Dark Moon Books

Following are the submission guidelines for submitting manuscripts to Dark Moon Books. Remember, no science fiction or fantasy please. We are looking for well-written solid material with a beginning, a middle and an end. Good, solid characters are very important. If you have any questions that aren't answered below, please contact us. COntact information is shown below. Submissions are closed until early 2011.

 Dark Moon Books Submission Guidelines

What types of work does Dark Moon Books accept?

We are currently only accepting queries for novel length books. Subject matter must be of the horror genre. No science fiction, fantasy or slasher style work. Violence should be in proportion to the style of the manuscript and not just thrown in for shock value. The same can be said for gratuitous sex and foul language. Everything has its place and good writing expresses that.

What is Dark Moon’s submission process?

We accept queries by e-mail and snail mail. We prefer e-mail as it shortens the process. Provide a good cover letter letting us know a bit about you, any previous publication credits and a synopsis of your book. This should all be included in the main body of your e-mail. Please attach the first three (3) chapters of your book in either Word or Rich Text format. We usually respond to your query within 2-3 days and will  inform you within 30 days (usually shorter) on whether or not we want to see your entire manuscript. Once we have received your complete manuscript, you will hear from us in one form or another within 60 days (usually shorter) on whether we want to proceed. At that time we will either offer you a contract to publish or decline your work.

Does Dark Moon Books pay author advances?

There are cases where the author will be paid an advance, but that is an exception to the norm. Established authors are usually the exception to this rule.

What are Dark Moon’s standard royalty rates?

Although we do not have a standard rate that covers 100% of our clientele, our usual royalty fee to our authors ranges from 25%-30%. You will find that is substantially more than most publishing companies. Royalties are based on the cover price of the book. Royalties are paid on all sales except author discount copies which, of course, are already discounted at 40% of cover price. We determine royalties based on the book’s retail price, our printing costs and the discount given to resellers. Once printing cost and the discounts are subtracted from the retail price, we split profit 50-50 with authors. (Remember all editing, cover design and promotional costs are covered by Dark Moon Books and Stony Meadow Publishing, our parent company.)

When are royalties paid?

Royalties are paid on a quarterly basis. Payments are sent within 90 days of the end of each calendar quarter (March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and  December 31st). Books are not considered sold, and therefore, royalties not be paid until payment is actually received by Dark Moon Books This is because we also have to wait for our payments from fulfillment companies and resellers.

Will I receive royalty statements?

Yes, royalty statements are also sent out quarterly detailing your sales for that 3-month period. Remember, this royalty statement will not match the enclosed royalty check because of the 90 day delay in receiving funds from resellers.

Do I have to pay any fees to have my book published by Dark Moon Books?

Authors do not pay Dark Moon Books fees for any part of the process. (And you should avoid any publisher that requires a fee of any sort from the author.)

How about cover artwork for my book?

Once again, there is no charge for cover artwork to the author. We use several independent sources for our cover art. Authors, however, are free to submit artwork created by them or for them if they so desire. Final cover selection is left to the discretion of the publisher. Cover artwork supplied by the author is the property of the publisher until the publishing contract is terminated. At that time, author-supplied art is returned and not used by Dark Moon Books at any point in the future. Artwork commissioned by Dark Moon Books remains the property of Dark Moon Books even after termination of the publishing contract although artwork may be purchased outright at that time.

Am I required to purchase copies of my book?

Dark Moon Books never requires authors to purchase copies of their book. Upon publication, one free copy is supplied to the author. Subsequent purchases can be made at a 40% discount off cover price. (Royalties, of course, are not paid on discount purchases.) Author pays shipping and handling fees which are determined at time of purchase based on quantities and weight. Payment must be made when the order is placed. Once payment is received, the order will be processed and your books will be shipped.

Will Dark Moon Books edit my manuscript?

All books need to go through an editing process. Our staff will never make major changes to your book without prior consent. We will edit your book  and send you a ‘redlined’ copy in Word for your final approval. If at this time if you feel you wish to terminate your contract with Dark Moon Books, this will be your chance to do so before printing begins. Most authors, however, are very happy with our editing process. We have over 20 years of experience in the publishing and editing business. As stated earlier, there are no charges associated with the editing process.

What final format will my book take?

All of our publications are soft cover versions. (Hard cover versions are usually not profitable unless you are a major author with a major publishing company.) Book size will usually be either 5x8 or 6x9. All formatting is done in-house with a variety of programs including Quark XPress, Adobe Photo Shop, Paint Shop Pro, Logo Creator and a PDF creator.

