Written by Emily Harstone October 19th, 2023

Orbit Works: Open to Direct Submissions

Orbit Works was founded in April 2023, as a new imprint of Hachette/Orbit that is focused on digital publishing. This includes both eBooks and audiobooks. You can read the PR statement about the imprint here. It is led by Orbit Executive Editor Brit Hvide and Editor Stephanie Clark. Orbit Works, like Orbit, is based out of New York. They are open to both agented and unageneted submissions. Orbit is only open to agented submissions and was founded in 2007 to focus on publishing science fiction and fantasy. They have one other imprint, called Redhook. They have published many well- regarded, bestselling, and award-winning books, in terms of science fiction and fantasy.

Because this imprint is so new, it is hard for me to get any feel if their identity will become separate at all from Orbit as a whole. Their imprint page, as it is now, is very focused on Orbits reputation and the books they’ve published, so I do believe they are seeking books along the same lines.

Orbit Works will publish every author in both eBook and audiobook format. They stress that that their audiobooks are “produced by the award-winning Hachette Book Group audio team.”

They say that when possible, the book will be available in print through their print-on-demand program. It’s a little confusing, because print-on-demand books are most often not distributed to bookstores, and on their website they also say “Our global distribution channels and relationships with major retailers will ensure your book is available to readers everywhere in the world. And with regular metadata updates, your book will always be presented in the best way, and at the right price.” I’m assuming that they are only talking about this in terms of digital stores/availability. It’s also not clear which books will be selected for the print-on- demand program.

One word of caution, is that while Hachette is one of the big five publishers, and Orbit is one of their major imprints, in my experience, digital imprints of the big 5 that are open to direct submissions tend to not last very long at all. Which isn’t to say that it is a risk to go with them, if they accept your book and you sign a contract with them, they will publish it, and if the imprint closes, it in all likelihood will be absorbed in Orbit and your book will continue to be published. But as a reviewer of manuscript publishers, I would not be surprised if I had to mark this imprint as closed within a few years. For a brief period 6 years back, I had a list of over 10 digital imprints of the big 5 that were open to direct submissions, and not one of them is still open.

I would also like to add that if Orbit Works expresses interest in your work, you should try to find an agent at that point to negotiate on your behalf. Digital imprints of major presses sometimes take advantage of unagented authors, and if you have found a publisher already, agents are often happy to represent your work, even with a limited timeline.

That being said, their eBook royalty rate is 50% of net revenue and the audiobook royalty rate is 25% of net because of the production costs.

They are not open to AI-written submissions and they try to respond to all submissions within three months.

To learn more, go here. Please read their guidelines carefully before submitting.

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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