Burning Chair is currently closed for submissions from authors.
If you haven’t already, please read about us, our approach and philosophy.
If that intrigues and excites you, then please sign-up to our mailing list and we’ll let you know when we’re open again for submissions.
We are currently closed to submissions. When we open again, we will be interested in the following genres:
● Action and adventure
● Fantasy (including urban fantasy and YA)
● Historical fiction
● Completed manuscripts of novel-length only (at least 50,000 words)
● You will be required to submit details about yourself and your story, plus a synopsis (no more than 2 pages). Should we be interested off the back of that, we will request your completed manuscript
Please note that we only accept electronic submissions (via our online portal), and do not accept postal or email submissions.
Please note that we only accept full-length fiction. We do occasionally put out calls for anthologies of shorter-length fiction – please join our mailing list to be notified of our next call.
If your story is in a radically different genre to the above (such as romance, erotica, literature, children’s, religious), we might not be the right fit for you. Do keep checking back (or join our mailing list): as we grow we fully intend to branch out into different areas in the future.
At the end of the day, though, we are passionate about discovering new voices and are more than willing to take a risk on something we truly believe in. We’ll happily take a quick look at almost anything.
We are committed to doing the best possible job for our authors. We are hands-on, passionate, and will do all we can to make you and your book a success. That means we can only work with a small percentage of those writers who approach us. That’s not us being mean; that’s just us being sensible and realistic about how far we can stretch ourselves while still doing awesome stuff and not letting people down.
We receive a large number of submissions and pride ourselves in reviewing and responding to every one. So please do bear with us – we aim to respond within 3-4 months, but at times this may be longer, depending on the volume of submissions.
What will you offer me?
Great question! Give yourself a gold star for asking that. You ready? Here we go…
● Royalties – we believe in a fair deal for authors, so we offer significantly higher royalties than normal traditional publishing deals. You will be paid regularly.
● Publication – we’ll take your manuscript all the way to the finished product. That means we will provide you with a professional cover, rigorous editing and proofreading. And we will do that, and we will pay for all that. Us, not you. As we see it, that’s only fair.
● Active Marketing – we will market your book on the major platforms, making sure it gets out direct to the eyeballs who will consume your book. We will cover that cost too. (Of course, we mean eyeballs connected to human readers – not disembodied eyeballs floating around eating books. That would just be weird…!).
● Advanced Marketing – You will benefit from cutting edge marketing techniques from the world of indie publishing. We’ve learnt from the best in the market and are constantly testing and applying those lessons – and your book will benefit!
● Transparency – we will communicate with you every step of the way, be open and transparent about every decision and action, and provide you with regular statements so you can see how many books you’ve sold.
● Collaboration – this isn’t a traditional author/publisher relationship – we will work with you as an equal partner, respecting the sweat and tears that went into your work (we totally know how you feel, by the way!). We are 100% invested in the success of your book, and we want you to be 100% invested in the success of Burning Chair. Quid Pro Sorted.
● No mid-list – every one of our authors is special to us and we love them all, each and every one. If we take on an author, it’s because they and their book totally match the Burning Chair ethos. We want all of our authors to be our biggest supporters, and we will achieve that by being theirs
When should I submit?
● When you have a completed, full-length draft of your story. What do we mean by “full-length”? That varies depending on type of story, but as a general rule anything over 50,000 words gets you towards full-length novel territory. Check out your favourite books and see how many words they have: that’s your guide.
● Your draft doesn’t have to be perfect – we fully expect to get editors and the like involved – so don’t stress about polishing and polishing it. Just get it over to us when you’re happy with it.
Do I need an agent to submit to you?
● No, absolutely not. If you have an agent, that’s fine. But we certainly do accept submissions direct from authors. In fact we positively welcome them: Burning Chair is here for all those lost souls who fall foul of the so-called hallowed gate-keepers which trad publishing seems so keen on for some reason…
I’m not sure which genre my story fits into…
● Here’s a useful link which might help.
● Think about where you would see your book in a bookstore, or what stories or authors. What genre do they put themselves in?
Do you publish short stories?
● If you have a collection of short stories (70,000 words+ in total when all added together), and it is in one of the genres we cover (see above), then we are happy to consider it.
● Unfortunately, we do not publish individual short stories as standalones. But we do put out anthologies at irregular intervals and invite short story submissions for them. Join our mailing list and we will make sure you’re among the first to find out.
How long will it take you to come back to me?
● We know how agonising it is to submit a story to a publisher, and then wait for days and weeks on end waiting for a reply. However, we are a small business and we take pride in making sure that we read each and every manuscript that comes our way. That might take a while if many others have also sent us their books at the same time. So please be patient. We’ll aim to get back to you within around three months or so. But please be patient – we tend to receive a lot of submissions and we do want to give each one the attention it deserves.
