Please thoroughly review the following information and guidelines prior to submitting.
All submissions should be sent through the mail. Any electronic submissions will be deleted without review. Any query letters or submissions that do not follow the guidelines posted here will also be discarded without review.
Here at Silver Leaf Books, we like to approach our authors a bit differently. We make an extra effort to help our authors develop and grow, including Insider Interviews where your direct audience can learn more about you and your book, and a dedicated Community and Events section where fans can learn more about current developments with you and your work. At the same time, we ask for a commitment from our authors: again, we don't just look for the right book, but for the right author as well. We can set up the program that will develop you for success, but you need to also make the commitment to take the time to meet that success. Not only Internet strategies, but also Book Signings, Conventions, Trade Shows, Expos, and much more! An author is really the driving force to bring about the success of their work. After all, nobody will be as passionate about your own project as you!
Our authors are also given the opportunity to be involved in the publication process. We do not just take your manuscript and then you see a final product when it is done. You will have an opportunity to provide feedback on edits and even the final book design. In addition, we allow our authors to find and provide the right look and feel for their books by working with artists directly. If you don't know any artists, don't worry, we receive artist submissions regularly that we can provide you to help you along with your decision. This way, however, you will be able to make sure that your cover is engaging and fits the image you have in your mind.
What would a Book Contract be like?
Silver Leaf Books offers those authors who successfully advance through the submission process a multiple book contract. It has been our experience that initial releases from new and unknown authors have slow sales, but with subsequent releases that the earlier titles continue to increase in sales as the author gains more exposure. As such, SLB and our authors have a multi-book commitment to help see the author grow and succeed. Each title still must go through the submission process, and if SLB does not deem the book worthy of being published, the author has the right to then submit that title elsewhere. SLB maintains all series rights to titles that we publish.
All SLB titles are available in print, electronically, and digitally. Authors receive a royalty for sales in these formats based on the wholesale value (actual sale price, not cover price). Advances are not provided to new authors. Advances may be considered on a case-by-case basis for existing SLB authors. Authors do receive free copies of their novel as part of the agreement, and may purchase additional copies under the SLB business-to-business guidelines.
SLB's authors have the opportunity to work directly with artists and provide their own cover illustration. Graphic design (all titles, labels, and layouts) will be handed directly by SLB, but the artwork will be the responsibility of the author.
SLB does not charge our authors any fees or payment to publish the books. Authors simply are required to submit an electronic copy of their manuscript and any illustrations (cover or internal) that may be required to our specifications.
For more information before continuing with the Publishing Guidelines, read our Getting Published Frequently Asked Questions (see below).
Author Submission Guidelines
Silver Leaf Books has an extensive three-phase approach to all author submissions. These are:
The first phase, when attempting to submit your work to Silver Leaf Books, is to provide our editing staff with an overview of your project. PHASE 1 proposals must include the following information for your submission to be considered for review:
1. Introduction Letter
Cover letter to your proposal that includes, at an absolute minimum, the following:
2. Book Overview / Synopsis
Provide a brief overview and synopsis of your book, including the basic plot of the novel.
3. Series Overview / Synopsis
If the book is intended to be part of a series, provide a brief overview and synopsis of the series and future plans for the series, each subsequent book, and anticipated completion dates.
4. Author Information
Provide information about the author(s), including any writing background or literary awards you may have won.
5. Writing Sample
Provide the first three chapters from your book, in order, not random selections.
6. Marketing Plan
Provide marketing information, including any information that you have accumulated about the audience for your books and suggest ways that both you and SLB can reach these people. This should also include facts about how and to whom your book can be successfully marketed, as well as what you, as the author, plan on doing to help promote your book
All materials being submitted should be in a format that is easy to read. This includes plain white paper, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font, with 1 inch margins. Each section as outlines above should be clearly identified in the proposal for ease of review. If the submission is not in this format, it shall be rejected without review.
A self addressed stamped envelope must be included to submit a reply to your proposal. An email address should also be provided in the event that postage increases in price and your SASE no longer has sufficient postage.
If any of these requirements are not included, your submission will be automatically rejected without review.
Please mail your submission proposal to:
Silver Leaf Books
Attn: Book Submissions
P.O. Box 6460
Holliston, MA 01746
In addition, there are materials that could be beneficial to provide your submission with a more rounded and complete presentation. Though these materials are not required for review, they could be beneficial if you did prepare them. The proposal should include as much of the following as possible:
Please do not send simultaneous submissions. Though we would be willing to review more than one manuscript for publication, we shall not do so at the same time.
Follow the guidelines closely. Try to be thorough and professional with your submission, allowing us to form a better picture about you and your project, and remember: first impressions are often lasting ones!
