Black Beacon Books Is Open To: Mystery and suspense novels
Payment: £50 (GBP), 3 contributors copies, and royalties paid every January for the previous year
NOVEL AND COLLECTION GUIDELINES
As a small publisher, we only publish one or two novels/collections each year. It’s important that you are familiar with us to ensure your style suits. The best way to do this is to read one of our titles.
We’re interested in mystery and suspense novels and mystery, suspense, and horror collections between 50,000 and 80,000. We don’t publish supernatural horror novels, but we’re open to suspense novels leaning towards psychological horror or dystopian themes. Simultaneous submissions are fine but tell us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere. Novels must be previously unpublished. On the other hand, for collections, we ask that at least 75% of the stories be previously published in magazines or anthologies. This demonstrates your experience as a short story writer and proves you have already established a readership. That said, you must guarantee that you have the right to have each story republished prior to signing with us.
Payment: We publish ebooks and paperbacks via Amazon and enroll ebooks in Kindle Unlimited. Payment is made exclusively via PayPal. We pay £50 (GBP) on publication and provide three author copies. After that, we offer 50% royalties on net sales paid in January for the previous year. A minimum payment of £10 is made every January, so even if your book makes no sales over a one-year period, you receive a token payment. After two years, either party may choose to remove the title from our range. Of course, our aim is to make as many sales as possible to ensure success for everyone involved, but authors should be aware that titles published by indie publishers often don’t reach a thousand sales. That’s the reality of the business. We want to work with authors who have a solid (or at least growing) presence on social media and who are willing to participate in marketing and communications.
Rights: We require exclusive international English-language digital and print rights to your book for a period of two years. For collections, this means individual stories are not reprinted elsewhere during this time without our agreement. After that, you are free to have the book published elsewhere. However, bear in mind that most publishers will not subsequently accept your book as it will no longer be previously unpublished.
Cover design: We’ll provide a cover design for your book, with your input, unless you have made or wish to purchase a cover of your own. If you choose the latter, it will be at your expense. A book usually is judged by its cover, so we all need to be happy with it and work collaboratively.
Submitting: Read the general submission guidelines below. Please attach the entire manuscript as a .doc or .rtf file. Include a brief synopsis in the body of our email.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS
How to submit:
Please note that we use British English conventions. Submissions are encouraged from all over the world but be aware that the editor may wish to make changes to those containing North American usages.
– All grammar and punctuation to be used appropriately. This is your best friend: https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/grammar-and-usage, and if you don’t know how to use commas, visit these sites: https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/comma and https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp
In terms of comma usage, here are three simple examples of what we require:
Yesterday, I followed him home.
As soon as I hear from him, I’ll let you know.
I bought an axe, rope, and a box of matches.
– It is highly unlikely that we will accept a story written as a narrative in the present. Please use the traditional first or third person past.
– Quotation marks to be single and curly/smart for general dialogue. Double curly quotation marks for emphasised words if really needed, eg. They entered the mound of rubble, making sure the splintered door didn’t fall off its hinges. This was Stan’s “castle”.
– Only one space at the end of sentences.
– Formatted indentation for paragraphs. Do not use the space bar or tab bar.
– Scene breaks should be identified with a hash # preceded and followed by one line space. In a short story, there will generally be between zero and five of these. The hash is useful for signalling the beginning of a story within a story, or a change in narrative style, such as when the narrator is first introduced alongside his audience in a bar or living room before the text changes to his first-person recounting of events.
– The use of italics. Do not replace them with an underline. Italics should be used for titles (books, films etc) in the story, or for foreign words or phrases not commonly used in English (eg not for “spaghetti”, “samurai” or “rendez-vous” but definitely for Ich liebe dich, buongiorno, or Éirinn go Brách. Thoughts should also be in italics and quotation marks kept for speech. For the names of places, restuarants, shops and so forth, just use capital letters, eg. Haunted Lighthouse Inn.
Honestly, the best way to find out what we want is to buy one of our titles.
Once you’ve finished your tale and edited it… and edited again, and asked your mum and dog to proof-read it, send it as a .doc (NO .docx) or .rtf file to blackbeaconbooks (at) gmail.com
Be sure to include your contact details in your email and in the file. A short biography and links to your blog and social media pages are encouraged.
In the subject of your email, write: “BBB Anthology Submission”, “BBB Novel Submission”, or “BBB Collection Submission”. The file name should be: “Story Title” by “Author Name” (pen name if applicable).
Via: Black Beacon Books.