Updated DB Publishing Guidelines
(They were needed sooner rather than later.)
Due to the high volume of unprofessional first time authors, we now only accept agented manuscripts or manuscripts from established authors. Manuscripts should be edited for grammar and spelling errors BEFORE submission. A poorly written MS is grounds for rejection no matter how brilliant the subject matter.
Before submitting a MS to DB Publishing, please make sure you agree to the following:
1. You are willing to sign a contract and appropriate tax paperwork. We are a business and must file taxes, and therefore we can only work with authors who will give us a signed W-9 (for US citizens, non-US citizens have another form they fill out) and their REAL name. Yes, you can use a pseudonym to publish, but on the business end of things (i.e. the back end) your legal name must be used.
2. You do not expect to have everything done your way. If that’s what you want (a great deal of creative freedom), you need to self-publish. We do what we can AFFORD with each title we put out. If you are thinking of a book that has illuminated pages, or limited edition hardcovers, or expensive graphic renderings – you need to pay for that yourself. We will not do any of that for a title under 500 pages, from an author we’ve never worked with. It would really need to WOW us for us to invest more than $500, because we need to know we can make that money back.
3. If you are expecting to make more than $1 – $2 per book, DB Publishing is not right for you. Most people write chapbooks (under 100 pages). Our goal is to make AFFORDABLE chapbooks. After expenses (paying the printer and the vendor’s cut) DB Publishing only makes $2-$4 per book. We are usually splitting royalties 50/50 with the author at that $1-2 per unit royalty (as we have to earn back the money we spent to put your book out). Plus, we’re in the business of making a small profit on your book, too. If you find that unconscionable, please go elsewhere.
4. If you are expecting us to hold your hand through the writing process or do your research for you, we are not the publisher for you. We provide editing for grammar, typos, and content, formatting, printing, and some light marketing. We are not in the business of writing the book for you, nor cheering you and providing validation while you write it. Writing is a solitary art. Much like magick.
5. If you don’t want to market yourself, we are not the publisher for you.
6. If you have a lot of demands regarding cover art, require constant sales reporting (more than once a month), or have expectations of making a lot of money, we are not the publisher for you. Most of our chapbooks, the bestselling ones, rarely sell more than 50 units per month. Release months may (or may not) generate up to 100 sales in a month, but usually that’s because the book has a popular keyword in the title (Satan, Lucifer). Sales will eventually even out or taper off. That’s usually how it works.
7. If you want your graphic heavy book in ebook, we may not be the publisher for you. A book has to be fantastic and over 150 pages for us to spend the money on ebook formatting with graphics, which costs us more in production because we have to hire it out.
8. If you are expecting your book to come out immediately, or are impatient and want it released in under 6 months, we may not be the publisher for you. Putting together a book can take time, and it will often take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year for a book to go from acceptance to publication. There is a lot that needs to be done. Cover art, editing, formatting, etc… Not to mention that your book is not the only book on our plate. Our small staff can manage to put out 12 titles in a year and our publishing schedule is planned in one-year increments. We sometimes squeeze in new projects here and there.
Submission email: email@example.com
Please only submit packages for completed books, because if we like your initial submission package, we’ll want to see the full MS right away. If the full MS is not ready, we will reject your submission package. The submission package should include:
- Standard Query Letter including author credentials, publication credits, length of completed manuscript and a description of the work being submitted.
- Full Synopsis with every chapter outlined. No more than five pages, please.
- The first chapter of the book so we can get a feel for the author’s writing style.
IF we are interested, THEN we will ask to see a completed manuscript. Please allow up to four months for a response. Thank you.
Now on to some facts about how we choose what to publish:
1. We want books that are innovative and show a love and deep knowledge of Daemonic Magick and/or Daemonolatry, written by experienced practitioners.
2. If it is poorly written or needs excessive editing or rewriting, it will be rejected.
3. We want practical, straightforward grimoires and books. If it tries too hard to be excessively poetic and takes too long to get to the point, it’s likely not a book we’re interested in. One of my journalism professors gave me a bit of advice many years ago and it’s something I agree with wholeheartedly: If you can’t explain something concisely in the fewest words possible — you don’t know your subject well enough to be writing about it. Don’t get me wrong, we love metaphors and similies as much as the next publisher, but not 150 pages of them. We want to give our readers information, not migraines.
4. Having an alleged family background in Daemonolatry does not give your work more clout. Especially if you tell me you’re a Norse Daemonolater whose family patron is not a Norse divinity. The “story” should at least make sense. If it doesn’t, leave the story out.
5. How an author carries him/herself matters. We will shy away from divas who, the second they get a publishing contract, start acting like they’re Stephen King. Also, your online social media and behavior matters. If you are spewing hateful things, bullying others, talking about making money off of Daemonolatry and Daemonolaters, and being a jerk or playing games with our editors on social media, that will work against you. We want to work with authors who are professional, supportive toward their fellow Daemonolaters, personable, and engaging.
So one of the reasons I tend to be rather successful as an occult publisher is that I run a professional company with professional authors.
As a publisher it amazes me how many first-time occult authors think they’re going to game me and expect that I don’t even know what’s going on in my own company. Umm, we’re SMALL and I talk to my editorial and support staff daily. I also get CC’d on all email correspondence, so… yeah, each hand knows what the other one is doing.
It also surprises me how many young authors want to remain anonymous to me, refuse to fill out the W-9, all while expecting me to pay them. I don’t know if they’re hiding from having to pay taxes, or they’re afraid I’m going to do something nefarious with their social security number. Either way, I can’t pay an author if I don’t have a W9, and if I can’t pay an author, I can’t publish his/her work.
This is why DB Publishing doesn’t come out with more books on Daemonolatry. Because so many of the would-be authors in the field can’t behave professionally, fill out forms like responsible adults, grow up, and rise above the pettiness of online occult bullshit.
Some Don’ts (based on real scenarios people have pulled on us):
- Don’t pretend to be two (or more) people. You will be found out. (We’re Daemonolaters, after all, and have Daemonic guidance ourselves.)
- Don’t lie about your writing experience – let your writing speak for itself. If you tell me you have been a publishing professional for years, but can’t keep your tenses straight, you’ll just make me feel like you’re deceiving me. I hate liars. Honesty will go a lot further with me and my staff. If you say, “I may not write as well as some, but I think I have good content” and we agree — we do have editors who will be willing to help rewrite a MS to professional standards.
- Don’t make up stories about your long family line of witches. I don’t care if you allegedly come from a long line of Daemonolaters.For the sake of DB Publishing, I’m a publisher first and foremost, not a genealogist. I care about good Daemonolatry books, not bloodlines. The older I get, the more true this is.
- Don’t play games with me or my editorial staff.
- Don’t involve me in your drama with your friends, other online occultists, your lover, or complete strangers. It’s unprofessional.
- Don’t underestimate me or my staff. We’re not as dumb as some people seem to think.
- Don’t try to butter me up on FB, only to solicit book ideas to me through PM. That is not the appropriate forum. Use the email address for all inquiries or submissions.
- Don’t use TEXT SPEAK when PM’ing, emailing, or querying. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional writer, *you’re* needs to be spelled out. It’s not, and has never been – *ur*.
I think this about covers it. Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org