Please allow up to six months for your PHASE 1 submission to be reviewed. If you have not heard from us within six months, and wish to confirm that we have received your submission, then please write us a letter indicating the title, author name, and submission date so that we will be able to promptly identify your project. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope or post-card to have the confirmation returned. Do not send an email request for confirmation.
Upon reviewing your materials, Silver Leaf Books will provide you with a formal response to your proposal. If there is mutual interest between both SLB and the author to advance, you will begin PHASE 2 of the proposal process.
At this time, all author submissions will be considered for paperback books only. Books with strong demand and sales may be converted into hardcover, or future titles from an SLB author may be selected, at the sole discretion of SLB to be put into a hardcover format.
By advancing to PHASE 2 of the proposal process, there has been mutual interest expressed between both you and Silver Leaf Books to continue exploring your book. During this stage, you should mail two copies of your completed manuscript, along with a completed Nondisclosure Agreement for Submitting Ideas (download below), to Silver Leaf Books. Manuscripts received without a Nondisclosure Agreement will not be reviewed. If you would like the manuscripts returned, sufficient return postage should also be included. A self addressed stamped envelope should be included regardless of whether you wish to have the manuscript returned or not.
Silver Leaf Books will review your manuscript and will provide a formal response to your proposal upon review. This typically is within 120 days from receipt of the manuscript, but the review process could take longer depending on the volume of reviews we have. If there is mutual interest between both SLB and the author to advance, you will begin PHASE 3 of the proposal process.
You’re almost there! Once you have entered PHASE 3 of the proposal process, you will receive the Silver Leaf Books author contract. At this point, after all agreements have been made, you can expect to see your book in print within 12 - 24 months!
What genres do you publish?
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.
Do you publish anthologies or short stories?
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.
Will you publish a book that has previously been published?
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.
Will you publish the second book in a series that has previously been published?
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.
What if I wanted to write a book that takes place in the world created by another Silver Leaf Books author?
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.
How long does it take to review my submission?
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.
Can I submit an idea or ask if you are interested in my book?
Silver Leaf Books will only review submissions that follow the posted guidelines. Inquiries that request action from SLB will be rejected without review.
Will you accept electronic submissions?
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.
Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
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.
Do you accept resubmissions?
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.
I submitted my manuscript but haven’t heard back yet. Will I receive a response?
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.
What kind of royalties do you pay?
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.
Do you pay an Advance?
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.
Do you publish Print on Demand titles?
Silver Leaf Books is not a print on demand publisher. All of our titles have established print runs.
Do you charge money to publish through you?
Silver Leaf Books is not a vanity or subsidy press. We do not charge our authors fees to have the book published.
Will I have any say in what the cover art looks like?
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).
How do I find a cover artist?
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.
What format will the book be in?
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.
Once a contract is signed, how long before my book will be seen in print?
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.
What is the Silver Leaf Books release schedule?
Unless there are unique or special circumstances, determined at the sole discretion of Silver Leaf Books, all titles are typically released in February, May, or September. Titles are packaged together in a "release" of no fewer than 4 titles.
Will you edit my manuscript?
All manuscripts will be professionally edited by Silver Leaf Books.
Can I make changes to my manuscript after it has been edited?
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.
How will my book be promoted?
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.
Will my book be available in stores?
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.
Please thoroughly review the following information and guidelines prior to submitting.
Here at Silver Leaf Books, we provide our authors with the opportunity to select their own artists and work with them directly. Most authors, however, do not have art contacts and need referrals. SLB maintains a directory of interested artists to recommend to our authors as needed. There is no guarantee that an artist will be selected by an author, but by submitting to SLB, you have the opportunity to potentially be chosen for a future project.
What are Art Requirements?
Artwork mostly is used for cover designs, not interior artwork. It is possible an author would have interior art needs, but the information contained here is with the assumption that cover art will be provided. Artists will provide artwork (illustration only, without any kind of labels or titles on the book) in the CMYK color range that is at a minimum 300 dpi (printers prefer 600+). Final dimensions will be based on the book size and will need to cover these specifications at a minimum. All artwork for any Silver Leaf Books title must be unique and not be used (past, present, or future) for any representation other than as it is intended for the title the art is contracted for.
All original artwork remains the property of the artist (unless agreed upon otherwise with the author). However, all art is considered work for hire and can be used by the author and/or Silver Leaf Books in all manners of representation of the book, promotions, and sales globally and without restriction.
Artist Submission Guidelines
To be added to our directory of potential artists, the aspiring artist will provide Silver Leaf Books with the following:
Not all of this material is required, but the more you are able to submit, then the better picture we can form about you. Try to be thorough and professional with your submission, and remember: first impressions are often lasting ones!
Please mail your submission materials to:
Silver Leaf Books, LLC
Attn: Graphic Arts
P.O. Box 6460
Holliston, MA 01746
If you want confirmation that your materials have been received, please include a stamped post card or self addressed stamped envelope.