Grendel Press is accepting novel submissions that fit into our chosen genres of Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Romance.

We accept queries for completed manuscripts only. Please do not submit a work in progress. We will consider series on a case-by-case basis.
We are accepting novellas and novels from 25,000 to 120,000 words. 

Please read the full submission guidelines for instructions on how to submit your book and allow up to 16 weeks for a reply. Our staff works with anthology submissions too, so time is precious. We’ll do our best. If you’ve not heard by then, please feel free to give us a friendly nudge.


Advances and royalties depend on your contract type. We want to be able to represent as many books as we can within our budget.
As such, we offer two kinds of contracts at this time. 

Traditional – Author Advance (2-3 per year)

The author advance rewards the author with a book advance based on the word count as listed below. We provide your book cover, editing, typesetting, and marketing at no cost to you, and royalties begin paying as soon as your advance has been earned out.

Advance Chart
25,000 to 49,000 words = $1500.00 USD
50,000 to 74,000 words = $2500.00 USD
75,000 to -120,000 words = $3500.00 USD

*Royalties (after earning out) – First 2500 Sold
Hardcover – 15%
Paperback – 7.5%
E-book – 25%
Audiobook – 25%

Royalty Rates – 2500+ Sold
Hardcover – 25%
Paperback – 10%
E-book – 50%
Audiobook – 25%
Please note, these percentages are not calculated like Amazon self-publishing royalties. See the difference below.

Hybrid – Royalty Forward (4-5 per year)

There is no advance for this contract, but we will provide your book cover, editing, typesetting, and marketing at no cost. In exchange, royalties start paying right away paid every 90 days.

Royalty Rates – First 2500 Sold
Hardcover – 15%
Paperback – 7.5%
E-book – 25%
Audiobook – 25%

Royalty Rates – 2500+ Sold 
Hardcover – 25%
Paperback – 15%
E-book – 50%
Audiobook – 25%

How Our Royalties Are Calculated

Amazon Royalties – 60% Paperback. For a $10.99 paperback, this is the formula: $10.99 * .6 = $6.59 – $4.50 (Print cost) = $2.09 profit for you per copy.
Grendel Press Royalties (after earning out and recouping production costs, aka 2500 units sold) – 10% Paperback. For a 10.99 paperback, this is the formula: $10.99 * .10 = $1.09 profit for you per copy.
The printing cost comes from GP’s share from Amazon. So $2.09 (profit after distributor’s share and prints cost) – $1.09 (your share) = $1 for GP toward continued marketing and analytics.

What We Want

  • Stories that are easily readable. It’s wonderful to craft a gorgeous story, but if people need a dictionary to understand it, we cannot accept it.
  • We go for stories that are dark and deep; we are looking for the stories that stick with you long after you go to sleep.
  • Stories with a depth of character that explore the mind as much as the monsters.
  • Stories that show more than tell and build suspense before shock factor.

Dark Fantasy

  • Anti-Heroes as Main Characters
  • Dark Worlds
  • Battling Inner Demons
  • Dark is Good
  • Grimdark


  • We are open to most, if not all, horror submissions, but please observe our exception list under “What We Do Not Want”.

Dark Romance

  • Dark Fairy Tales
  • Dark Worlds & Dangerous Heroes
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Lovers to Enemies
  • Strong Emotions
  • High Stakes

What We Do Not Want

  • Fan fiction or anything that may cause copyright issues.
  • Sex is fine, but plot should come first.
  • Books that focus on intolerance of a person or group’s race, religion, nationality, physical or mental ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. 
  • Gratuitous gore and violence (including sexual) with no purpose – blood and guts are fine as long as there’s something more going on than the shock factor.
  • Stories that glorify, minimize, or inaccurately represent child abuse, animal abuse, or sexual assault.

Query Submissions

  • A standard professional query letter that includes your 25 – 30 word book pitch and the word count of your manuscript.
  • A 250-word synopsis of the work.
  • Your social media profiles/author website- we would like to see that you understand who your target reader is and how you would reach them.
  • The first 50 pages of the work formatted as listed below.

Manuscript Format

  • The manuscript must be understandable by a mixed audience. Any English is fine as long as the average joe can understand all of the references and it follows basic grammar rules.
  • 12 pt. Georgia or Times New Roman font, normal margins, and double spaced
  • Do not use any special formatting like headers, page numbers, images, and page/section breaks
  • Include your author’s name (or pen name), title, and word count on the first page
  • Indicate scene breaks with three stars, no space (***)
  • Indicate the end of the manuscript with three stars, with spaces in between (* * *)
  • Submission must be in Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • Save the file name in this format: Title of Story_Author’s Full Name
  • You may use a penname as your author name in the manuscript, but please include your full legal name in the form submission box for payment purposes.

Send your Submissions

Email with the subject line “Novel Submission – Name – Title – Genre – Word Count”.
If you have any questions or concerns about the information on this page, please email

We now have a Discord Community, for those that want to be involved and share ideas with fellow authors. 


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