Mooney and Lambert Submission Guidelines
Welcome to our submission guidelines page! We’re going to keep this fairly simple for both agents and authors because we want your stories. Well, not all of them, so please read on.
Mooney and Lambert is a non-fiction publisher. We work with both agented and un-agented authors with manuscripts in the entertainment, sports, history, and fandom categories. For example, if you are a well-known (or even moderately known) actor, sports figure, musician, magician, comedian, or entertainer of some sort, we may be interested in your story. We are also interested in books that are related to some sort of fandom: think Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones (except for that awful last season), sports teams, movies that have a cult following, and more. (The Big Lebowski, for example)
Please DO NOT send us your fiction manuscript at this time. We are NOT publishing fiction, so if you have written My Little Pony fan-fic, for example, although there is a fandom and a following, your biography of Twilight Sparkle is likely not a fit for us. (Besides, it has already been done. See the image to the right, courtesy of IDW Publishing).
In fact, DO NOT send your full manuscript without you (or your agent) sending us a pitch, a synopsis, and a few sample chapters. If your book is not complete, you can still pitch it, but you must include a completion deadline you will meet, and often we will not offer contracts on spec. In short, we want to see a manuscript before we send you a contract offer.
We will be offering two different contract options. We also offer author services if you wish to retain the rights to your work and self-publish. However, the submission guidelines are identical no matter what path you choose with us. Be sure you READ THE PATHS TO PUBLICATION OPTIONS carefully before you continue on this page. If you click this link, the explanation will open in a new tab. If you’ve already read about them, and that is how you got to this page, keep reading.
Your pitch should be a synopsis of your book that is complete. It should tell us everything about your work: don’t worry about spoilers here. We need to know your story or idea completely, so we can evaluate if we want to look at your full manuscript. If you have an agent, they can help you with this, and it is a good reason to have one. Most of the books we accept for publication will be agented. If you don’t have one, we can help you find one. (That’s a link, click on it to learn more)
Pitches need to be under 1500 words. If you can’t explain your book that briefly, you don’t know it well enough. I know writing pitches is hard. Do it anyway and do it well. It is your first contact with us.
Please include your pitch in the body of your email—just copy and paste it there. When it is time for you to send your manuscript, we will provide you with an upload link to the cloud—we don’t want anyone sending us attachments that might be corrupted, so we are very strict about this. If you send a pitch attached to an email, it will be DELETED, and your submission will be rejected. An important part of working with editors is that you need to be able to follow directions.
Tell Us About You
Please include links to your social media profiles—wherever they are—and preferably your website. Don’t have one? Well, that could be a problem. You see, to pique our interest, either you or your topic needs to have an audience, and you need a way to reach that audience. If you can’t reach them, unless we see a way we may be able to market to them with our resources, we can’t accept your book.
In fact, one of the most important things you can bring to the table, besides a well written and correctly formatted book, is an audience. If you have not determined who your ideal audience is, now would be a great time to do that. Show us that you are connected to fans or fandom, and we are much more likely to be able to support you and your story.
Submission is a Process
We will respond to your submission one of three ways:
- We will reject it. We will try our best to give you a reason to do that, but we can’t always. Don’t be discouraged. It may be that your project is not right for us right now. If there are things about your pitch you can work on, we will try to tell you what they are.
- We will ask for the first three chapters. This means we are interested, but we want to see some of your writing on this topic. Below, you will find a link to the formatting guidelines. Please follow them, even if we have not asked for the full. We want to see that you can submit properly and follow our guidelines.
- We may request the full manuscript. Great job, you’ve done something to pique our interest, enough we want to see if you have the chops to carry your idea through an entire book. Please follow the submission formatting and guidelines before you upload your files.
Again, please. I hate rejecting a good story because of bad formatting, but we just have to be firm on this to be fair. If you are confused, email and ask, or hire a freelancer to format your manuscript for you. Again, please. When I worked for another publisher, this was a common reason for rejection, and it often broke my heart. However, you have to make this process as easy on us and our editors as possible.
Please, no simultaneous submissions: if you are pitching an idea to us, make sure it is meant for us. Once we request the full manuscript, we fully expect that you don’t have outstanding offers from other publishers you have not told us about. Please be courteous until we have made a final decision on your book before submitting it elsewhere. While you might think the term “bidding war” is a dream come true, it might become a nightmare when we talk with the other publisher, and we both make similar decisions as a result.
This is very important to us as you can tell by the previous points. If you struggle with formatting, please get help before you send your manuscript. You must follow the Shunn format at this link. Use the modern manuscript format, please.
No fancy fonts. No odd stuff. Just a straight Microsoft Word file that follows those guidelines. Please only send manuscripts digitally, not in paper format. I won’t read those either. All of our editing is done digitally, so we don’t accept mailed submissions.
If we accept your manuscript, we will ask you to check a box on your contract that says you understand how to use review and track changes in Word. Make sure you actually do. This is how we do edits. We currently do not edit in Google Docs under normal circumstances. The professional standard for authors and editors is Word. Here is the link to a tutorial should you need one, and you can always reach out during the editing process if you need more guidance.
Also, please make sure your manuscript has at least been proofread and edited by one person who is not you or related to you or use software like ProWriting Aid or Autocrit to improve your manuscript. Please do not rely on Grammarly or the spell checker in word. Preferably, hire a professional editor or proofer to do this for you. If your manuscript is poorly written or edited, that can also cause rejection or at the very least us sending it back to you to be revised.
If you plan to include material which you do not hold the copyright to, including images, maps, photos, or text, you must own the copyright to that material or obtain the permissions yourself. By submitting such material to us, should we request a full manuscript from you, you are essentially telling us you have the rights to everything you have submitted. If you do not have those rights, don’t submit.
It’s important for you as an author to understand that if you submit material that falls under copyright to someone else, and assure us that you have such rights and you don’t, any legal action can (and will) be taken against you personally by the rights holder. We don’t want that to happen, and neither do you. Please keep this in mind even when submitting your first few chapters.
If we decide to accept your book, you will be sent a contract. Most of the terms in the contract are not negotiable—we try to be very author centric in what we offer you, and we try to be better than most small or traditional presses. Feel free to ask questions, and you can certainly ask for certain conditions, just understand we may not budge on them.
The reason is simple: we as a publisher need to be profitable, otherwise we will not be able to help other authors going forward. Our contract is pretty standard, and if you work gets accepted into one of our paths to publication, your specific contract will be discussed at that time.
There is a lot of information here: but following these guidelines is vital to your continued success and ours. When you are ready to submit, please email us at [email protected] with Pitch in the subject line.
Good luck! We look forward to reading your story!