Getting Published Frequently Asked Questions
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Silver Leaf Books primarily publishes in the Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, and Mystery / Suspense genres. It is possible that a book we publish may not fall within these core themes, but we only accept submissions for manuscripts that are within one of these categories. Books submitted for other genres will automatically be rejected without review.
Silver Leaf Books does not accept submissions for short stories or compilations of short stories. It is possible that one of our established “worlds” may result in an anthology or collection of short stories, but these would be previously approved projects. All short story or anthology submissions will automatically be rejected without review.
Silver Leaf Books will not purchase or acquire the rights to a previously published work. Any title that has previously been published, either independently or through a publishing house, would be rejected without review.
Silver Leaf Books will not publish a continuation of a previously published series. All titles must be unique and original works. Sequels to previously published series would be rejected without review.
It is possible that other authors may write books based upon the series we publish. Whether this would be permissible or not would largely depend upon the agreement with the author who initially designed the world. There may be certain restrictions and terms that would be imposed upon such a book. The original designer of the series also would likely receive a percentage of all royalties owed for allowing another author to work in his or her established creation.
Our general guidelines are posted as 6 months for Phase 1 submissions, 4 months for Phase 2, and Phase 3 varies from author to author. However, these are just guidelines and a title may be reviewed far more swiftly or take considerably longer to go through the process.
Phase 1 has established times set throughout the year to review all incoming submissions. During these times, all titles generally do manage to be reviewed, though it is possible that a title may be delayed for review until the next review period. Whether a submission was in the review pile for a matter of days or months will be luck of the draw, and not considered an indicator for how much the acquisitions editor may or may not like what they are reviewing.
Phase 2 is a lengthier process, but far fewer books advance to Phase 2 than those originally submitted in Phase 1. Books in Phase 2 generally are reviewed by “up to” two acquisition editors. Some manuscripts will be rejected without even the full book being reviewed if the editor finds that they do not believe that the book should be published. Some times will go through a single review and have the highest recommendation possible and advance to Phase 3 without an additional review. Most books, however, will receive two opinions and two recommendations before proceeding to Phase 3. In the rare instance when two reviewers disagree, if the first reviewer felt strongly about the manuscript, it is possible that a third independent review may be conducted.
Silver Leaf Books will only review submissions that follow the posted guidelines. Inquiries that request action from SLB will be rejected without review.
Silver Leaf Books will no longer accept electronic submissions. We found that electronic submissions rarely followed the submission guidelines and this took away time that could be spent on authors who have submitted materials to us to review following our guidelines. Any electronic submissions as of 4/10/09 will be deleted without review or response. Any electronic submissions that arrived prior to that will still be reviewed since they had been received prior to the policy change.
Silver Leaf Books does not accept simultaneous submissions. If the same author submits multiple titles prior to receiving a response, all titles submitted will be rejected without review.
Silver Leaf Books will not review a novel that has been resubmitted unless specifically requested by SLB. Any novel that is being resubmitted will be rejected without review.
Due to the large volume of submissions that we receive, Silver Leaf Books can no longer provide a personalized response for all Phase 1 submissions. However, every processed submission shall receive either a generic rejection letter or an offer to advance into Phase 2 of the publication process.
If a response is never received, then the author either failed to provide a self addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to provide a reply (please note that the post office may increase rates prior to your manuscript being reviewed), a valid email address, or for some reason the submission was never received and logged by SLB. Otherwise all submissions shall receive a response when the review has been conducted.
Silver Leaf Books provides a royalty based on the wholesale value of the book. That means that the royalty is paid on the discounted “sale” price of the book, not the cover price. If, for instance, a book had a cover price of $20, and the royalty was 10%, then if the book sold direct without a discount, then the royalty would be $2.00. However, if the book was sold through a book store, distributor, or wholesaler, and this discount was 50% off, then the 10% royalty would be based on the discounted price of $10, or a $1.00 royalty.
The wholesale value method also takes into account expenses, bringing the royalty calculation to the “actual” value brought in. So, for instance, if that same discounted book of $10 had a shipping expense of $2.00, then the royalty would be based on an $8.00 sale price, or an $.80 royalty.
The wholesale method guarantees that a royalty payout would never be made for more than the value that the book has been sold at. Royalties are also paid on amounts collected in the payable period. Depending on the type of sale (risk factor for returns), a reserve may also be imposed against the royalties for the payment period, at the discretion of the publisher.
Silver Leaf Books does not pay any advances for first time authors. It is possible that an advance may be paid for subsequent releases once an author becomes an SLB author, however this would be determined on a book-by-book basis and have both prior and projected sales taken into account.
