Submission Guidelines

Is it time to submit your manuscript to a publisher?

Who should submit?

Have you tried larger traditional publishers and been turned down? You’ve been told your writing is strong, your story is solid, but it doesn’t fit in a standard genre, or one the publisher is comfortable with? Consider a smaller press.

No agent? Going it alone, but you don’t want to jump through all the hoops to self-publish?

We don’t require that you be represented, but we do require that your manuscript is professionally edited before we publish it. (we’re flexible on this, depending on your experience and other factors)

Do you have to turn in a full manuscript with your proposal? No. But we do suggest that what you turn in is the best you can give us, and is a reflection of the finished product. If that means you need to pay an editor to go through your proposal, then please consider that, if you want to be considered for a contract.

You’re multi-published traditionally…

You’ve received your rights back on a number of books, but you  want to write, not be bothered with formatting, building new covers, and uploading your book. Consider a small press.

Why publish with a small press?

Because you want:

  • More control over your book and a higher royalty rate than you’d receive with traditional publishing
  • More input on the cover design
  • The assurance you can get your publishing rights back in the future
  • The fun of being actively involved in the process, including the title, the word count and the genre
  • Flexibility on deadlines: We’ll work with you to fit within your time frame, especially if you’re hybrid and still writing for the traditional market

What We’re Looking For:

No books for young children or middle grades, but we will look at YA for ages 14 & above.

Actively looking for:

  • Historical or historical romance
  • contemporary romance
  • women’s fiction
  • westerns or western romance
  • speculative (especially fantasy)
  • clean secular fiction and/or inspirational in any of the genre’s listed

Not looking for:

  • dystopian
  • erotica
  • anything with sexual content or language.

What We Want:

If you have been traditionally published (this is NOT the same as being Indie published) in the past, we need: A full proposal, including:

  • Three chapters, Times Roman, 12 pt, double-spaced, do not indent first paragraph of a new chapter or scene. Please be sure the entire proposal is in one document and sent as an attachment. 
  • A synopsis for the full book and a minimum 3-4 paragraph synopsis for any other books in the series (we do prefer series but will consider a standalone).
  • A full proposal should also contain:

    • Your full bio, including any writing credits, writing groups you take part in, awards for writing, and something about you. Include the word count of the book and whether it’s finished–if not, when it will be. Genre, placement in the market, and comparison to other books that are similar. Why will yours sell over theirs? 
    • Your marketing abilities/social media, blog, website, speaking platform, etc. Please show us in detail what you plan to bring to the table in regards to spreading the word about your book.
    • Sales numbers if this book has been published in the past, as well as dates, and any links to the book if it’s still online
    • Sales numbers of any book you’ve had published, whether traditional, Indie or small press, along with release dates. 

Click Here for a sample proposal

If you’ve never been published or are self-published, please send a query letter with a one paragraph summary of your book and a one paragraph bio, including any writing credits. If self-published, you must include the link to the book, the date it was published, and the sales numbers since publication.

If we’re interested, we’ll let you know what else we’d like to see. Please do NOT send a full proposal if you’re self-published or currently unpublished.

What We Provide:

  • A custom cover designed with your input.
  • Formatting for the interior and a full cover flat.
  • Professional copy and line edits for your book.
  • Proofreading of the edited manuscript to catch any last errors or typos.
  • Help with publicity, including booking you/your book on blogs, press releases sent out to libraries/radio stations/newspapers in your area, possible podcast and/or radio interviews, tweets sent out from the Mountain Brook Ink account, and the book listed on the Mountain Brook Ink website and Facebook group page.
  • Your book will be submitted to Romantic Times, Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal for possible review if appropriate.
  • Suggestions and help with special promotions and sales to bring attention to your book.
  • Uploading to various venues for sale.
  • Advice on future books and the opportunity to contract your next series with us.
  • A generous royalty rate, including a modest advance upon turning in the first book. 
  • Your rights returned in a reasonable time frame, should you decide aren’t happy with the relationship and want to try a different route .

Submit Your Query Letter to: