Submissions

We publish short story compilations, novels, comics and graphic novels and accept submissions for all of these things. Our focus is on horror, fantasy, modern fantasy, historical fantasy and science fiction and submissions should be sent to submissions@deadstarpublishing.co.uk

Below are our guidelines for artists, authors and teams as well as a breakdown on what we like to see in a submission.

If we decide to take a piece we will issue a contract to all parties who will be involved in the production of a work, and payment is usually made on a royalties system with pay-outs in January and July of each year. We’ve been asked many times over the years so feel it is worth clarifying: we are not a vanity press and will not charge creators to publish their works. For pieces that we choose to publish we cover all overheads including editing, production, distribution and marketing (though with the nature of marketing these days, creators who assist in marketing efforts are always welcome).

For creators that wish to arrange their own events or distribute their works we will make their titles available for purchase at a reduced price – but it is not a condition of publication that creators buy copies of their work.

We read through, and reply, to everything that is sent to us so please bear in mind that it may take some time for us to respond to your submission. We aim to respond within 90 days but during busier periods this can be longer.

General Guidelines

For a complete submissions package start with a 2 line overview. Think of this as an elevator pitch, your sixty seconds to sell the project to us. Grab us and make us want to know more.

Next, give us a synopsis or description of the work. Tell us what happens to who. How, and why. What is your submission? Is it a monthly comic book, a collection of short stories, a novel, a graphic novel? Who is it is aimed at? How close to completion is it? Include the expected word or page count. We also want to know about you (and your team, if you have one); have you been published before? By whom? An A4 page is plenty to cover this.

Remember to include your name and contact details so we can reply.

Finally, the submission itself: follow the guidelines from the sections below and you won’t go far wrong.

If you’re submitting more than 10mb of files at once we would prefer it if they were sent via a service like mailbigfile.com so we can avoid problems that might prevent us opening your email.

Novels, Novellas and Short Stories

To gain an understanding for your style and an appreciation for the story (or stories) you are trying to tell we like to look over the longer of three chapters/short stories or 30,000 words. This will allow us to assess the quality of your writing and also gives us an idea of plot progression.

While we do at times accept single short stories for specific projects, as a rule we prefer to work with complete anthologies or collections. If you only have one story you are welcome to send it to us but we are likely to ask you to resubmit when you have more work to show.

Preferably, your submission will be sent as .docx although we can open most file formats.

Comics and Graphic Novels

At the moment we are more interested in one-shots or graphic novels than ongoing comics. This is because we have found over the past few years that many indie creators struggle to keep up a creative outlay over a sustained period of time and has led to us having to drop several titles from production. As you can imagine this puts quite a drain on our resources as well as frustrating customers who have bought the first issue or two but have been unable to learn the conclusion of stories being told.

If you do want to submit a comics series to us then we ask that you have at least one entire arc complete or nearly complete. We will consider projects at an earlier stage than this, and assist you with advice and networking to facilitate in their development but are unlikely to offer a publication contract until that milestone is reached.

With one-shots and graphic novels we are a little more lenient and will accept pieces at the script stage through to fully finished pieces. As well as the general guidelines above, we like to see the longer of three chapters or 28 pages to assess the quality and style of artwork as well as to gain an understanding of the progression of the story. Our standard comic and graphic novel size is 177mm wide and 266mm tall, with images at a minimum of 300dpi. We have a guide in our Resources section that goes into more technical detail for specifications.

We prefer to work with teams where all roles are already covered, but if you need additional skills to complete your work we recommend checking out our Creatives Database (see below).

Creatives Database

We frequently receive emails asking us to notify people if we need an inker, or a colourist, or a writer or a… you get the idea. We used to have an internal database that we referred to for this, and also used it to match people when asked to recommend someone for a particular role. A while ago, we realised our list of contacts was growing too long for us to effectively maintain it as an internal document – especially for matchmaking – so changed to a publicly viewable opt-in database. This can be accessed through the Resources section of our website.

As well as allowing other creatives to network, we still use this database to find talent when we need certain tasks completed, so if you want to be considered for a certain role you might want to add your name and details to the database.

Other Questions

If you have questions about submissions that we haven’t answered above then email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.