Information for Authors

Hard Limits is currently closed to submissions.

Hard Limits Press is a small press dedicated to novel length works. To submit to us your work must be:

  • 80,000 words or more.
  • Speculative fiction. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal, etc. We DO accept crossed genres as long as the story has some notable speculative element (one of our acquiring types has a current jones for some sci-fi/horror, nudge nudge hint hint).
  • Not previously published. Posted excerpts on a personal blog, etc. don’t count.

Your work should be challenging and different. Whether this means crossed genre or content not normally seen out there in the wide world of publishing, we’re open to it here. Genre conventions are meant to be broken! There is no subject that will get you automatically rejected at Hard Limits. Note, though, that we generally prefer established storytelling styles. We want a new kind of character, some good old fashioned ambiguous morality, a tale that transcends genre that readers just can’t get out of their mind. Hanging too much ornamentation on your prose will, we believe, usually detract from that goal.

Things high on our list:

We love three-dimensional, believable characters and excellent world building most. Show us humanity at its best and worst. We are particularly interested in thoughtful treatments of intersectionality and identity within speculative fiction worlds. While we certainly don’t intend to publish heavy handed morality tales, we do want the novels we acquire to bring a fresh and intelligent perspective to the table. Novels with uncommon protagonists—LGBTQ, people of color, and those from other underrepresented groups—and novels that depict underrepresented cultures are given priority.

Things low on our list:

Euro-centric secondary world fantasy, porn without plot, vampires, zombies

What we don’t publish:

Children’s and young adult books, derivative works (fanfiction), poetry, novels without a speculative/paranormal element. There are many fine publishers of these genres that will be happy to consider your work.

What to send us:

  • A full synopsis of the novel, including the ending.
  • The first three chapters (or approximately 20 pages) of the novel. If we like what we see, we will request a full manuscript.

Nitpicky but necessary details

  • In the subject line of the email, please use the word “Submission” followed by the working title of your novel
  • Please format the name of the document as follows: Title_author name. Documents must be in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format. No other formats will be accepted. When in doubt, go .rtf.
  • Include the following on the cover page of the manuscript:
    • Your legal name AND pen name (if applicable)
    • Your mailing address
    • Your contact phone number
    • Working title, including series name if applicable
    • Word count (approximate is okay)

Standard manuscript submission format is fine. Please note that documents not conforming to the above requirements will not be viewed or accepted.

While we have professional editors and copyeditors on staff, we expect that you have put love and polish into it already.

To submit to Hard Limits Press, you agree that:

  • You own the full rights to the story you wish to publish.
  • You are 18 years of age or over. We sincerely appreciate young authors, but you cannot sign a legally-binding document like a contract if you are a minor.
  • You are willing to sign a contract under these legal conditions as required by U.S. law:
    • You sign it under your legal name. We are happy to publish your story under whatever name you prefer. Your legal name will only be used for contract purposes and nobody will see it but us.
    • You provide a social security number or U.S. tax number (if you are not a U.S. citizen). This is how we pay you royalties.

FAQ

  • We are not an erotica press but we do accept tales with an erotic element. This erotic element can be explicit and pervasive, but it should not be the central feature of the story. That is, the sex should not exist as greater than the plot or as a stand in for the plot. Alternative lifestyles and relationship styles are of special interest to us.
  • We offer both e-book and print versions of our titles. Usually the e-book is released first, with the print edition to follow shortly after.
  • We offer a 60/40 % net royalty split on e-books, with 40% going to the author. The royalty split on print books is 80/20% net, with 20% going to the author.
  • We pride ourselves on being very hands on with and supportive of our authors. We are professional editors and image designers and want to merge that talent with yours.
  • You do NOT need to be agented to submit. However, we are willing to work with agents should you have one.

Please send submissions to hardlimitspress@gmail.com. You will receive email confirmation of your submission within 2-3 business days that we have received your document and the file opens correctly. If you have not received conformation within one week, please send us a note.

Please allow 8-12 weeks for a personal response after confirmation is received. Submissions are considered in the order they are received. Response time may be more or less, depending on the volume of submissions.