Submission Tips

While most publishers share some basic submission guidelines, each company has their own particular style, and is looking for different things in a submission. Please consider the following guidelines when submitting to Dagan Books:

  • Submit through the appropriate channels. Short stories are submitted through our portal, hosted via Submittable. Check here for open anthology submissions, and here for novels and novellas. To submit a story, you have to follow that link; you can’t email your story to us. Regardless of how familiar you are with various members of our staff, please do not contact them to submit your story. By using our portal, we can ensure than each submission gets a response, gets looked at (usually by multiple readers), and is sorted through to the appropriate title.
  • If your story fits the stated requirements as to word count, subject matter, and so on, don’t query. Just send it in. If the story does not fit into those rules, absolutely do query before sending it in. Queries should be sent to submissions [at] daganbooks [dot] com. A query should not contain a detailed synopsis. It should simply state the way in which your story does not fit, and ask if we would read it anyway. We’ll let you know.
  • Do not, ever, under any circumstances, query to ask whether we’d like your story. There is no way we can tell you without reading the whole thing. Sometimes, inexperienced authors will do this thinking that it will save them time, and that they’ll only be submitting to editors who are predisposed to buying the story. Occasionally they will offer an excuse as to why they’re asking. Trust us when we say that we can tell why you’re asking, and the answer will always be the same. Send it in, or don’t send it. It’s up to you.
  • Use a 12 point font, preferably Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial. Don’t get fancy. Black type on a white page only. Follow the instructions to make sure that you’re submitting the correct document format, but in general we prefer .doc or .odt files. We’d rather not get .rtf files.
  • Do not put an extra space between paragraphs. Use the tab to indent the beginning of paragraphs. Put only one space between sentences.
  • Double space your submission.
  • Use italics or bold or underlined where you mean them. If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to, you must note this at the BEGINNING of the story, so we understand that as we read it.
  • Make sure that your story is aligned-left, or justified – never aligned-right or centered. That’s hard to read.
  • Proof your story before submitting it. We suggest reading it aloud. That works for us.
  • When we say no simultaneous submissions, we mean it. We’re not saying it would definitely prejudice us against buying future work from you, but it probably will.

Our guidelines are based on our experience turning your submission into a print or electronic book. Making it easier to read your manuscript or saving us a little time when we’re formatting your story for publication makes our editors happy, and happy editors buy more of your work.

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Currently Closed to Novel / Short Story Collection Submissions

At this time we are closed for novel-length fiction submissions. We will reopen for those types of works later in the year.

Answers to Some Questions About Our Submissions Process

We’ve recently gotten some questions about our submissions process and have put together a few answers for you. If you’re thinking about submitting a novel to us, or a short story to one of our open anthologies, please read on.

Q. Who should I address my novel submission to?

A. All novel submissions are read by our Publisher and Head of Acquisitions, Carrie Cuinn. At this time she would be the person who would make a decision on your novel, novella, or short story collection, so please put your cover letters to her attention.

Q. What about Don Pizarro or K. V. Taylor?

A. K.V. Taylor is a frequent contributor and the co-editor of FISH, but is not an employee of Dagan Books. Don Pizarro is an editor on multiple projects, but is not currently reading novel submissions.

Q. If you turn down my novel, can I rewrite my query letter and try again?

A. Unless your novel has drastically changed from our first rejection, please don’t resubmit it. We do keep track of the queries we receive, and while multiple queries makes you memorable, it isn’t for a good reason.

Q. Why don’t you accept romance novels, sword-and-sorcery fantasy novels, works with religious themes or [insert other genre here]?

A. Because we don’t want to publish those things. Partially it’s because they’re not genres that we read much of, for fun, and partially because by limiting our books to the genres we truly love, we can make better decisions. We’ll be comparing your work to a wider range of books, because we’ll have read more in that genre, and we’ll know what’s selling, what’s lacking in the market, and so on. There are plenty of other publishers who would be interested in your manuscript about the power of Angels to bring you romance, for example, but that’s not what we’re looking for.

[Read more…]

Our First Novel Acquisition! Dark Depths by Wendy N. Wagner, 2012

We are so very happy to announce that Dagan Books will be publishing its first novel next year. DARK DEPTHS is a fantasy novel by Wendy N. Wagner, and will be heavily illustrated by Galen Dara. More news, interviews, and sneak peaks will be unveiled as we get closer to the release date.

About Wendy N. Wagner:

Ms. Wagner’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Abyss & ApexBeneath Ceaseless SkiesCrossed Genres, and the anthologies Rigor AmortisThe Way of the Wizard, and The Beast Within 2. She is the Assistant Editor of Fantasy Magazine.

You can learn more about Wendy at http://www.winniewoohoo.com. Or catch her on Twitter: @wnwagner.

Dagan Books will be open to Novel submissions on Oct 1, 2011

and short story collections and novellas ….

We are looking for speculative fiction, particularly science fiction (hard, soft, near-future, etc), magic realism, urban fantasy, and apocalypse fiction. We rarely like sword and sorcery type fantasy, aren’t interested in “slasher” type horror, don’t care for religious themes (which includes demons/the devil), and will not accept poetry of any kind. Please do not send us a romance novel, no matter what setting it is in, as that just wastes your time and ours. Seeking complete (finished, edited) manuscripts of up to 120,000 words.

Step one is to submit a query to us using our automated form. If interested, we will reply with a request for a synopsis and the first three chapters.

Please note: If you are submitting a collection of previously published material, you must have recovered all rights to those stories BEFORE submitting to us. Do not submit a collection which contains stories still under copyright to another publisher.

If you’d like to submit work to Dagan Books, please see our Novel, Collection, Novella Submissions page for more information and the query form.

FISH is closed, Novella/Novel submissions can resume Oct 1

Submissions for the FISH anthology are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Final decisions will be made by September 30, 2011.

Novella and Novel-length submissions:

We will be open for submissions of these longer works from individual authors beginning October 1, 2011. Additional guidelines will be posted before that time.