Monday, 3 November 2014

Crystal Lake open for pitch submissions

This just in from Crystal Lake Publishing....

Crystal Lake Publishing will be open for pitch submissions between the 15th of November and the
15th of December, 2014.

We’re looking for DARK FICTION, be it horror, suspense thrillers, fantasy, action adventure, sci-fi (no space operas, please), supernatural, or noir. We’re interested in reading your novels, novellas, short story collections, non-fiction books linked to dark fiction topics, and poetry collections. All books should be above 60,000 words (novellas need to be at least 40,000 or accompanied by one or two extra short stories - otherwise it'll be eBook only), preferably below 110,000.

That’s a pretty wide spectrum, so here are some of the authors and books we enjoy (that does not however mean that we want you to rewrite their work or copy them. Be original. Be yourself):
Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Elizabeth Massie, Joe Hill, Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Maberry, Richard Laymon, Robert McCammon, Adam Nevill, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bram Stoker, F. Paul Wilson, Charles L. Grant, Mary Shelley, John Connolly, Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson, Ambrose Bierce, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, Dean Koontz, M.R. James, Joe R. Lansdale, Jules Verne, Cormac McCarthy, William Peter Blatty, Thomas Harris, Alexandre Dumas and Roald Dahl.

We are not looking for reprints (out of print books will be considered – please inform of when you submit), previously published or self-published books, although up to 50% of your collections can be reprinted stories or poems. Novellas that form part of a collection may be reprints, as long as the majority of the collection are original stories. Please make sure the rights to all reprints have returned to you.

Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please withdraw your story immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Your book does not have to be finished at the time of your pitch, as long as it’s at least 70% complete and you can provide the opening chapter plus any other two chapters when asked.

You will be entitled to lifetime royalties on sales, or until a mutual agreement to withdraw the book is reached.
Advance:    $400 against royalties
                 $200 for anything other than a novel
Royalties:   40% of net profits on all online sales (Amazon etc.)
                 25% of net profits on all bookstore sales

Your book will be available to bookstores for a period of two years, after which it will be available via online retailers indefinitely.
Novels will also receive a $400 marketing budget you can spend as you please, as well as a lot of online publicity from us. Anything else receives a $200 marketing budget and the same treatment from us.
You will also receive 5 contributor’s copies before the book is launched.

Submitting your pitch (not before November 15th, please):
We are not looking for sample chapters or your entire book just yet. If you have more than 1 book to pitch, please send them separately.
Send us an email (to with a polite introduction, and attach an author photo if you so please, along with one Word document containing the following information:
1.   Your 2 page max pitch (genre, projected length, why only you could write this book, biography; 1 or 2 sentence logline, portray your voice and style of writing, similar books – but what makes yours unique. You should also go into detail about your marketing or promotional plans.
2.   Your 1 page synopsis (a step by step summary or walk-through of your book, including all subplots, twists and reveals, or in the case of a short story or poetry collection, a paragraph on each story or poem).

Formatting guidelines:
This single attached Word document should be in 12 point Times New Roman, single spaced. Do not change text color or add graphics to your pitch. We will acknowledge the receipt of your pitch within three days at the most, but please allow up to 12 weeks for a response on said pitch. Please query if you haven’t heard from us in 12 weeks. Please make sure your pitch and synopsis are properly edited.

Staff (some prefer to remain anonymous):
Submission readers: Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley
Initial chapter and manuscript readers: Joe Mynhardt, Emma Audsley, Ben Eads, Ben Jones, Dave-Brendan de Burgh, and LelaniViljoen.
Once the submissions period is over, we will evaluate all of the submissions, and invite the very best of the bunch to submit the opening chapter and two chapters of your choosing (or stories and poems in the case of collections).
Feel free to email any questions you may have

Please remember we are a small press and can only handle a set number of projects a year. So a rejection will not also comment on your writing prowess or talent. There are a lot of factors that go into accepting a project, including personal taste, marketability, timing, professionalism and collaboration of the author etc. I will try to give helpful rejection letters where possible, but please leave your hate mail for the politicians.

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