We are open for submissions!
We are OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS for 2021! Please read the following information before submitting:
Welcome to Mooney and Lambert publishing! We are currently open for submissions for a limited time only. We generally do this in the summer, when our publishing calendar is slow(er). Below are the answers to some questions you might have and a link to our submission guidelines.
You will read this same sentence several times on this page but let this be the first time: please follow all submission guidelines for every submission whether you have talked with me about it at some point or not whether in person or online. Please. Failure to follow submission guidelines is the fastest, perhaps most painful, and lastly the easiest to avoid path to rejection. I HATE rejecting good ideas, so PLEASE do not do this to yourself or to me.
Okay, here goes:
We will be open for submissions from now until July 30th. In fact, if you are reading this, we are open to submissions. When we are not accepting submissions, this page will be replaced with the simple text, “Not Open for Submissions at This Time.”
To prevent the above “automated rejection” if you think you might be late submitting, refresh this page in your browser before sending your submission of the “Not Open…” message appears, please contact us before sending us anything. The submissions email you will see on the submission guidelines page will not be monitored regularly when we are not open for submissions, so unless you have told us something is coming, and we have said yes to your idea outside the submission window, it could be a long time before we see and respond to your message.
How would you know how to contact us outside the submissions email listed there? Well, you would have met one of us somewhere, submitted to an agent who has a relationship with us, and received some kind of authorization to submit outside the open submissions period. Otherwise, we will likely not even read your pitch or request until we open for submissions again.
What We’re Looking For
We are looking for books on topics where there is a fandom involved. We have a new website and projects coming up that are focused on books written by fans, for fans. So what does this mean? This means books, memoirs, biography, and topics related to:
- Sports and sports figures past and present, team histories, etc: If it is related to sports of every type, and there are fans involved, we are interested. Specifically football, soccer, baseball, basketball, motorsport, and other sports with multi-national interest.
- Entertainment: Movies, television series, actors and actresses, musicians, comedians, and others who have unique careers, a strong audience and following, or a particularly robust and engaged fan base.
- History: Books centered around events, historical figures, anniversaries of key historical events, unique biography with new insights or viewpoints, and the like are always popular. Just be sure this is not just a revision of something that has already been said. Something new, unique, and that adds value to the discussion of a topic or events is exactly what we are looking for.
- Art: Yes, this is separate from other categories. We have some unique ideas of multi-media tie ins and other things we can do with art, artists, and art books, including photography and other visual arts. You need to wow us with something new here, but you might be surprised where we can take your work.
This is not an exhaustive list by far. If you have an interesting topic that has a large, engaged audience that either you can reach, we can reach, or ideally that we both can reach, that’s really what we are looking for. Especially if there are any events or anniversaries appertaining to your subject matter between 6-18 months from the time of your submissions,ission. We can help you with this.
If you have an idea, feel free to pitch it. Just understand we may or may not be interested. If we like your pitch, that is the start of the submission process (read on for more). As we stated before, even if we LOVE your pitch and potentially even LOVE you, everyone must follow the same submission guidelines.
In light of that, please read what we are not looking for.
What We’re NOT Looking For
We are currently not looking for the following topics. Although we will rarely make exceptions, due to our changing process those will be few and far between. Remember, we are looking for books BY FANS and created FOR FANS. This means that some books, while they may be great, are not a fit for us.
- Memoir, if you are not already well known: We may love your story, and in few cases, we may make exceptions but generally you need to have an audience that we can reach for this to work for both of us. From experience, we cannot build your audience for you, and while sometimes these books get attention, that is the exception not the rule.
- Relationship Advice Books: Again, we may love your idea, your advice and even your story, but we generally cannot take these types of books far without an engaged audience. If you are a relationship expert and have a following in that area, we may be able to make your book work, but we will have a process in place to “prove” this is what your fans want before we accept your book for publication.
- Business and other “advice” books. For these, see the above point. There are literally thousands of these books out there, and we do not want yours to be one of the crowd that never gets noticed. A truly original idea or approach or an already engaged fan base who follows your advice will get you the farthest in this area.
The simple fact is that we have to specialize, and we cannot be all things to all people, so we have to focus on what we do best, which is fan books created by and for fans. Otherwise, your book may not be best for us, and another publisher might be your best choice.
One final thing we are not looking for, at least for now: we are not accepting fiction of any kind. Please do not pitch it, send the full unsolicited, or otherwise give us your fiction. Right now, the answer will be “no” and we will let you know if that changes.
One of the first questions we get asked is, “Do I need an agent?” The answer is both simple and complex, so bear with us. First, the simple answer: “No, you don’t need one. However, you may want one.” Here’s why:
We do accept un-agented submissions, but only unsolicited ones when we are open for submissions, like now. Any other time, we will respond when an agent submits a pitch if we have a relationship with them, and usually, those are based on the agent knowing exactly what we are looking for.
