Curiosity Quills Press is a publisher of hard-hitting dark sci-fi, speculative fiction, and paranormal works aimed at adults, young adults, and new adults.

We provide our authors with a full-service publishing experience, marketing support, and technical know-how, while ensuring that these literary marauders are truly the cream of the crop through a highly selective acquisition process.

What We’re Looking For

  • Thought-provoking, mind-twisting rollercoasters – challenge our mind, turn our world upside down, and make us question. Those are the makings of a true literary marauder.
  • Serialization Potential – If your work was made with serialization in mind, we want to hear from you. If not – that’s okay! We still want to hear from you.
  • Agented submission are not required, but will receive precedence over unagented ones.
  • Length Guidelines: Keep in mind, these are just guidelines – we DO make exceptions.
    • Novellas: 15k-45k words
    • Young Adult: 45k to 75k words
    • New Adult / Upper YA Novels: 60k-100k words
    • Adult Novels: 70k-120k words

And if you’re looking for more details, please check out what our Acquisitions Editors are looking for, so you know if your manuscript is more likely to hit the spot!

Favored Genres

  • Fantasy / Dark Fantasy Horror
  • Speculative Fiction / Dark Sci-Fi
  • Paranormal and Urban Fantasy
  • Steampunk / Neo-Victorian
  • Mystery / Crime Thrillers
  • Contemporary Romance & Women’s Fiction
  • Upper Middle Grade*
  • New Adult / Upper YA*
  • Young Adult*
  • Graphic Novels*
* In above genres.

Publishing Terms (as of July, 2013)

  • eBook Royalty*: 50%
  • Print Royalty*: 30%
  • Monthly Payouts
  • 5 Free Print Copies
  • 50% Author Discount
  • Contract Term: 60 months

* All royalties are net of returns and market commissions.


Submission Instructions

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please complete our online query form to automatically direct your submission to the appropriate acquisitions editors.

Note: Unless we request a revise and resubmit, full manuscript rejections are final. 

Online Query Form

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I get paid?

Our payment schedule is as follows, for each month’s royalties being paid on the following dates:

Jan -> Apr 30                      Feb -> May 31                    Mar -> Jun 30                     Apr -> Jul 31                       May -> Aug 31
Jun -> Sep 30                      Jul -> Oct 31                       Aug -> Nov 30                    Sep -> Dec 31                     Oct -> Jan 30
Nov -> Feb 28/29                              Dec -> Mar 31

Do I have to pay anything?

Absolutely not. We are a publishing house, not a vanity press or service provider. You, the author, are our product, and we invest in helping your book reach its audience.

RUN – don’t walk – from any publishing venture that demands money upfront.

What happens to my manuscript after I submit it?

Before a manuscript is officially acquired, it is read by a member of our acquisitions team, who proposes a checklist of suggestions according to our internal Fault Matrix.

If the suggestions are material, our procedure is to request a revise & resubmit. If the suggestions are moderate to minor, the manuscript can proceed to signing.

We undertake to respond to each query within a week, however, the actual reading time may vary based on the size of our “slush pile”.

How long before my book goes to market?

Before a manuscript goes to market, it must proceed through several critical stages, all of which take time:

  1. Beta Reading – before a manuscript proceeds to subsequent production stages, our in-house Beta Reader will help reconcile the suggestions made by our acquisitions team, as well as to ensure compliance with our style guide.
  2. Editing – each manuscript receives two stages of edits, and after each stage, the author must work on and submit revisions.
  3. Proofreading – after the dust settles and we have a “final” version of the manuscript on our hands, we submit it to a dedicated proofreader, who helps ensure that no leftover issues remain.
  4. Illustration – considering that this is the first thing that strikes a reader’s eye, a gorgeous front and rear cover are designed for the book, as well as any requisite interior fleurons and decorations.
  5. Packaging – the book is packaged into a DRM-free EPUB format, from where it is converted to Mobi and other eBook formats. The print-ready interior is finalized and used to generate review galley PDFs for the author and our marketing team.
  6. Scheduling – yes, even after a manuscript is edited, illustrated, and packaged, it might still sit on the shelf for a time, waiting for its official release date. We aim to release each manuscript as closely to the completion of the above stages as possible.

How much creative control will I maintain over my cover and manuscript?

While we make every effort to listen and take your opinions into consideration, please remember that you are publishing with us to take advantage of our team’s experience, reach, and perspective. We want your book to sell – and sell well.

Having said that, no material changes to your manuscript will be made without your consent. The reverse is also true – we will not proceed to scheduling until we are satisfied that we are giving your manuscript the best fighting chance on this busy and competitive market.

For covers, our standard contract includes a cover worksheet that lets you doodle your thoughts, to be provided directly to the illustrator. They will do their best to create a cover that you love – and one that will sell well – with critical input from our marketing team.

Will my book be in print or only eBook formats?

It depends on the length. If your manuscript is under 45,000 words, it will be difficult to justify going to print. However, if we can put your shorter manuscript into an anthology, it will certainly be printed.

For all other manuscripts, a print edition is guaranteed.

Do print books and eBooks launch at the same time?

Though we try to aim our releases for the same general point in time, the complexity of distributing a print title usually precludes an exactly simultaneous launch. However, having print and eBooks launch during the same week is expected and commonplace.

How can I help market my book?

If you are asking this question, you are already ahead of the game. The fact is – a publishing house is NOT your publicist. We do rely on the help of our authors – both collectively and individually – to promote themselves and the CQ brand.

Conferences, writer events, and social media presence are all imminently useful in getting your book before the readers’ eyes. Our marketing team will do its best to guide you in the direction suited for your manuscript and writing style.

As we make heavy use of social media to promote our titles, enlisting your help to share, reshare, like, upvote, and otherwise spread the word about your own manuscript (if not that of your fellow authors) can make the difference between a floundering title and a potential bestseller.

Do I get any review or author copies?

Yes, our authors receive a standard package of 5 free print copies and an unlimited number of eBook copies in any of our supported formats, for review purposes. For subsequent physical book orders, we provide a 50% author discount. Author pays shipping.

Physical copies given away via contests, or via reviewer request are covered by us, the publisher.

Will I have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

No, we do not believe in forcing authors to keep secrets for us. We strive to be as transparent and straightforward as possible.

Can I abandon my contract early?

The purpose of a contract is to outline the term during which a publisher has the right to sell and profit from your book. But we do want to offer authors a way to bail if the relationship is not working out – if both parties cannot fire on all cylinders, it’s better to part ways.

This is why the last week of July of each year is our “Escape Clause” week. Authors may request an early termination of their contract, with the understanding that they will have to return any outstanding advanced royalties and defray our costs of production (we never request an author pay for marketing expenses).

What do we mean by ‘costs of production’? Very simple: the amount we spent on cover design, editing, proofreading, and setup fees incurred.

Most publishers don't talk about such things publicly. Why are you different?

We believe that being transparent is the best way to protect the interests of the author – and the publisher. After all, these questions WILL be asked eventually, so why not get them out of the way before you choose to submit to us?

The fewer rude surprises a new author is in for, the smoother his or her career will be down the line. And if we can save the world from one more bitter, jaded author – it’s an FAQ page well done.