manuscript submission guidelines
We are now open to novel and novella submissions!
The submission window will remain open until at least the end of 2022. Our goal is to remain open on a permanent basis, but we will close from time to time if too many projects are accepted. We don’t want authors to wait two or three years before their book is published.
Our slush readers are standing by, and all we’ll require upon submission is:
- A one or two page, detailed synopsis (which includes any twists as well as the ending)
- An author bio
- The first three chapters of your novel or novella (no collections, short stories, or poetry at this time). Series welcome. Please use the modern Shunn format for your manuscript.
Only one submission per author at a time. Simultaneous subs (to other publishers) are allowed, but please inform us of that upon submission. Be sure to let us know if and when your book is accepted for publication elsewhere.
No previously published works. This includes self-published titles.
Email your submissions to email@example.com (Karen Runge will manage the account and get back to you to confirm your submission)
What we’re looking for:
Length: 30,000 to 95,000 words
Genre: Dark Fiction, Horror, Speculative Fiction, Suspense, Fantasy, or Thriller.
Subgenres/Tropes: We love them all, although we’re more interested in dark, suspenseful fiction than just outright horror. Our readers want to go on an emotional rollercoaster of fear, fright, sadness, joy, loss, and the beauty behind every character’s story.
What we’re not looking for:
- Romance/Erotica (although they can certainly be used in subplots)
- Anthology pitches
- Short stories
- Short story collections
- Young Adult
The subject of your email should be “Open subs 2022.”
Again, we do accept simultaneous submissions, but please inform us if you’ve subbed it elsewhere, and be sure to withdraw it in case it’s accepted elsewhere.
Only one submission per author. Don’t send another submission until you receive an acceptance or rejection. Do not resubmit the same title once it’s been rejected.
In the body of the email, be sure to mention the title of your book and the total word count of the finished manuscript.
A one-sentence tagline that encapsulates your main plot.
No reprints/previously published or previously self-published work
Your novel/novella needs to 100% written when you submit your first three chapters, in case we ask to see the entire manuscript.
- A one or two page, detailed synopsis (including plot twists and denouement)
- The first three chapters (or 10,000 words if you don’t use chapters) in .Doc, .Docx, .RTF formats, with your name and email on the manuscript, top right corner (no PDFs).
- Optional: your writer’s CV, if you want to give a detailed summary of previous publications, awards, etc.
Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged within 2 days of receiving it. You will get a rejection or request for the rest of your manuscript within 4 weeks. Upon receiving the full manuscript, it’ll take an additional two months at the most for an answer.
Rights and payment:
We are looking for Worldwide English rights for paperback, eBook, and hardcover. Movie and audiobook rights are negotiable. Authors will be paid 40% royalties for net eBook sales and 20% on paperback sales. We ask for four years exclusivity, after which the rights return to the author. The Crystal Lake version of the book will, however, remain in print unless agreed upon by publisher and author. We have our own cover artist and in-house editors and proofreaders, and the author is not expected to pay for any of these services. Please note that we are a print-on-demand publisher. Our books will always remain in print, never run out of stock, and always earn you money even after the rights have reverted to you.
We look forward to reading your work.
Best of luck,
Founder & CEO