Submission Guidelines

“Every work that falls into the genera specified on our Submissions page, and meets the preparatory criteria stated, will be both rationally and patiently considered.”
This quote from our Home page has two important phrases:

Please take these qualification seriously, as do all agents and publishers. Only after these conditions are satisfied, will you be invited to submit your work.

Genera
We sympathize with the author quandary, “What genera is my work?”

Non-fiction offers fewer obstacles: History, politics, science and nature, biography, autobiography and memoir, philosophy, spirituality, self-help, and a few others. For a reader, a well-crafted title and subtitle will make the subject matter clear. The manuscripts we’d like to see deal primarily with:

  • General or specific Health issues
  • Exercise and Nutrition
  • Recovery and Cure
  • Mind-Body-Spirit
  • Spirituality, but not religion

If you’re still not sure, send it. We’ll let you know if we’re interested.

If you write fiction, the industry standards are all but opaque. You may have written a chick-lit, science fiction, with a spiritual message. “How do I identify that for an agent, publisher, or for a review of my work on a blog?” Dive into Wikipedia’s presentation if you wish, though I’ve seen much longer lists of genera: 50+ including sub-genera. It’s all unnecessary.

The purpose of placing your work in a genera is to allow readers—those who will resonate with the story and tone of your work—to select your book from among the hundreds of thousands (self-)published each year, passing by those in which they’d have no interest.

If you’ve written a story of a woman’s relationship with her lover that would be of primary interest to adult women, call it “Women’s Literature,” even if one of her lovers is an alien. You may have chosen to elaborate on the faith in which she finds solace, and into which you’ve woven your own philosophical perspective. This does not make it a work of spirituality. Don’t worry that your work bleeds into other genera. After your book reaches heights of critical acclaim, those who had not identified with your story may be attracted because it elaborates on alien love-making, or discusses a dimension of faith they find alluring.

Fiction manuscripts we’d like to review include:

  • Stories that have a strong message
  • Spiritual fiction
  • Historical novels
  • Young adult (YA) fiction that has the potential for adult cross-over
  • Women’s fiction with great character development

For novels, we feel it constructive to identify those genera in which we are not interested: science fiction and fantasy, children’s books, western and adventure, detective and crime, espionage, and mystery. Stylistically, we avoid manuscripts filled with lofty sesquipedalianism that strains the intellect and tires the eyes.

Works with themes that might be interpreted to promote racism or hate, pornography or abuse, or illegal activities need not apply. We’d prefer to avoid the appearance of impropriety, even if you feel, “But that’s not what it’s about.” Sorry.


Preparing Your Manuscript

Your works must be in the English language and ready for final editing. I speak for all agents and publishers: Raw work is not acceptable, and all first drafts are raw work. Your manuscript will be edited by the publisher, but it’s a high-level edit. Confuse your and you’re, or there, their, and they’re and you’ll be lucky if an agent or publisher bothers to send a rejection letter. Microsoft Word has built-in spell checking—there should be no misspelled words—but misused words are always possible. You must self-edit. Your writing must not be grammatically or syntactically incoherent, and marginal won’t cut it either. Read the guidelines for the comprehensive self-editing that must precede submission of your work.

There are must-have reference books for writers that will help you in this effort. They’re available from most public libraries, so being short-on-cash is not an excuse. But it’s likely you’ll want to own them.

A few more points:

  • Your work must not include copyright infringement. Quoting even a few words from a song or movie may violate copyright. Reconsider your writing if you’ve reproduced lines from songs, poems, or works produced after 1927; works prior to that year are in the public domain. We’re not attorneys so we can’t advise you. There are legal guides on the web, and, preferably, seek advice from your lawyer.
  • Your manuscript must be provided as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or docx), following the mechanical specifications that are, for all intents and purposes, the industry standard. The file must be readable by a PC.


Submitting Your Manuscript

 Email submissions only, sent to

Admin — the “at” symbol — ComfyChairPublishers.com.
The subject line should read: “Submission” followed by the title.
Example: Submission – Gone with the Wind

Query Letter:
This is the first of your writing we’re going to see. Make it look good. There are lots of examples available. Google “sample query letter.”

We’d like to see the following:

  • Title, genera, word count, and whether you’re shopping your work to other agents or publishers. If you’ve previously (self-)published your book, provide the specifics. See our FAQs on this last point.
  • Up to fifty words about yourself. If you’re a homemaker, that’s fine. If you’re a computer executive, that’s great, too. If you’ve just out of rehab and trying to renew yourself, there’s no reason you don’t have something substantive to contribute. Be honest. Just tell us who you are, and, if it applies to your writing, what credentials you have for dealing with your subject, non-fiction or fiction.
  • Can you distill the essence of your work into twenty-five words or fewer? The logline, or elevator pitch, is easier for non-fiction writers than fiction. Just give us a blurb about your treatise. Novelists, however, always want to tell their entire story, but that’s what the manuscript does. I Googled “log line for authors,” and came up with these examples that looked good: Kristen Lamb’s Blog, The Writers Store and Hollywood Lit Sales. As a reminder, from our Terms and Conditions of Use, we don’t endorse any other web sites or their wares; these links are provided solely for your convenience and we encourage you to seek out multiple sources to construct the best logline.

This information won’t have filled a page of the query letter, so add anything else you’d like, but don’t go much farther; we’d rather dive into your manuscript.

If you’re submitting a Non-fiction work:
We don’t accept proposals. A completed manuscript in the genera specified is welcome.

  • Send, as an attachment, the beginning of your manuscript, including the table of contents, through the first chapter or two.
  • For the purpose of this initial evaluation, you can omit the dedication and acknowledgements, or leave them in. It doesn’t matter.

Fiction:

  • Attach the first chapter. If it’s short, include another. Preferable about 5,000 words, but send entire chapters.

Then sit back and wait. We respond to all submissions, but necessarily, most will be a gracious, “Thanks, but no thanks.” If you don’t hear from us in thirty days, you can send a follow up email to inquire. Use the same subject line in your email, just add “Follow up,” so we can easily refer to your original submission.
Example: Submission – Gone with the Wind – Follow up.

Thanks, and happy writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*