Types of Books We Want
Subject Matter We Want
What We Want You To Send Us
Mystic Ridge Books has national distribution and can be a great vehicle for your book if you understand what we are looking for and if you understand something about the book industry.
For one thing, we'd hope that you are an author because you love writing and you've not entered this business because you think it will make you rich. (It might, but, in most cases, it will not.)
We, of course, want to help you attain your dreams; but the truth is, unless you work hard and succeed at making your book a best-seller, you will NOT get rich. If this comes as a shock to you, you're evidently new to the business and perhaps you're not in the right business.
What we offer you is a seasoned, quality, well-respected, well-distributed outlet for your work, which you should consider a vehicle to your broader success in your chosen field. The chains know and respect us as do most of the independents. We are also working toward achieving a presence in the international market.
TYPES OF BOOKS WE WANT
Mystic Ridge Books (our imprint for adults) is interested in books that are unlike the rest. No matter what field, they should have a unique perspective, state-of-the-art (if that applies), have something significant to offer readers, and be the very best on the market. If applicable, you should preferably be an expert in your field. (PLEASE NOTE: we are not looking for fiction - for adults - at this time.)
MRB Kidz (our new children's imprint) is looking for authors and illustrators who similarly have something to offer that's not now represented on the market. We are primarily looking for picturebook ideas at this moment (books typically for children no older than 8 or 9 at the most).
FYI: ALL knock-offs (books that regurgitate whole ideas and themes from best-sellers in thinly-veiled imitations) will immediately be rejected. Imitations are easily spotted. We want only original ideas.
VERY IMPORTANT: Authors must be willing to be aggressive and proactive regarding doing publicity and book-related events on their own. Books do not sell without author-self-motivated marketing efforts.This will be required and spelled out by the contract. Illustrators, in some cases, will be required to make a real commitment to doing publicity. We cannot do interviews, book events, talk shows, etc., for you. Nor do we (nor do most other publishing companies) have the budget to make you famous and make your book a best-seller. This, in the 21st Century, is your job.
We will help guide you and give you support in many ways, we will be active in the sales realm and in attempting to get a certain amount of book reviews and media attention (and we may work with you and help to a certain extent with marketing, especially if we have opportunities, for example, to sponsor seminars or syndicated columns for you), but the bulk of the responsibility for doing publicity work is naturally yours. You will find this is the case at most if not all of today's publishing companies. We need mention it here for those not yet immersed in the workings of today's publishing industry. More and more booksellers want to know BEFORE buying a book: what is the AUTHOR doing, on his or her own, to attract publicity?
SUBJECT MATTER THAT INTERESTS US
This differs, of course, for Mystic Ridge Books and MRB Kidz, as follows:
Mystic Ridge (our imprint for adults) is looking for betterment-type books:
- Anything on relationships, love, romance, intimacy, men/women - including books on dating, marriage, finding the lover you want, being the lover you want to be, and achieving successful relationships with the opposite sex. (Please do NOT send cheesy books on sex. Any erotica should be literary and have a loving basis. And books on sex or intimacy should rise above the common manual and emphasize the love in lovemaking.)
- We're interested, as part of our "betterment" theme, in books on human interests, too - including, but not limited to, books on photography, cooking, books and games (including casino and other games).
- Again, in line with our "betterment" theme: Self-help, health and success books.
Please do NOT send autobiographies. We're sure your life was fascinating, but unless it fits into the above categories and your life was fantastically remarkable, it's not a genre we're really interested in right now!
MRB Kidz (our children's book imprint) will consider fiction and non-fiction (including how-tos, nature, science, animal and historical books). Again, think betterment.
Books should be of universal themes, capable of being enjoyed by children of all backgrounds and parentage. To that end:
Themes preferably (if applicable) should be positive (even serious themes should be hopeful), inspiring (from a non-religious standpoint), educational, be non-sexist (toward women or men) and non-hateful, and, where possible, entertaining. If they instill laudatory values so much the better; but no blatantly preachy books, please. (Any attempt to teach children to be better people is welcomed IF this is done primarily as an underlying, unstated theme; there are, of course, exceptions, but this is a good general rule.) And - absolutely NO political or social propaganda.
WHAT TO SEND US
- A query letter stating (concisely) what your book is about, why it's unique in its field, why you are uniquely qualified to write it, and details on what you are willing to commit yourself to doing to publicize the book once it's on the market.
