Written by Emily Harstone December 28th, 2023

Brain Jar Press: Accepting Manuscript Queries

Brain Jar Press is a Brisbane-based publisher focused on publishing science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and crime fiction, of various lengths. They also are open to submissions as well as non-fiction works that can be tied to those genres. As a digital first press, the bulk of the books they sell are eBooks, but they do offer print-on-demand copies of some work.

They publish a maximum of 20 books a year.

They publish chapbook-length work that is between 4,000 and 10,00 words, novellas which are between 10,000 and 40,000 words, and short novels that are no longer than 60,000 words, they are not interested in work that is longer that. They are also interested in nonfiction about writing or the genres mentioned above – they say ask yourself the question “would a relatively left-wing geek who enjoys genre fiction enjoy this?”, and if the answer is yes, it may be worth submitting to them. If the answer is no, you should probably not submit work to them.

They do not pay advances but say they pay a slightly higher than average royalty rate. I do not know details beyond that.

Their website is well organized and their covers are generally terrific and very genre-appropriate. They tend to publish multiple books by the same author, which is also a good sign.

They do not have distribution beyond Ingram, and are upfront that most of their sales take place through their website, in person, or elsewhere online. They do have an international following online, according to their website.

They have specific submission guidelines that you have to follow. They ask that if you are submitting to established lines, like Writer Chaps, please use the series name as part of the submission. It’s a very good idea to spend time in their shop first, to figure this out. With small presses you can learn so much about fit in general by doing this.

All submissions must be made via email and include a query letter that covers specific information outlined on their site, as well as a two to five page book synopsis and the first four chapters or the first 10,000 words, whichever comes first. They have additional notes on their submission guidelines, please follow all of them carefully.

They accept previously published work as long as the rights belong to the author. They have specific guidelines in terms of that. They try to respond as quickly as possible.

Please only submit to them if you feel like your project is a good fit. To read their submission guidelines, go 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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