Fantasy * Science Fiction * Archaeological * Historical
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR:
We inhabit several niches we've carved out for ourselves in the publishing universe. We don't try to compete with other publishing houses to produce the same kinds of books they do--there wouldn't be a reason to do that. So we've developed our own kinds of books, and they're starting to catch on. Our books consistently earn high praise from prominent magazines and other reviewers. Here's what we like to work with: We prefer standalone books, not those that are part of a series:
Although we like reading books that are part of a series, we MUCH prefer to work with standalone books. If you're querying about your novel and it's part of a series, then it's less likely we will want to publish it (unless we've published you before), even if we like the story. Here's why: If a book is part of a trilogy, then we would be committing to three books rather than one, and we won't have the benefit of seeing how the first book does before already being expected to publish books two and three. Mainly, we want the book to stand by itself, have all the loose ends tied up and be a complete story without the requirement of another book to satisfy a cliff hanger, etc. This doesn't mean your book couldn't be a set up for a sequel or a trilogy, but it just means that your book, Book One, must work regardless of whether it has a sequel planned or already written. Fantasy:
We like epic and high fantasy. We like fantasies with strong female protagonists and characters (males are fine, too, but we like females figuring prominently). We're not talking about kick-ass heroines who don't wear much and yet can still wield a sword. We like common people who grow into different roles required by their circumstances, the way any human would. These characters can be commoners, but some royalty is fine in some situations, too. Saying all that, we do still publish fantasies with male protagonists, but as said above, we want prominent female roles. Protagonists and characters who are people of color are encouraged. We don't want gratuitous sex and violence, only those scenes that are important to the story.
Our archaeological and historical novels range from ancient Mesopotamia to the Renaissance.
There's an underlying archaeology theme to the majority of our non-fantasy books. These include books from our Archaeology Series and also many of our science fiction books. This is one of our major niches we've developed and we're doing some things that no other publisher is doing in this area.
Within this genre, we have two niches we inhabit:
The Archaeology Series - "Archaeologically correct" novels. These are largely mainstream books with maybe a hint of speculative fiction, but mostly would be classified as not part of the SF genre. Most of these books are invitation-only. Only one of these books has been obtained from an unsolicited submission (i.e. the "slush") and for the rest we have commissioned authors with which we've already worked. One absolute rule for this series is that all are written by Archaeologists/Anthropologists/Classicists. These books are well researched and their primary purpose is to show what life was like for common people during ancient times, often during extraordinary events. Except for one book so far, all novels in this series have female protagonists.
Our goal in this series is to show what ancient life was like from a point of view rarely addressed in fiction: the view from common women during ancient times. This is a unique series, we believe, with few books of this type being published. This is a very hard series for an author we haven't worked with to break into, but if you and your book meet the criteria, please query.
Other books with some archaeology-related aspects - We publish science fiction (and some fantasy) stories that have some kind of archaeology-related subject as part of the story. For example, our RUINS series. We also like stories and novels that take place in the prehistoric past. If you have a science fiction novel that has archaeology-related or paleo-anthropology theme(s), please query. See below for science fiction.
Historical Novels - Our historical novels are similar to our archaeological correct novels, but encompass wider area of the genre. We want accurate, well-researched historical novels about real events throughout history. Preference will be given to those that feature strong female protagonists. We don't think there's enough attention given to prominent women throughout history and would like to address that. We only get a fragmented picture of humanity with male points of view. We'd prefer to have books that cover events ranging in time from the Renaissance back to the dawn of civilization.
Must have a strong archaeology theme. For example, an archaeologist as protagonist, the discovery of ruins (on Earth or elsewhere), a story about real life places where a vanished civilization has been discovered or a story about a made-up place on another planet where alien artifacts are discovered...these can include time travel, space travel, or other science fiction elements, they can be set in the past, present, or future. (Note: these stories are a separate line for us from our Archaeology Series, which is more non-genre or historical. See above.)
Always query first during designated months when we're accepting queries.
WHAT WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR:
Anything that we haven't discussed above. Well, there are exceptions once in a while, but best to stick with what we've described above. Some examples of what we're not looking for include: dark fantasy, horror, military fiction, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, romance (unless there's a very strong fantasy element), thrillers, mystery. There are many great publishers already covering these genres.