FLAME TREE PRESS: Fiction, Art & Music
We’re launching a new imprint: Flame Tree Press. It’s an exciting new challenge. We’ll share the journey as we seek submissions, edit, promote and publish a series of new publications from the second half of 2017.
The Publishing Model
Well, it’s a tough world, with hundreds of thousands of new books, self- and traditionally published every year, and bookshops with limited shelf space, but the appetite for good reads is here to stay, even if the format for delivery changes occasionally.
For our main list (illustrated non-fiction) we create books around a concept, commission writers, find images (or commission them), design, print, then sell across the world in as many countries and formats as possible. We’ve made over 5000 titles since 1992, and sold millions of books, calendars, notebooks and other stationery items. Our illustrated model focuses on volume pre-sales, with steady high street and online sales thereafter.
Even though we don’t accept unsolicited submissions for our illustrated list, we still receive them. Historically we haven’t had the means to process such offers but over the last couple of years we’ve had great success with our deluxe-edition, short story compilations and this has prompted us to think about opening a new trade list for non-illustrated submissions.
And so to Flame Tree Press.
Fiction: SF and Fantasy
We will actively seek manuscripts (ms) for science fiction, fantasy (preferably, but not exclusively, dark), crime and mystery. We aim to publish at least 12-15 good books a year. Authors can be new, established, barely published, young, or mature. We just want excellent writing.
Art and Music
We will accept manuscripts from established authors, those who write for a living, or whose extensive study in a subject demonstrates great passion and expertise.
For Art we would prefer biographies and critical works on late nineteenth century and modern art up to the late 1960s. Any artist or movement which can make a claim to influence this period (such as Ukiyo-e) will also be considered.
For Music, again, we will seek biographies and critical works from Debussy onwards, including jazz, rock, pop and dance.
We’re looking for texts of roughly 80,000 – 120,000 words. Above all, the books must be well written, with a strong sense of purpose, and shine light into dark or dusty corners.
We will publish in royal format hardcover and paperback, and ebook.
Sales expectations should be realistic. Publishing is not a quick way to accumulate wealth (J.K. Rowling is an exception) but it is a highly valuable method for disseminating ideas, and sharing a love of literature and storytelling.
We will sell the books throughout the world, take them to Frankfurt and Beijing Bookfairs, and to our teams of sales agents in Asia, Europe, the USA and Australia. We will use all reasonable means to promote and publicise the books in our primary English language markets.
The books will be available in every territory where books in English can be bought, online and in retail. And we will try to sell translation rights to publishers in other languages.
We will offer a small, token advance payment, a standard royalty and a substantial share of ebook and rights sales, should either or both occur. We will issue regular statements, and make payments on standard terms against invoices raised against the statements. This is being slightly vague because we’re still finalising the details.
For fiction, a simple introductory email, with a .doc, docx or rtf file attached will be fine.
For art and music, an introductory email with an outline and sample text will be sufficient in the first instance.
Our experience of receiving submissions for the short-story deluxe editions suggests that the turnaround time for initial consideration will be at least eight weeks. We will revise and advise accordingly.
If a manuscript or idea is rejected, we will try to give a simple reason. Success at the first stage will lead to further discussion, both about the manuscript and the issuing of a standard contract for consideration. This will include an author’s questionnaire which asks about likely markets for the book, availability for local signings and any specific newsworthy elements relating to the ms.
We will open to submissions this October. Watch out for our updates on social media. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, with any queries.
Thank you, and good luck.