Silver Leaf Books is not a print on demand publisher. All of our titles have established print runs.
Silver Leaf Books is not a vanity or subsidy press. We do not charge our authors fees to have the book published.
At Silver Leaf Books, we give our authors the opportunity to select their own artists and work directly with them. Nobody has a better idea of your vision for your cover than you do, and this gives you the ability to bring your own vision to life. We do ask to review any artwork being performed to approve to make certain that it would not be controversial or detrimental to the image of SLB in any way.
Providing the cover art is the responsibility of the author. Silver Leaf Books does not provide payment for the contracted work for art covers. The author, likewise, would pay the artist directly and would not at any time render payment to SLB for the contracted services of a book cover. Once the artwork is provided (in the specifications required by SLB), our in-house Graphic Designers would complete the remainder of the cover design and layout (adding titles, descriptions, barcode, etc).
Artists can easily be found online or through local organizations. If an author needs a referral for an artist, there are artists who submit samples to Silver Leaf Books in hopes of completing work on a book cover. We could provide these samples to you and any contact information that you may need to discuss the cover with the artist directly.
We also would refer the artist network of Creative Strategists. Visit http://www.creative-strategists.com/ArtSamples.htm where you will find a wide array of styles broken down by pricing tiers.
As of May 2007, all new authors will have their books printed as paperbacks (the size and format would be the complete discretion of Silver Leaf Books). Authors who currently have their titles in hardcover are considered “grandfathered in” and may have subsequent releases in the same format.
Silver Leaf Books may also, at its sole discretion, turn a title into a hardcover format or opt to have a subsequent release in a hardcover format.
The posted guidelines indicate 12 to 24 months. However, every title is different and a book may be released sooner or later than this. Our standard policy is that a book is not officially announced until it is 100% complete (edited, updated, reviewed, typeset, licensed, cover art, and graphic design). Once it is 100% complete, an announcement will be made that the title will be out in the closest release period following the wholesaler specified 7 month advance notice. Therefore, if your manuscript was 100% done in April, the earliest it could be released is November. However, SLB does not release titles in November, so the book would come out the following February.
Unless there are unique or special circumstances, determined at the sole discretion of Silver Leaf Books, all titles are released either in February or September.
All manuscripts will be professionally edited by Silver Leaf Books.
Silver Leaf Books provides our authors with the opportunity to review their manuscripts after it has been edited. However, once a book has been edited, it is considered “locked” and will not accept any kind of revisions or rewrites from the author. If something had been altered in editing that the author disagrees with, they may request that SLB look at the change and make the appropriate correction. This includes general punctuation or some kind of rewording that may have altered the intended meaning. These minor revisions or changes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Silver Leaf Books provides industry announcements and does a variety of promotional activities through the wholesalers and distributors. Some of these promotional activities are required through contractual obligations with the wholesaler or distributor, and some are listed by SLB at its sole discretion.
SLB does not, however, have a publicist on staff or assist the author with interviews, signings, speaking events, conventions, press releases, or advertisements to potential fans and readers. We do recommend all of these activities, and can provide support and guidance, but the author will be responsible for promoting their own work and helping to generate interest from potential readers.
The intentions of publishing any title would be to make it available for sale through the normal distribution channels, which would include stores. Silver Leaf Books has agreements in place with both of the largest Wholesalers, which does make the books available through the bookstore, library, and online marketplaces. However, making a book available does not necessarily mean that the book would be stocked in stores.
Bookstores, known as "Brick and Mortar" stores, have a limited display area. They typically chose titles that they believe would move and make the store the most money. This is why you will find large quantities of best selling authors, new releases, or location-specific titles. A bookstore generally has to have an 80% certainty that what they order will sell, meaning that a new or unknown author is more of a risk and not as likely to be purchased for store placement.
This does not mean, however, that a store would not have your book, or that your book would not be available in the store. Through our agreements, most stores would be able to order your book if requested (we clarify "most" because all titles and authors need to be submitted in an application process to the bookstores. This is much like submitting your book to a publisher, and the store may decide to approve the author/title, approve it only for online sales, or outright reject it).
We also find that "local stores," that is, stores within proximity to the author, are willing to purchase books to coincide with book signings and potentially keep titles in store to support the "local author."
Overall, however, a store will generally consider a book for six weeks following release, and then consider it a backlist title. Backlisted titles either remain on the shelf as a copy or two while inventory is being used up (unless returned, typically at 4 months), or available for order through customer service.
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