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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Opportunities for Dark Fiction Writers with Crystal Lake Publishing

http://www.crystallakepub.com/

I have mentioned Crystal Lake Publishing, an award-winning independent publishing house specializing in the horror genre, on this blog a few times before.

Crystal Lake is run by South African Joe Mynhardt, who is a long-standing member (and former moderator) of my forum at myWritersCircle.com.

Crystal Lake have been going from strength to strength recently, and they have just announced their first-ever open call for submissions. They are looking for anything in the dark fiction genre, including novels, short-story collections and non-fiction.

I've copied the main details below from the comprehensive information on the Crystal Lake website...

We’re looking for DARK FICTION, be it horror, suspense thrillers, fantasy, action adventure, sci-fi (no space operas, please), supernatural, or noir. We’re interested in reading your novels, novellas, short story collections, non-fiction books linked to dark fiction topics, and poetry collections. All books should be above 60,000 words, preferably below 110,000.

That’s a pretty wide spectrum, so here are some of the authors and books we enjoy (that does not however mean that we want you to rewrite their work or copy them. Be original. Be yourself):

Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Elizabeth Massie, Joe Hill, Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Maberry, Richard Laymon, Robert McCammon, Adam Nevill, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bram Stoker, F. Paul Wilson, Charles L. Grant, Mary Shelley, John Connolly, Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson, Ambrose Bierce, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, Dean Koontz, M.R. James, Joe R. Lansdale, Jules Verne, Cormac McCarthy, William Peter Blatty, Thomas Harris, Alexandre Dumas and Roald Dahl.

We are not looking for reprints of previously published or self-published books, although up to 50% of your collections can be reprinted stories or poems. Novellas that form part of a collection my be reprints, as long as the majority of the collection are original stories. Please make sure the rights to all reprints have returned to you.

Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please withdraw your story immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Your book does not have to be finished at the time of your pitch, as long as it’s at least 70% complete and you can provide the opening chapter plus any other two chapters when asked.


Everyone wants to know about remuneration, and the good news is that  - somewhat unusually for a small independent publishing house - Crystal Lake are paying an advance ($200-$400) and royalties (25 to 40 percent). Here are the exact terms from the website...

You will be entitled to lifetime royalties on sales, or until a mutual agreement to withdraw the book is reached.

Advance: $400 against royalties

$200 for anything other than a novel

Royalties: 40% of net profits on all online sales (Amazon etc.)

25% of net profits on all bookstore sales

Your book will be available to bookstores for a period of two years, after which it will be available via online retailers indefinitely.

Novels will also receive a $400 marketing budget you can spend as you please, as well as a lot of online publicity from us. Anything else receives a $200 marketing budget and the same treatment from us.

You will also receive 5 contributor’s copies before the book is launched.


Submissions will be accepted from November 15 2014 to December 15 2014, and they say this will most likely become an annual submission window.

They emphasize that they are only looking for your pitch and synopsis during the submission window. You are allowed to submit two or more proposals if you wish, but each one must be pitched separately

For more information, including formatting requirements and how to submit your pitch(es), visit the Crystal Lake Submissions Guidelines page.

Again, remember that the submissions window does not open until November 15 2014. That means you have around six weeks from today to prepare and polish your pitch (or pitches).

Good luck, and I hope to see your name on Crystal Lake's list of authors soon!

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