Some Guidelines for Submitting to Second Sky
- We are looking only for full-length, science fiction and fantasy. If you write in other fiction genres, please check out our submissions at Bookouture, and if you write text-led non-fiction, please visit Thread. We do not publish children’s books, film scripts, poetry or short stories.
- Please send us a complete manuscript of your full-length book in a clear font with double spacing.
- If you have used track changes to edit your book, please remember to switch it off before you send it to us.
- Have a look at our website to give you an idea of the books we are already publishing. Is yours a good fit for our list?
- If you’re unclear how to pitch your book, don’t panic! Just tell us in a couple of sentences what you think it is about and make sure you attach the full typescript. We’ll do the rest!
- If you are able to pitch your book in a couple of sentences, using published titles that you feel are comparable to yours, this is helpful, and a good indication that you know your market.
- We read everything that is submitted to us, and will aim to come back to you within a month. But due to the volume of submissions and the size of our team, we are not able to give you a detailed response with editorial feedback.
- Our decisions are based on what will work for us commercially and how we can position a book with forensic precision. If this isn’t clear it will be very hard for us to publish successfully. But we might still be fans of your writing and in that case it’s likely that an editor will be in touch with you to explore the possibility of further ideas.
That might help lift your submission to the top of the pile
- Be professional. It might sound obvious, but if you spell things wrong in your pitch letter it won’t be the best first impression.
- Attention to detail. Editing your own work is very difficult. You might think about having your work edited by a professional before sending it out.
- Read your novel out loud. If there are any clunky passages, particularly unrealistic dialogue, they will be much more obvious.
- Show us your knowledge of the market. Which novels would you compare yours to? Is your book similar to titles that Second Sky already publishes? We will be looking for thrilling science fiction and fantasy that genre readers will love.
- Show don’t tell – avoid long swathes of dialogue with the characters ‘telling’ the reader what’s happening in the scene rather than cutting it down to a couple of lines of plot development that shows the reader what’s happening.
- Less is often more – keep things pacey and don’t sacrifice moving the plot forward for lengthy description.
- Dialogue – don’t have characters answer questions by repeating the question.
- And finally… keep reading. Knowing your market by reading within it is the best way of understanding what works – and what doesn’t.