Written by Emily Harstone February 8th, 2024

Black Beacon Books: Now Accepting Manuscript Submissions

Black Beacon Books is a small press that was established in 2013. It was founded in Australia, but since then has moved to Brittany, France. They publish mysteries, suspense, horror, and post-apocalyptic fiction. They have a Patreon, and regularly publish anthologies. In fact, they have two open calls for anthologies right now which you can learn more about here.

Currently they are only open to manuscript submissions that fall into the rather specific sub-genre of fair-play mystery. On their site they define this genre as “featuring a private investigator or other non-police protagonist. We love traditional mystery puzzles, which means you need to make the reader play along. There will be an original protagonist, a gripping mystery, a limited range of suspects, clues and red herrings and foreshadowing, and we won’t know who the culprit is until the final chapter/s. You get the picture right? We’re talking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and John Dickson Carr here. Our mystery titles will give you an idea of what we like. We particularly like a clever locked-room mystery and mysteries in which a seemingly supernatural agent is logically explained.”

You can see their full manuscript submission guidelines here, but please note that they make it clear on this page that they are only currently open to the genre of Fair-play mysteries which I mentioned earlier. 

It is worth noting is that they’ve published a lot of books by the editor, Cameron Trost, although a lot of smaller genre presses have started out that way.

They ask that submissions be between “50,000 to 90,000” words. They really stress to submit “Fully edited and polished manuscripts,” which usually means they aren’t going to do another round of edits. This is not generally a great sign, but at least they are upfront about it.

They say they pay 50% royalties but don’t specify if it is off gross or net, but based on this breakdown it appears to be off net: “This percentage changes according to how the book is sold, but for a $3.99 Kindle book sold via Amazon USA (the majority of our sales), this will be roughly 70c, and for most other markets it’s twice that at $1.40. Royalties to be paid quarterly.”

They also state: “Please be aware that your book will be featured in the occasional 24/48-hour free ebook promotion because this generally leads to increased paid purchases immediately afterwards.”

They provide authors with 10 print copies of their own book.

Their covers are generally OK, but based on Amazon Reviews and Goodreads, not many copies of their books or anthologies have been responded to in terms of ratings or reviews. This is usually a pretty good indicator that they have not sold well, particularly because they disclose on the site that they sell the most books via the Kindle platform. The books they publish are also available on Kindle Unlimited.

You can see their catalogue here to get a better feel for it.

To learn more about submissions, you can go here and here.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2023 Guide to Manuscript Publishers. She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.


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