Where will my book be available?

All Dark Moon Books titles are available for ordering through Ingram in both the United States and Great Britain. Titles all appear in Ingram’s catalog which is distributed to over 20,000 bookstores and libraries in the United States and Canada. Your book will be mostly available, however, at online bookstores. We have had little success with brick and mortar bookstores, however, as their return rates allow very little room for successful sales. Your book, however, will always be available through brick and mortar stores as it will always be listed in Ingram’s catalog.

Will my title be available at Amazon?

Very likely. You will also see it available at web sites for Barnes And Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Powell’s, Alibris and many others. Although there is never a guarantee that your book will appear at Amazon and these other internet stores, we have never had a title that didn’t appear in each and every one of them,

How many copies of my  book can I expect to sell?

The success of your book is highly dependent upon the author’s efforts. While Dark Moon Books will make your book available to the public, promote it on our website and use a variety of promotional tools to ensure its success, it is ultimately up to the author to promote book sales. Every author should have their own web site. (It’s an easy process and we’ll even help you along in that area. It’s also very inexpensive.) But its important for the author to blow his own horn, do book signings, send out their own review copies (check with us first so you don’t duplicate our own efforts) and promote their book by any means possible. We can recommend several books to help in this area.

Can libraries order copies of my book?

Yes. Libraries can order directly from Dark Moon Books. The book will also be available through Baker & Taylor, the major library distributor in the United States.

How is the cover price of my book determined?

Your cover price will depend on several factors including average retail price for books in this genre and the number of pages.

What is a good length for my book?

You are the author and ultimately set the length for your book, but we recommend a book length between 200-300 pages. (Remember, this is the finished book size and not the number of pages in your word processing file. We will give you a rough estimate of the number of pages your manuscript will occupy upon acceptance of your book and make any recommended changes at that time.)

Who owns the rights to my book?

As author, you own the rights to your work. However, during the contract period entered into with Dark Moon Books, you have licensed your book exclusively to us and do not have the right to sell your book to another publisher unless authorized by Dark Moon Books. As part of the publishing contract you grant Dark Moon Books the right to print, distribute, promote and sell your book for a specific length of time, which can be extended for as long as you want.

What is the standard length of your author contract?

Authors are asked to sign a one year deal with Dark Moon Books. The contract is automatically renewed annually unless the author requests otherwise. If an author would like to terminate his contract before the renewal deadline he can work out a termination fee at that time. We are reasonable in determining this fee, but you must remember, we have a vested interest in your title once a contract is signed and certain expenses are already involved.

What about the copyright?

You automatically asserted copyright ownership when you wrote your book. Registering with the US Congress Copyright Office, which records this ownership more formally, gives you better recourse in case of an infringement question, but you own the copyright regardless. It is the author's responsibility to apply for the copyright of their book. Registering your book with the US Copyright Office involves providing a fee (currently $30.00 USD) and requires you to supply two (2) copies of the best edition of your book to them. The copyright certificate will be in your name and will be sent to you.

What about an ISBN?

Dark Moon Books provides your ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for your book. An ISBN is required by all book sales channels and bookstores to track and order your books. Once again, Dark Moon Books covers the cost involved in this process. If, however, you request a withdrawal of your book from our library, you will need a new ISBN if you publish elsewhere.

What if I get an offer from another publisher?

Once the initial period of your publishing contract ends, you are free to enter into any other agreements with whomever you wish. However, other publishers may ask you to sever your agreement with Dark Moon Books and grant them exclusive rights. This can only be done once you have fulfilled your obligations under the contract with Dark Moon Books. If you have an offer from another publisher, that company may offer a quit claim buy-out to Dark Moon Books to receive the rights to your work. We will consider any such offer and always strives to achieve the maximum benefit for our authors. We spend a considerable amount of time and money getting your book into print, commissioning cover artwork, and getting your book into the sales system and book catalogs. A fair return on our investment is all we seek.

 Dark Moon Books, an imprint of Stony Meadow Publishing, makes no guarantee that the above statements are up-to-date. While we make every effort to update this information on a regular basis, we ask that you please contact us to verify any of these statements or any other questions you may have.




Dark Moon Books will re-open for submissions in March 2011 for horror novels, novellas and graphic novels. Submission guidelines are available here.



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Contact Information:


Stony Meadow Publishing

3412 Imperial Palm Drive

Largo Beach, FL 33771








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