● But one thing we guarantee: we will reply to you, whatever the outcome. We’ve had too many of our own submissions which seemed have disappeared into a literary black hole, with no reply, not even a “no thank you” from the publisher. That’s not nice, that’s not respectful, and that’s not how we do business. It’s not the Burning Chair way.
If you can’t help me at this time, will you give me a critique of my story?
● We’d love to give you a full-blown critique, but there are only a few of us here and we need to spend our evenings fighting crime in spandex outfits. So we just physically can’t provide lengthy critiques of every submission. We will try and give you constructive feedback, but we can’t commit to giving you chapter-and-verse.
● If we decide we can’t work with you, or your story’s not for us: please, please don’t be disheartened. Chances are, it’s not you: it’s us. There may be the perfect home for you somewhere else. Or you might want to think about getting someone to have a look over your book and give you their thoughts and help you to improve. There are reputable people who can do this for you – a good place to start is the Alliance of Independent Authors. They’re awesome.
What if you don’t accept my book but I don’t agree? Can I appeal?
● I’m sorry, but we don’t have a big appeals system. Pete wanted to buy a big chair, a judge’s wig and a huge gavel, but Si wouldn’t let him. “Not a good use of funds,” he said.
● If we don’t accept your book, think about why that is. Think about reworking your book. But also think about whether we’re actually right for you at all. Do try other places.
Do you consider books which have previously been submitted to you, but not accepted?
● Please don’t just send the same thing over and over to us. Our memories are bad, but they’re not that bad. And it’ll just mark you out as a bit strange.
● But if you submitted to us once and it wasn’t for us, but you then had a rethink and made some big changes that you reckon we’ll like… Please feel free to resubmit. We’re not a one-strike-and-you’re-out sort of place. We like persistence and dedication. Just not asshats. Please, please don’t be an asshat.
Do you consider books which have previously been published, or self-published?
● Absolutely! The one thing we insist on, though, is that we have exclusive rights to publish your book. So make sure that you own the copyright and all rights to the book.
I’ve never been published before and have no back catalogue or shiny awards. Does that mean, like some places, you won’t touch me with a barge-pole?
● 100% no.
● 1,000% no.
● A gazillion% no.
● One of our main aims is to discover new voices and bring them into the world.
● We know how hard it is for new, undiscovered authors to find their place, among all of the established voices. If you’re Stephen King then great – we’d certainly consider you (Stephen: call us, we love you!!!). But much more important to us are the new, up-and-coming, never-before-seen writers. If you have an awesome book which you’re passionate about, we’re going to want to talk to you, even (especially!) if it’s the first thing you’ve ever written.
Will you charge me for reading my manuscript, or for any of your other services?
● No, no and thrice no. We will never ask you to pay us anything. That’s not the way publishing is supposed to work. Publishers pay authors; authors don’t pay publishers.
● There are some very disreputable types out there: vanity publishers, publishing services companies, and so on. They typically charge authors ridiculous fees to get their books published – i.e. charging you so they can do a job (usually not very well) which they should be funding themselves.
● We’re not those sort of asshats. We will never ask you to pay. We pay you royalties on the books we sell. That’s it.
● Do yourself a favour. If anyone ever offers you a “great deal” for you to get rich by them publishing your book in return for you paying them a fee of any kind: run a mile. If you’re not sure, check out helpful writer blogs and message boards like the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), Writer Beware, or David Gaughran before you sign up to anything. There are a lot of sharks out there and, as reputable types, we want to make sure them sharks ain’t fed no more…
What about copyright in my work?
● You keep your copyright at all times. If we work with you, the deal is that you give us exclusive rights to publish your work for the duration of our contract. But you still keep your copyright. Always.
How do I know you won’t steal my ideas?
● We won’t steal your ideas, because we’re not those sorts of asshats, and if we did that sort of thing people would very quickly stop sending us stuff.
● And if we don’t end up working with you, we will straight away delete your details – including your submitted manuscript. We will not pass any of this stuff on to anyone else. Ever. Because, you know, GDPR and stuff. Not to mention that sort of thing would break our “no asshats” rule.
I really want my own island. Will you make me insanely rich?
● We’d love to, but we can’t guarantee that.
● What we can guarantee is that we will provide you with the best possible service, and do everything we can to help your book become a success,
● But if you do get that island… can we, like, come visit…?
I’m planning on getting an island, with a hollowed-out volcano full of people in grey boiler suits and with a big laser in it. Can you help me?
● Ah. We see the confusion here. Try heading over to makemeabondvillain.com…