Aspiring authors, we know that it can be disheartening to look out into the abyss of potential publishing houses and only see the same old phrase, “no unsolicited manuscripts accepted.” These days many of the major publishing houses rely on their ties with literary agents and in-house promotions to find new authors. But don’t despair; today we’ve come up with a list of ten places — from off-the-beaten path publishers to special back doors of the big-name houses — that would welcome your query letter, manuscript or submission.
Forever Yours: Grand Central Publishing's romance line, Forever, has just launched this digital-only imprint. The line is currently looking to acquire novellas and novels that will please their romance reader fan-base. Subgenres that are accepted include contemporary, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, Western, historical, inspirational, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, futuristic, urban fantasy, steampunk, time travel and erotica. You don’t need an agent to send your submission to this new imprint. If you have works between 10,000 and 50,000 words, you can submit it as a novella, or your work that just less than 100,000 words can be entered as a novel. Just send your submission packet, which includes a query letter, synopsis and completed manuscript to ForeverYours@hbgusa.com.
Samhain’s Retro Romance Line: If you’re an author with the digital rights to your romance novel that was originally published in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s, you can head to this publisher’s imprint to submit your story for re-release. Samhain will be responsible for copy-editing, formatting, creating a cover and distribution, taking care of all the necessary steps to turn your traditional print book into its new e-format. Learn more >>
Ark House Press: Inspirational authors, this faith-based publisher is now looking for works from aspiring and previously published authors for works across all of the inspirational subgenres. Before sending in your manuscript you must submit a Book Publishing Proposal Form, and if the Ark House Press editors like your proposal they will ask you for a more detailed submission, which you can read all about here.
Ellora's Cave: This steamy publisher is currently looking for manuscripts between 18,000 and 70,000 words about a variety of different themes. For their Pricked series they want stories about tattoo artists, tattoos and body art. Their Hex Appeal series will feature “wanton witches, lusty warlocks and sizzling spells!” so writers who create magical mischief of the sizzling sexy variety should be sure to check out this series. The Publisher’s Ball & Chain books will all focus on married couples that are exploring their sexuality by adding new elements to their love play. And finally, the last of these new Ellora’s Cave series features bounty hunters, so if you’ve got a hero or heroine who loves the thrill of the chase, be sure to submit your work. Each of these series has a different submission deadline so be sure to visit the company’s website here to get all the details.
Crescent Moon Press: If you’ve got an urban fantasy, futuristic science fiction novel, space opera, dystopian tale or another paranormal project in the works, be sure to check out this publisher. They are also looking for Young Adult novels and stories that feature strong elements of the zodiac. If you’ve got a never-before-published tale, be sure to check out the publisher’s submission requirements to see if your story would be a good fit. Read On >>
Pink Petal Books: If you have written an erotic short with a word count that falls between 7,000 and 15,000, you should be sure to visit this publisher’s submission calls list. They are searching for stories to fill out three upcoming anthologies. Boys of Summer will feature tales about the men you meet on road trips, surfers, Olympic athletes and anyone other man who makes your heart race while the thermometer climbs. The deadline to submit your story is April 15. Or perhaps your story includes more of a focus on a fetish? If your characters enjoy delving into the world of BDSM, then consider submitting your work for Beyond Bounds. And last but not least, if your steamy tale is set after the end of days, in the post-apocalyptic society, then it might be a match for End of Days. The submission deadline for this collection is September 15. All three anthologies welcome works that feature men, women and ménages.
Avalon Books: If you are an author with an agent and you’ve written a contemporary or historical romance, a suspenseful mystery or a well-researched Western, Avalon may be the perfect home for your story. This publisher is seeking smart tales with fresh plots and characters that will stick with the readers long after they finish the last page. Your story must be between 50,000 and 70,000 words long and otherwise fit the company’s guidelines about genre. For more descriptions of just what the publisher is looking for in terms of characters and content, click here.
Wild Rose Press: This publisher is seeking to fill out their Scarlet Rose line with your most steamy male/male erotic story. If you have a story about men enjoying summertime activities, it might be right for Wild Rose Press’ Boys of Summer collection. To submit your story idea, email a two-paragraph synopsis to email@example.com before March 1st.
Red Sage: Red Sage wants to publish the erotic romance stories that you want to tell. So whether or not it fits in with a publishing trend, if your story stands out from the crowd, they want to take a look at it. The key ingredients to Red Sage stories are that they are full of romance and sensual scenes. You can submit your short story if it falls between 25,000 - 50,000 or your full-length novel of 55,000 - 100,000 words in length. For more details click here.
Kristina Wright: This Cleis Press editor is putting together the publisher’s second annual anthology Best Erotic Romance. If you’ve written a sexy tale, which includes a love story and an “emotionally-satisfying” ending, then you should consider submitting your unpublished story. These tales will mostly be focused on m/f encounters, however, they may also have scenes of lesbian, polyamorous relationships or group love play. Accepted submissions will earn authors $100/story and two copies of the published book. Learn more here.
Did we miss one of your favorite places to submit work? Let us know in the comments below. For more suggestions of establishments that may be a good fit for your manuscript you can check out our Publishers List.