Information for Authors
One of the things that makes Belgarun different is the way that we work with authors.
Belgarun does not do vanity publishing
Vanity publishing, sometimes called subsidy publishing, is a process whereby authors whose books are not deemed sufficiently commercially viable are asked by the publisher to pay all or most of the production and editorial costs (hereafter collectively referred to as production costs). In these cases it is generally all of the production costs, even if the publisher claims otherwise. When Belgarun publishes a book it is because we like it, so we pay the production costs.
Belgarun pays good royalties, but not advances
An advance is effectively a bribe or sweetener that a publisher pays to the author at around the time that contracts are exchanged - the intention being to distract the author's attention from the fact that the contract they are signing is draconian and the royalties are very low. Belgarun is up-front with its authors, and our standard royalty for all new authors is 15%, which is up to three times as much as many publishers will offer. Through rewarding our authors via royalties rather than advances we seek to motivate them to become more active in promoting their works. For authors whose books sell particularly well we are happy to negotiate increasing royalties still further on a case by case basis. In addition, whenever someone buys a book published by Belgarun they know that the author is being properly rewarded for the fact that people enjoy their work.
Submission of Manuscripts
Belgarun does not accept synopsis-only submissions
We generally start working with authors once their manuscript is complete or near to completion.
Belgarun is also unusual in how we prefer to receive manuscripts. All manuscripts should be either complete, or near-complete, and should be submitted as text files (.txt) to the email address on the contact page. In creating your .txt file please observe the following criteria:
* Please do not send images or illustrations in the first instance until we ask you for them.
* Do not use tabs or more than one space in the same place to indent or otherwise lay out any text.
* Do not include any page headers or footers.
* Do not indent paragraphs.
* Put in a double line break between paragraphs. Note that only a single line break is counted as a non-termination of the paragraph, as follows:
This text is the start of the paragraph.
This text is part of the same paragraph.
This text is part of a different paragraph.
* Title, chapter, section and other headings should be in CAPITAL LETTERS and on a line by themselves. For example,
CHAPTER 7 - THE RISE OF ROME
* Do not include any underlining of headings.
* Do not number pages.
* If you use special characters, for instance foreign language characters, please indicate the encoding of the text file (for instance UniCode UTF-8) - this is not necessary if you use only A-Z, a-z, 0-9, spaces and punctuation.
* Represent italic using underscores at the start and end of the italicised text. For example, represent some words in italic as _some words in italic_.
* If used at all, footnotes should be gathered together at the end of each chapter (i.e. not at the bottom of the page in the middle of a chapter). Footnotes should be numbered using whole integers: 1, 2, 3 etc. References to footnotes in the text should be included in square brackets, for example: , ,  etc.
Reference to a footnote in the text.
7. Example footnote at the end of the chapter.
Include a short (no more than 100 words) synopsis in the email to which your manuscript is attached.
We prefer not to recieve word processor-type documents such as Word, WordPerfect, QuarkXPress, PDF, and so on. Most of these programs can export .txt format, usually under the file menu, then choose Save As. In the dialogue you should be able to select .txt format. However, you should check the .txt file afterwards using a good text editor such TextPad (http://www.textpad.com/), UltraEdit (http://www.ultraedit.com/), or similar to make sure that:
* All of the text is present.
* Any layout features (indenting etc.) have been removed.
* No strange formatting has been introduced during the export.
* The text meets all of the criteria outlined above.