submissions, exactly, they're not really looking for new manuscripts as far as I understand -- the word is they're trying to focus their resources more on their current authors, which in my opinion is a good thing (and no, I'm not one of their authors, though I wish I were... ;)).

So if you want to submit, you may want to e-mail them first to see what their status is.


01-12-2008, 03:17 AM
As for B-P, I think it's definitely encouraging that they're accomodating. One can criticize a lot of start-ups for not knowing the publishing business, but there are only a rare few that actually work to remedy that. Good luck, Tri!

04-03-2010, 03:55 AM
Wow, its been a while since this thread has seen any action.
Does anyone have anything to add? Any updates, or new markets?

03-26-2011, 11:25 PM
I've heard that Vermillion Press is taking unagented submissions, however, their email system appears to be down. Might be worth taking a try.

03-27-2011, 09:52 PM
Angry Robot Books is open to unagented submissions for the month of March. But there's only a couple days left. Here's a link with more info.


04-03-2011, 02:53 AM
I submitted mine ten minutes before the deadline hit. XD

Eva Lefoy
09-10-2011, 07:40 AM
Any other SF short story markets that you know of?

09-12-2011, 10:41 AM
see www.ralan.com (http://www.ralan.com) for SF/F/H short story markets

Eva Lefoy
11-25-2011, 08:04 AM

12-13-2011, 10:13 PM
For horror and darker fantasy, I'd recommend Belfire Press.

04-01-2013, 04:42 PM
Accepting, with some caveats, the rule of thumb that small publishers are more likely to have digital than paper bestseller...

1. Read the list of bestselling kindle titles on Amazon in the genre you write in
2. Make list of small publishers of the relevant titles
3. Research the publishers, choose best-fitting one
4. Submit