- A brief synopsis of each chapter
- Your three best chapters (unless it's a children's picturebook; in that case, please send the text of the whole book and, if you have an illustrator, sample drawings - but, please note: if illustrations submitted are amateurish or sub-par, the whole book project will be rejected)
- A short resume of your experience as a writer, including a list of any and all books you have had published (if you have special qualifications for writing the book, be sure to mention those, too)
- An explanation of why you feel your book is unique in its genre AND marketable (please don't be simplistic and assure us you "know" your book is good and desirable to "all" - please refer intelligently and specifically to what's on the market today, to show us you're conversant with your market); please also include a list of media outlets who you think might be interested in the book
- The potential readership (including: the book's target audience, and your best estimate of its sales potential - with a mention of a few comparable/competing books; please do NOT say "everyone would be interested" or anything simplistic like that)
- The category under which your book falls
- How proactive you plan on being regarding getting publicity for your book, on your own (be as detailed as possible about how you would go about this)
If you want your materials returned if rejected, send a SASE along with your mailing. Any rejected materials not accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will be tossed.
We are SWAMPED with queries and we will NOT necessarily respond to yours, so PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL US TELLING US WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN BACK TO YOU! Also: do NOT send us original materials; we do not want to be responsible for items that might get lost.
Also - you are only eligible to be considered if you have a completed manuscript available upon request.
First-time writers without a history of published works or employment as a writer at any time will be considered, but only if your manuscript is complete and in near-ready condition. In general, writers with experience are preferred. However, self-published books are, in general, not wanted (unless exceptional and you are willing to greatly change the book's presentation and do a major rewrite).
ALL writers should expect us to request some revisions and edits. You must be willing to do any and all requested rewrites. You must also allow us to edit your work as we see fit.
You may send us simultaneous submissions.
WHERE TO SEND SUBMISSIONS
Mystic Ridge Books
222 Main St., Suite 142
Farmington, CT 06032
Thank you for your interest in Mystic Ridge Books.
PLEASE READ THESE CAVEATS:
We love authors, but those who ignore our kindly requests are threatening to innundate us with so much needless work that we needed to post new policies:
1) Please DO NOT CALL US for any reason. Phone call volume has gotten so high in this regard that we need to put our foot down (sorry): You will be disqualified for consideration if you call. We'd spend the whole day on the phone and get no work done if we didn't put an end to this. Unsolicited voice mail messages about book queries will be deleted without response.
2) Please DO NOT EMAIL US BOOK IDEA PROPOSALS, QUERIES, OR QUESTIONS ABOUT BOOK PROPOSALS. To us, this is spam; in addition, it wastes our time and money (to consider these queries we'd have to waste reams of paper each week and too much printer ink just to print them out to process them). Send only query letters, to: Mystic Ridge Books, 222 Main St., Suite 142, Farmington, CT 06032. Emailed queries are deleted without response and not considered. If we are interested, we will get back to your snail mailed query. If we are not interested, sadly, we don't always have the time to respond; sorry, but we're swamped.
3) Do NOT send your queries by a signature-required method (such as certified mail). This forces us to waste hours of our time driving to the post office and then waiting on line. For this reason, we have had to stop responding to certified mail entirely; we will no longer send anyone to collect it. If sent this way, your submission will simply be ignored.
4) Do NOT send unsolicited manuscripts (that is, complete books). They jam our post office box and require us to stand on line to get the rest of our mail. Needless to say, we won't be looking upon your manuscript very kindly if we have to do this. Send only what we ask for (see explanation to the left).
5) Do NOT send any materials you need back and do NOT call or write us asking us to return what you sent. Though we try to respond to everyone, and in a timely fashion, there are times when this is impossible. There are also times when things don't arrive (maybe you sent your submission to the wrong address, for example); or maybe you forgot to send a stamped return addressed envelope - we can't be responsible for this, nor do we have the time to respond to calls about items that don't arrive or aren't sent with SASE. If there's no SASE, we trash rejected submissions. Sorry.
Our primary duty is to the authors we sign and we must devote most of our time to them. To produce great books takes time and requires that we cut out any and all potential time-wasters.
That being said, we are an author-friendly publishing company and we welcome your inquiries. Our policies above were created out of a need to put an end to practices that threatened to swamp us with totally unnecessary and time-wasting work. We thank you for your understanding.