Written by Emily Harstone August 10th, 2023

Monarch Educational Services: Now Accepting Manuscript Queries

Monarch Educational Service’s Publishing arm was founded in 2021 and bills themselves as a “boutique publishing house” and a “full-service traditional publishing company,” even though the name “educational services” implies otherwise. They focus on publishing work for middle grade readers and young adults. They also recently started an imprint, Caterpillar, that is focused on publishing books for younger readers, including picture books and early chapter books.

They focus on only publishing clean reads, and  they have a detailed clean reads policy you can download here.

Since I initially wrote this review in June (it was not previously published, only scheduled), they’ve updated and streamlined the website and many of the initial question marks the website raised have since been resolved. The website as a whole is more appealing visually and easier to navigate with a few lingering issues. One of them is that while they have published a fair number of books, including some that have sold well, these are not actually listed in their bookshop. Instead these books are only listed on the individual authors’ pages (which you can access via a link in the upper left hand corner of the website) and some are featured on the main page of the website.

They are a small company that involves a number of family members, and based on their about us page, most of the staff has minimal publishing industry experience. On their submission guidelines page, they list only the reading preferences of the family members that make up the staff, this is under the sub-heading “our favorite reads.”.

They used to have information on their website that implied that they started out as a vanity press, but that information has been removed as part of the website re-design. They now call themselves “a full-service traditional publishing company,” in several places on the site, and the definition of traditional publishing companies are ones that do not charge.

The main landing page focuses on promoting their authors and books, which is a good sign. It’s a little hard to determine a timeline on the website, other than the fact that they were founded in 2021 and a lot of the events they talk about don’t have clear dates attached, also a lot of links just go to images, rather than opportunities to buy books. But they are still actively releasing books and they are trying to recruit subscribers and promote their books, which is a good sign.

Their covers really vary from professional and appealing to not very professional or appealing. Also, and I hesitate to bring this up, because I myself often make minor mistakes when it comes to grammar and spelling, but I noticed a number of minor mistakes in prominent places across their site.

Some of their books such as a A Study in Terminal by Kara Linaburg have sold fairly well for a small press, and have a fair amount of engagement on social media, etc. Although when I’m on the Monarch site looking at the book, it’s hard to find a way to buy it. They have a lot of good promotional material for it, but it’s presented in a way that is a little overwhelming, and confusing. When I first landed on the page I thought it had just been released. You can see their page for the book here.

I do not think they have a distributor beyond Ingram, but don’t have detailed information to that end. They are currently open to submissions in the following areas for middle grade and young adult books unless otherwise noted:

  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Horror Comedy
  • Sweet Romance
  • Coming-of-Age
  • Novels in Verse
  • Historical Fiction
  • Children’s Early Readers
  • Children’s Chapter Books
  • *Picture Book Submissions – Only submit to Caterpillar Books for picture books if you are also an illustrator and will illustrate your work.

To learn more, please visit their website here. Please only submit if you think your work would be a good fit, and they would be a good fit for you.

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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