Submissions Policy

We are actively seeking and open to both agented and unagented submissions in all fiction genres except YA and overtly religious/inspirational at this time. This includes:

  • Romance (LGBTQ+, ménage, shifter, historical, BDSM, etc.)
  • Erotica/erotic romance
  • Horror/dark fantasy
  • Fantasy/urban fantasy
  • Sci fi/spec fic/steampunk
  • Contemporary/literary
  • Chick lit
  • Combinations of any of the above

Please note that at the moment our primary focus is on romance, but we are always interested in considering authors with a fresh and unique voice in any of the above genres. Remember, just because you don’t see your “particular” genre represented doesn’t mean we aren’t willing to give it a look! If in doubt, please ask.

Semper Press has an intense vetting process for manuscripts and only about 5-10% of all submissions will make it to publication, because we are not an “author mill.” Because we pay more on royalties, we have exceedingly high expectations and standards and are very selective about who and what we publish. Therefore, we strongly recommended that all authors engage both beta readers and the services of a professional editor or editorial service prior to submission to ensure the best possible presentation of your manuscript. Manuscripts containing a lot of spelling, grammar and sentence-level errors, that confuse “they’re/their/there” and “rain/rein/reign” or can’t keep track of timelines and first/third person or past/present tense are hellish to read and tedious to edit. Please make sure your manuscript is as polished and professional as it can possibly be before you send it to us.

Please DO NOT send work including any of the following “no-go” content. If you have any doubts, remember “safe, sane and consensual.”

  • Incest
  • Rape (including dubious consent or “dub-con”)
  • Child abuse of any kind, but especially of a sexual nature and
  • Domestic violence (excluding BDSM)

are strictly prohibited for purposes of titillating the reader. Any work referencing or containing any of the above topical matter MUST

  • be handled with a high degree sensitivity to both how it may/does affect the character and prospective readers
  • NOT be portrayed in a favorable light
  • NOT be shown “as it happens” on the page (flashbacks, nightmares etc. are okay as long as the foregoing are taken into account)
  • NOT be unnecessarily or gratuitously graphic in its depiction
  • Step-siblings/parents/etc. may be considered as long as it is made clear that the relationship begins after all parties involved are of the age of majority (18 years old, most places), the relationship is not abusive (i.e. there is not a power exchange that may render one party at the mercy of the other in an unreasonable manner or is not “safe, sane and consensual”) and the parties are not blood relations (“pseudo-incest”)
  • ABSOLUTELY NO:
    • Golden showers or other “toilet play/watersports”
    • Bestiality
      • Works with werecreatures/shifters in animal form will be considered on a case by case basis, but erotic/intimate scenes featuring “the beast within” should be very carefully crafted and used extremely sparingly.
    • Necrophilia
      • Vampires/ghosts/zombies don’t count here. Of course; zombies are hard (no pun intended) to pull off in a romantic/intimate scene, but if you can do it, more power to you!
    • Racist, homophobic, sexist or anti-ethnoreligious sentiments or content portrayed in a favorable light.
      • If your manuscript contains any of these specifically to drive conflict within or between characters and/or the relationship, this is acceptable, but any slurs or derogatory language should be kept to the absolute minimum necessary to reflect the conflict. Additionally, if the MC(s) harbor(s) such sentiments, the story needs to reflect a positive change in the character’s perspective by the end. This will be assessed at Semper’s sole discretion.
    • Any other content that would be considered offensive, libelous, slanderous or otherwise demeaning in the eyes of modern social mores or the mind of a reasonably liberal person.

Please do not submit any manuscript that contains the above material, unless it falls within the parameters of the stated exceptions! Any submissions containing the above material will be auto-rejected, regardless of stage of review, and the author banned from future submission.

All queries and manuscripts should follow the formula below:

  • Query letter:
    • Must be sent through the Semper Submissions Form, ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS!
    • Include:
      • Your legal AND pen name (if applicable) and contact information
      • The working title of the manuscript
      • Word count, rounded to the nearest 1k
      • Genre (and heat level, if applicable)
      • 2-3 paragraphs about the book. Follow the general best practices for query letters on QueryShark.com.
      • 1 paragraph about your career to date: other publishers, books you’ve written, especially those that have received awards, and overall sales to date
      • Readership: Do you have one? What kind of social media presence do you have (please include links so we can review)? If your work is contracted, will you follow Semper Press’s standard marketing and promotion plan? What will you add to it to set your work apart from the crowd?
    • Manuscript (if requested)
      •  Must be formatted in 12pt Times New Roman, first-line indents set at 0.5″ from left, double-spaced, with your last name, keyword of title and page number at the top right in a header like so: Smith/Love/8.
      • Must have your name and contact information on the title page. Follow industry best practices for manuscript submission.

Please note that if your query letter strikes our fancy, we will request the first chapter OR ten pages, whichever pertains to the length of your manuscript. You will be advised within ten business days whether to send the first chapter or whether we’ve elected to pass on your manuscript. If we order the full manuscript, we will make a decision and let you know within 14 days for shorter manuscripts (under 60k) and no later than 28 days from acknowledgement receipt for longer works (over 60k). If you have not heard from us within 28 calendar days for shorter works or 56 calendar days (8 calendar weeks) on longer works as above, then feel free to follow up, but please do not do so prior to this time frame elapsing. We do and will check these things!

Please do not send a full manuscript or first chapter/pages with your query for any reason. If you do, it will be discarded unread. Also, do not attach anything to your correspondence until and unless requested to do so by Semper. Anything sent as an attachment before we ask you to do so will be discarded unread and automatically rejected. If this happens, you will be notified immediately.

If you do not receive a verification of receipt of your submission within 48 hours of initial submission, please resend it. Spam filters are wonderful, magical things, but sometimes they get a little overzealous. Do not follow up on your query/first chapter or pages/manuscript unless specifically instructed to by Semper staff or in accordance with the guidelines above. If you do, your manuscript will be automatically rejected.

A rejection of one piece does not mean we are not interested in looking at more of your work, so just because one piece didn’t get through the process is not an automatic bar to resubmission. In fact, most of the time we will invite authors whose work is rejected to keep us in mind for future submissions. However, on rare occasions, we may tell a given author not to submit work to us in future. If this happens and you submit again anyway, your work will be automatically rejected unread. Some reasons this may occur include:

  • Unsolicited revision and resubmission.
  • Work containing blatantly offensive material or which violates Semper’s policies for “no-go” content as given above.
  • Abusive, threatening, offensive or libelous content in your communications with Semper (i.e. “If you don’t publish my manuscript I’ll hunt you down and kill you!”). Not only will this get you permanently banned from submission with Semper, but it’s not likely to make you any friends elsewhere. Publishers talk.
  • Other reasons as taken on a case by case basis, at Semper’s sole discretion.

We look forward to reading your submission, so be sure to show us your absolute best work!