Written by Emily Harstone July 27th, 2023

Golden Storyline Books: Now Accepting Manuscript Queries

UPDATED September 12th, 2023: Please read the September 3rd update for further context. They have not replied to our email, sent in late August asking for an update about why they legally dissolved their company. Since then they have continued to offer contracts to submitting authors. This is very unusual. I’d proceed with caution if at all.
UPDATED September 3rd, 2023: It was brought to our attention that there is a posting here, that indicates the company was dissolved on June 6th 2023 (the original review was written in May, and published in July), which is particularly surprising because, we’ve heard from several people that they’ve continued to offer standard contracts for books. We reached out to the publisher a week ago and still have not heard back from them.

This small press bills itself as “is an independent traditional publisher with an ethos that matches our origins.” They are open to publish a wide range of nonfiction and fiction books including, “Mystery/Thriller, Crime Fiction, Sci-fi/ Fantasy, Young Adult, Woman’s Fiction, Historical Fiction and Suspense/ Psychological.”  They list memoir among the many nonfiction genres they are open to.

Based on the 34 books currently listed on their site, they very much seem to generally favor thrillers and fantasies with a few exceptions. This could be interpreted as a good sign that they’ve discovered what their audience is most interested in. I couldn’t really see examples of young adult or woman’s fiction listed here, and very little nonfiction.

Their covers vary from passable to extremely dated. They do publish work in paperback as well as digital editions, although they appear to publish digital editions first.

Their website does a fairly good job at focusing in on the more recent publications on the landing page, which very much seems focused on readers over writers, which is a good sign. Although their featured recent publications stretch back almost three years. Although  one of the books I looked into further was listed on the site as being published in November 2022 and on Amazon it’s listed as being published on Jan 15th 2023, so they could be publishing even more books per year than it initially appears.

On their about page, and elsewhere on the site, they talk about a global distribution network and promotion using vague language, with no actual proof or details. There are no named distributors, and they don’t have a list of publications that have featured reviews of their authors, etc. More telling than that is the level of attention/engagement their books seem to receive. Most of their books have between 1-6 users rank it by clicking on the Amazon stars, and between 0-3  actual reviews.

A lot of the pages that should contain substantial information — like the publishing process one, don’t disclose helpful information about what their publishing process is.  The about page talks a lot about general ideas, and not when they were founded and who was involved. It’s hard to know much about the staff/editorial process based on what they disclose, and the only name I managed to track down in connection to the press was the managing editor, David MacDonald, although I couldn’t find out anything more about him or his experience.

Having seen a contract, thanks to an anonymous source, I can confirm that the royalties are based off  of net (never as ideal as gross but standard for small presses) and that they are asking for a significant percentage of adaptation rights, which for me sets off some warning bells.

This is the sort of small press that seems to be the best fit for authors who have had a hard time finding an agent or larger traditional publisher, who also don’t want to deal with the logistics of self publishing,

To learn more about 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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