Written by Emily Harstone April 16th, 2020

City Owl Press: Accepting Queries

Updated March 8th, 2024:  Victoria  Strauss at Writer Beware has received and complied a lot of serious author complaints which you can read here. It’s a complex ongoing situation and one we are monitoring.

City Owl Press is a publisher of Adult and New Adult Romance and Speculative Fiction. They publish the following sub genres: Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal, and Sci Fi Romance, as well as Romantic Suspense, Time Travel Romance, Dark Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy.

They are explicitly not interested in work in the dystopian, gaslamp, steampunk, or contemporary fantasy genres.

The publisher was founded in 2014 and initially had some growing pains. You can read the thread about it here. While they still pay on net rather than gross, most of the other complaints have been dealt with. They no longer offer marketing packages (which was always done through a separate submission process), and they have a larger and more experienced staff. You can learn more about the staff here.

They are now also a member of the Romance Writers of America. You can read more about that here.

The covers are very genre, but generally good.

I have not seen their contract so I cannot comment on it. But they are upfront that the royalties are 40% on net for digital editions. After 1,000 units have sold this increases to 50%. They offer four year contracts with six month extensions.

The novels they are interested in are at least 50,000 words in length. They consider novellas that are between 20,000 and 50,000 words.

All unsolicited submissions must be composed of a query and the first ten pages. Manuscripts should be pasted into the body of the email. Formatting is not a concern. The manuscript you are submitting must be complete. Only submit to one editor at a time. They have a response time of under two months. Not all editors are open to submissions, but at least two generally are.

As far as distribution goes they have two different options. One they call “wide” to all retail planforms. They don’t go into further details about it. The other is exclusively digitally published as part of Amazon Kindle Unlimited (KU) program, with paperbacks available for extended distribution through Ingram as well as direct to Amazon.

They also answer some very helpful frequently asked questions if you scroll down on the submission guidelines. They accept previously published work as long as the rights belong to you.

To learn more visit their website here.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsThe 2019 Guide to Manuscript PublishersSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The Authors Publish Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Publishing.

She occasionally teaches a course on manuscript publishing, as well as a course on publishing in literary journals.

To learn more visit their website here.


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