A quick couple of definitions:
- Unsolicited submissions mean we did not meet you at a pitch fest or Bar Con (much more likely), so you saw our open call and submitted your idea to us through the process described in the submission guidelines. (Remember to read and follow them, please).
- Solicited submissions mean we asked for a pitch specifically from you on a particular topic. In other words, we either approached you or if you approached one of us, we said, “Yes, we would be interested in a pitch about that topic.”
- Agented pitches are made by an agent on your behalf, and un-agented submissions are made without the aid of an agent.
Agented submissions are more likely to be accepted for a couple of reasons: first, the agent is selling us on your ability to execute the idea you have. Second, they are likely better at selling than your typical author. Even if you are not good at talking up your idea to a publisher, they can likely do it for you. An agent simply tells me you are “legitimate” as an author, and you are committed to the business side of creating a book.
That is because an agent only makes money if you do, and so they have to believe in your ability to reach your audience as you have told them you can, or they can reach the audience for your book, or we as a publisher can, or better yet, all three. That is what we are aiming for.
Either way, the first step in the door is a PITCH. Send us your idea first, in a standard pitch format. Don’t be worried about giving away too much about your book—we need to know everything to make a smart decision on whether to accept it or not, including who your audience is (more detail on this in those pesky submission guidelines. Please read and follow them. Again, thanks in advance)
If you send an un-agented manuscript, understand we will have a lot of questions for you about business, marketing, and PR. There will be a specific process for taking your idea from pitch to publication. The more familiar you are with these terms, the better.
Of course, if you are a blogger, YouTuber, TikTok champion, or another influencer, you may not need an agent to prove you have an audience, and that you understand marketing and the digital world. We are not saying, “If you don’t have an agent, don’t submit.” We are saying, “If you don’t have an agent, please know what you are doing when you submit, and be professional.”
Again, check out the submission guidelines. Did I say that already?
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
No, this is not the pregnancy handbook, although you may feel some of the same agony. We are writers too, and we know your pain. So we will do our best to respond. The submission guidelines tell you the different responses you might get from us under the submission process. The first thing you will get is an email letting you know we have received your pitch.
If we get a whole lot of pitches at the same time, you will be added to our list. Please don’t follow up until at least six weeks after you have submitted. If we said we got your pitch, we got it, and you will get one of the responses outlined in the submission guidelines. We do our best to give you a reason, rather than a generic rejection if we cannot take on your book.
Unfortunately, there will be a lot of waiting.
The New Model
Why are we looking so specifically for fan books created by fans for fans? Because we have a new place for fans to engage with fans, and their heroes in many cases, opening soon. This will be a place where fans help you create your work, can pre-order your books and related materials, and can prove you have the numbers to ensure your success as an author.
Books will be produced with fan investment and those same fans will get unique perks and offerings as a result. We’ve done everything from Limited Edition posters and prints to apparel, unique art, and even tickets to in-person appearances. Other possible Fan’s Perks include Gallery Exhibitions and Days on Set during filming or even photoshoots. Our contracts have always been author-centric, and our work is fan-centric.
This helps you create a better book, centered around what you know YOUR fans want, and gets them involved as your sales ambassadors right from the start before your book is even released.
We will share more about what this looks like if your work is accepted for a contract. This is one of many ways we will be publishing but will be our primary method going forward.
The Rules (Please read them)
Final note: there are rules we have and follow for every single book we publish:
First, we value diversity. That means we publish books regardless of the writer’s background, sex, race, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, or any other factor. We are about fans, fandom, story, and audience. Those things all transcend anything else.
Second, because we value diversity, if your work contains anything that is discriminatory against any group, whether intentional or unintentional, we will not publish it. It will not be accepted under any circumstance.
Third, your behavior as an author affects us as a publisher, whether you are at a sanctioned event or are on your own. No bullying, intolerance, or other behavior will be tolerated at any time. We take this very seriously. If you have such events in your past, be sure to talk to us about them first, if they can at all be excused. (we’ve all made mistakes).
Finally, as we have mentioned several times, please read and follow the submission guidelines found at this link on our website. You will find formatting guidelines there. Please follow those as well. Creativity will earn you points in your pitch, but not in your formatting when we ask for the full manuscript. Because we know you are going to wow us with your ideas.
Final rule: have fun. This is too tough of an industry to not have fun doing this. Yes, we have guidelines, but most are designed to make this process enjoyable for everyone. We look forward to hearing from you and looking at the amazing things you have to offer.
Write on, and we hope to hear from you soon!