Submissions

We are delighted you’re considering working with us, and genuinely look forward to seeing your story!

We are primarily interested in:

  • science fiction
  • fantasy
  • science fiction or fantasy genre non-fiction

If your submission is:

  • literary fiction, mystery, or historical fiction, please submit your story to our main imprint at Paper Angel Press.
  • short fiction (less than 10,000 words), please submit your story to our Dragon Gems program.
  • other non-fiction or poetry, please submit your work to our Unruly Voices imprint.

Here are some basic guidelines that will help make all of our lives easier. Please make sure you read them, and also our About Us page.

Note: At this time, we are only able to accept submissions from authors in the United States.

Manuscript Formats

Send us your complete, finished manuscripts in digital format, using a standard book manuscript format in .DOCX, .RTF, or .ODT format to submissions (at) waterdragonpublishing.com.

If you’re not sure what a manuscript format is, here’s a good source. Except please, not Courier. Or Comic Sans.

Include the following in your cover letter/email:

  • Title of your book
  • Your real name
  • Your physical mail address
  • Your preferred email address
  • Genre
  • Approximate word count
  • Synopsis
  • … and if you have one, a marketing plan or ideas about audience is also most helpful.

Submission Deadlines

We generally accept submissions January through October.

We will try to acknowledge receipt of your manuscript within 72 hours. We’ll also try to let you know whether or not we’re interested in working with you to publish your book within 90 days after that. Both of these periods may vary, though, depending on the number of manuscripts we’ve received during that time.

Contacting Us

Please don’t contact us about the status of your manuscript unless at least 90 days have passed since we acknowledged receiving it. If you did not receive a acknowledgement, please feel free to contact us.

Submissions FAQ

Short answer

We are interested in science fiction and fantasy of all kinds.

Longer answer

We are generally open to science fiction and fantasy of any kind — be it hard science fiction or mythological fantasy. What we are looking for is a good story that will entertain our readers and help them escape from the real world during the time they read your book.

Short answer

However long it takes for you to tell your story.

Longer answer

We’re open to books pretty much of any length. For short stories, please look at the additional requirements for our Dragon Gems short fiction program. In terms of a standard, we use the SFWA guidelines for word count.

Short answer

Our goal is to have your book available for sale within six months after you deliver your final manuscript to us.

Longer answer

There a lot of moving parts to the process and, as we all know, life happens and sometimes it may take longer than six months. It’s really up to you, though. This is a partnership and you will need to fulfill your commitments to us in a timely manner as much as we need to keep ours to you.

Short answer

In addition to announcements through our regular promotional and social media channels, you will be provided with a promotional toolkit of items that you can use to help you promote and sell your book.

Longer answer

In addition to being displayed in our online catalog, your book will also be added to any promotional materials that we are developing for the next event where we will be promoting our books. We will provide you with banners that you can use on the major social media platforms, promotional business cards, and a fact sheet for your book. (All of these items are also available — at no cost to you — to use at any events at which you might arrange an appearance.) Your book will be available for sale at events where it is an appropriate fit for the expected audience. Other events and promotional opportunities will be arranged for you and your book as they become available.

Short answer

It depends on how many copies of it we sell.

Longer answer

We don’t pay advances and we don’t charge you anything up front. Instead, we invest our time and resources to help you successfully launch your book. The more successfully we work as a team, the more copies of your book we’re likely to sell, which means we’ll all make more money. Each contract we have with our authors is different, depending on the skills and resources that they bring to the table, so there’s not a “one size fits all” answer to this question.

Short answer

As long as you own the rights, we are absolutely willing to look at your manuscript.

Longer answer

We understand that things happen: that you might want to expand your audience, or are currently working with a publisher that you don’t feel is a good fit for you (or has gone out of business). We are completely open to work that has been previously published — as long as you own the publication rights to your book.

Short answer

No.

Longer answer

We do not charge you to publish your book. We do not charge a reading fee. We do not charge you to use our promotional materials. We are a small, still-growing press, so we can’t afford to pay advances on royalties up front. However, we compensate for this by offering authors a higher per-sale royalty than you are likely to get with any of the traditional — or other smaller — publishers.

During the month of November we neither release books nor look at submissions, because most of the Water Dragon Publishing authors and staff participate in NaNoWriMo (and then spend December recovering from it). We encourage you to come follow our authors and staff over there.