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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Submissions: How to Submit

If you follow Dark Dragon Publishing on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know that we are now open for query submissions. In that announcement we posted our url for people to check out our submissions guidelines. This is what we posted:


Dark Dragon Publishing is happy to announce that we are now open for submissions. We publish horror, dark fantasy, paranormal, historical and some science fiction novels of 75,000-150,000 words. We do not publish purely romance or purely erotic novels, though many of our novels have romantic and/or erotic elements to them. Please keep this in mind when considering to submit to us.

Please note our new submission guidelines:
  • Query letter of no more than one page.
  • Synopsis of the novel to be no more than two pages.
  • The first FIVE pages of your manuscript .
 Please send your queries to submissions@darkdragonpublishing.com All queries should be in the body of the email. If we receive any queries with attachments, those queries will be deleted.
We endeavour to reply promptly. If you have not received a response within 3 weeks, please feel free to contact us.

Since posting this announcement, we have received several submissions. Only one of which indicates that the individual has read our submissions guidelines.

To those who wish to submit, please keep in mind the THREE things we require. It's not a lot, but HOW you present yourself to us--or any other publisher/agent--over the internet is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE. If you send information that DOES NOT appear in a business format/style, then you will find your query ignored and/or deleted, especially if the query does not follow what the submissions guideline asks for.

Let's go over the submission guidelines for DDP. The first part is a description of what we are looking for:

"Dark Dragon Publishing is happy to announce that we are now open for submissions. We publish horror, dark fantasy, paranormal, historical and some science fiction novels of 75,000-150,000 words. We do not publish purely romance or purely erotic novels, though many of our novels have romantic and/or erotic elements to them. Please keep this in mind when considering to submit to us."

  This means that we are interested in ONLY those genres in novel form where the novels are of 75,000 words or more. If you do not have a novel that fits into those categories, then we are not the publisher for you. Do not bother to email us asking us if we would be interested in your short stories, poems, spoken word projects, etc. We make it very clear what we are requesting. This is typical of any publisher/agent. We specialize. If our specialization doesn't match with your specialization, then it's important for you, the author, to find an agent/publisher who does.

If your work falls in line with what we are looking for, then the next step is EXTREMELY important. This is the submissions email which will include the following (for us, though all agents/publishers will have different requirements.)
  •  Query letter of no more than one page.
This IS the most important part of your query package. It MUST be done in the form of a business letter.

Do you remember when you were a little kid and you forgot to put your name on your work/test and you either got marks off because of it or you failed the test because of it, well, a query letter needs that information. 

Yes, query submissions are done mainly through email now, but that does not absolve you of the responsibility to write in a business-like fashion. If you do not know how to write a business letter, or even a query letter for that matter, then you are not ready to submit a query. You need to learn how to properly write one. There are many tools on the internet, books in the book stores, articles in writers' magazines, etc., but learn you must.  If you cannot sell us to move on and read your submissions, then you'll get a rejection notice. The query is where you sell your story AND yourself.

If we receive a submissions without a proper query, it shows us the author's lack of professionalism regardless of their novel. It shows character.

  •  Synopsis of the novel to be no more than two pages.
 It is often said that the synopsis of a novel is one of the hardest things to write and it is, but it is where you have the chance to sell your story. 

Yes, we ask for only two pages, but that should be enough. These two pages are single spaced (as is the query) and should encompass what we need to know about your characters and their story, hitting all the highs. If you don't know how to write a synopsis, then, just like the query, you need to learn before you submit. "And then she does this... And then he does that..." is not a synopsis. 

If you've ever read advertising copy, a synopsis is something like that, even to the back copy of a book. Think about what you need to sell the story, and sell it. You have two pages with us. Some others will ask for one page, others maybe five to ten pages, but you have to be able to tell your story in the short period of time and wow the acquisitions editor/agent or we won't move onto read the first five pages of your story.
  • The first FIVE pages of your manuscript .
 In the past we used to ask for the first 50 pages of your manuscript. We found that if we could get past the first five pages we would read more/ask for a full manuscript submission. Now we just ask for the first 5. This does not mean the 5 pages in the middle of the manuscript. It means exactly what we ask for...the first FIVE pages. If we get to this point in your submissions package, you're doing pretty well. If after we've read the five pages and we want/need to read more, then we will request a full manuscript. 

Not everyone will be asked to submit their full novel. Not everyone who will submit their full novel will be offered a contract. Like our website states:

Dark Dragon Publishing is a new Canadian small independent publisher of the fantastic.

We specialize in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror that sparks the imagination and can transport readers into realms only found in dreams.




Though we are primarily a publisher of fiction for adults we will consider well written Young Adult fiction as well.


We love stories that transport us on the back of the dragon to new worlds of wonder.


If  you believe your novel is unique, well written and can transport us in our imaginations, then feel free to submit your query package to us, but keep in mind the importance how HOW to submit. 

6 comments:

  1. I did read your submission criteria yesterday and decided that what I write is not compatible with what you require, so I didn't see any point in submitting a query.
    I am surprised that you needed to elaborate in a blog post on what you require from submitters. I thought your submission guidelines were very specific. I will keep them in mind if I ever decide to write on the dark side. Sorry I can't see that happening.

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  2. Seems very clear and concise to me. Unfortunately my first book is a little too short to meet the guidelines, but there maybe someting more in the future.

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  3. Just wondering... do you offer your authors advances on royalties, or royalties only upon sale?

    Thanks.

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  4. I see you have information on what you expect to receive from authors, but nothing on what an author might expect to receive from you in terms of percentage of royalties, length of contract, format, etc. That would be valuable information to possess before submissions.

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  5. Yes, where can we find the information on your site that tells us whether or not you're a paying market?

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  6. I've sent my query letter and I hope it captures your curiosity and maybe your request to see my manuscript. Thank you.

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