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Submission Guidelines


Black Opal Books accepts submissions between June first and December thirty-first each year,

during which time a form is provided for you to upload your submission package.

Currently, we are not accepting any manuscripts in which the story is told in present tense.

We are also not accepting any fiction manuscripts over 120,000 words in length without prior authorization.

 

What we're Looking For:

 

At Black Opal Books, we are looking for only well-written, well-edited manuscripts. While we do provide editing and proofing, we expect your manuscript to be as polished and typo free as possible. No rough-drafts please. We strongly recommend that, if you haven't already done so, you run the book past a critique group or critique partner before submitting it to us. The more error-free your work is, the easier it is for us to focus on the quality of your writing. Black Opal Books will publish your book in both paperback and eBook format. Royalties start at 45%—for both eBook and print and go as high as 70%!

 

We accept all romance genres, including paranormal and erotic, as well as YA, Women's Fiction, Chick Lit, Historicals, Mysteries, and Thrillers. So if it has romance in it, it's a mystery, a thriller, or it's YA, we want to see it. We also accept limited non-fiction. We hope to expand our fiction lines and publish additional genres soon. We accept unpublished works, as well as previously-published works—as long as the rights have reverted back to the author. So send us your back list if you have one.

 

We are NOT looking for children's books, screenplays, or poetry at this time. BLACK OPAL BOOKS currently has two categories of story length for fiction: Novella: 15,000 - 45,000 word count Novel: 45,000 & up.  If your manuscript is a little over or under our word count guidelines, don't panic. We'll still take a look at what you've got. Remember the number of words in a manuscript isn't as important as how you've put those words together to create your story. Please see below for more information on how to submit your fiction manuscript. For non-fiction, word count and subject matter are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please see below for more information on how to submit your non-fiction proposal.

 

We will not accept any of the following:

 

  • Pedophilia—which is defined as sex between adults and minors (for our purposes a minor is 16 years of age or younger), unless it happens in the background as part of the crime of the villain(s) or it happened in the character's past;
  • Necrophilia—which is defined as sex with corpses (vampires and other undead don't count), unless it happens in the background as part of the crime of the villain(s);
  • Rape or incest—unless it is committed by the villain, or occurred in the character's past, but the hero or heroine cannot commit or condone rape or incest (forced seduction is acceptable, as is dubious consent);
  • Bestiality—which is defined as sex between human and animals (we're referring to common animals indigenous to Earth, not sentient beings in animal form, such as paranormal shifters, sentient animal shaped species in a fictitious world, or visiting aliens—basically, if the creatures having sex are sentient, we're fine with it);
  • Use of feces or urine during the sex act;
  • and/or anything that is obviously in bad taste and would be offensive to the majority of readers.


If you have questions about whether or not something in your manuscript falls into any of these excluded categories, please send us an email us through our submission question form with a brief description of the scene or scenes to gain approval before submitting your manuscript. Please follow the instructions below carefully for all submissions to insure a timely response to your submission.

 

Submission Method:

 

All submissions are by electronic means ONLY. Black Opal Books does not accept any manuscripts via the mail or other carrier, except through special arrangement. You have the choice of either submitting your manuscript via our secure upload form, or by email. To submit your manuscript, fill out the submission form.  After submitting your submission you will receive an confirmation email. If you elected to not upload your documents via the form you will then need to respond to that email, attaching your manuscript and assorted documents.  ONLY respond to the email with your documents if you did not upload them via the form.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE:

Unless otherwise specified, all files submitted must be in Microsoft Word 2010 (or previous) version compatibility. If you cannot save your document in Microsoft Word compatibility, please contact us before submitting your manuscript to avoid having it rejected. In addition, please upload or attach each document individually, not in a compressed (zip, rar) format. Lastly, because of security concerns, we are forced to delete any submitted documents that contain embedded macros or fail a virus scan. Each submission consists of three (3) distinct documents: query letter, synopsis, and completed manuscript.


FICTION:

QUERY LETTER:

If submitting your manuscript by email, the Query Letter may be submitted by pasting it into the body of the email or by attaching it to the email. We know how hard the query letter and synopsis are to write, we promise not to judge the quality of your writing solely on the query letter or synopsis and will read at least the first chapter of all submitted manuscripts. Keep your query letter and synopsis brief and to the point, a one-page for the query letter, and no more than three pages for the synopsis. Just tell us about the story.

The query letter MUST include:

    Word count;
    Genre;
    Your contact information;
    A brief blurb about your manuscript, no more than 200 words
    A brief statement about how you plan to help promote your book

SYNOPSIS:

    No more than 3 pages in length, regardless of length of manuscript;
    Have the Header formatted like this: your name/the title/synopsis on the upper left and page number on the right;
    Have one-inch margins on all sides;
    Double spaced;
    Use 12 pt. Times New Roman type.

MANUSCRIPT:

The submitted Manuscript MUST:

    Have the Header formatted like this: your name/the title on the upper left and page number on the right;
    Have one-inch margins on all sides;
    Be double spaced; and
    Use 12 pt. Times New Roman type.


NON-FICTION:

While Black Opal's main focus is on fiction, we do publish non-fiction books and have established the following guidelines for non-fiction submissions.

COVER LETTER:

The cover letter MUST include:

    Word count;
    Genre;
    Your contact information;
    A statement about your qualifications and expertise in that subject matter
    A brief statement about how you plan to help promote your book

NON-FICTION BOOK PROPOSAL:

You Non-Fiction book proposal should explain the following information:

    Your interest in the subject
    Target audience, what you hope that your readers should obtain from reading the book.

SAMPLE CHAPTERS:

Your sample chapters must follow the formatting guidelines for fiction submissions. If you don't have sample chapters of your non-fiction work-in-progress, you may substitute a different writing sample instead. However, you MUST be sure to notify us of the substitution in your cover letter.


FINAL NOTES:

We will respond to all submissions.Please allow eight weeks for us to respond before sending a follow-up email. And you must put your contact information in the documents you submit. If you have not heard from us by then, please fill out a status request. If you have any other questions regarding submissions, or submission guidelines, feel free to contact us through our submission questions form.

Additionally, if you have questions about whether or not something in your manuscript falls into any of the excluded categories, please email us through our Submission Questions Form with a brief description of the scene or scenes, to gain approval before submitting your manuscript.

Submission Guidelines
Revision-2013-09
Effective 2013-04-21