Grendel Press


Grendel Press is accepting novel submissions that fit into our chosen genres of Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Romance.

We accept queries for completed manuscripts only. Please do not submit a work in progress. We will consider series on a case-by-case basis.
We are accepting novellas and novels from 25,000 to 120,000 words. 

Please read the full submission guidelines for instructions on how to submit your book and allow up to 16 weeks for a reply. Our staff works with anthology submissions too, so time is precious. We’ll do our best. If you’ve not heard by then, please feel free to give us a friendly nudge.


Advances and royalties depend on your contract type. We want to be able to represent as many books as we can within our budget.
As such, we offer two kinds of contracts at this time. 

Traditional – Author Advance (2-3 per year)

The author advance rewards the author with a book advance based on the word count as listed below. We provide your book cover, editing, typesetting, and marketing at no cost to you, and royalties begin paying as soon as your advance has been earned out.

Advance Chart
25,000 to 49,000 words = $1500.00 USD
50,000 to 74,000 words = $2500.00 USD
75,000 to -120,000 words = $3500.00 USD

*Royalties (after earning out) – First 2500 Sold
Hardcover – 15%
Paperback – 7.5%
E-book – 25%
Audiobook – 25%

Royalty Rates – 2500+ Sold
Hardcover – 25%
Paperback – 10%
E-book – 50%
Audiobook – 25%
Please note, these percentages are not calculated like Amazon self-publishing royalties. See the difference below.

Royalty Forward (5-9 per year)

There is no advance for this contract, but we will provide your book cover, editing, typesetting, and marketing at no cost. In exchange, royalties start paying right away paid every 60 days.

Royalty Rates – First 2500 Sold
Hardcover – 15%
Paperback – 7.5%
E-book – 25%
Audiobook – 25%

Royalty Rates – 2500+ Sold 
Hardcover – 25%
Paperback – 15%
E-book – 50%
Audiobook – 25%

How Our Royalties Are Calculated

Amazon Royalties – 60% Paperback. For a $10.99 paperback, this is the formula: $10.99 * .6 = $6.59 – $4.50 (Print cost) = $2.09 profit for you per copy.
Grendel Press Royalties (after earning out and recouping production costs, aka 2500 units sold) – 10% Paperback. For a 10.99 paperback, this is the formula: $10.99 * .10 = $1.09 profit for you per copy.
The printing cost comes from GP’s share from Amazon. So $2.09 (profit after distributor’s share and prints cost) – $1.09 (your share) = $1 for GP toward continued marketing and analytics.Other publishers will look more appealing because they calculate royalties differently. When they say 40% royalties, it means 40% after Amazon has taken their cut and after print costs have been extracted. 

What We Want

  • Stories that are easily readable. It’s wonderful to craft a gorgeous story, but if people need a dictionary to understand it, we cannot accept it.
  • We go for stories that are dark and deep; we are looking for the stories that stick with you long after you go to sleep.
  • Stories with a depth of character that explore the mind as much as the monsters.
  • Stories that show more than tell and build suspense before shock factor.

Dark Fantasy

  • Anti-Heroes as Main Characters
  • Dark Worlds
  • Battling Inner Demons
  • Dark is Good
  • Grimdark

We are open to most, if not all, horror submissions, but please observe our exception list under “What We Do Not Want”.

Dark Romance

  • Dark Fairy Tales
  • Dark Worlds & Dangerous Heroes
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Lovers to Enemies
  • Strong Emotions
  • High Stakes

Special Themes

  • Behind the Masks (Faeries, Elves, Pixies, Changelings)
  • Myths & Legends (Gods, Devils, Heroes, Villains)
  • Artifacts of Kane (Witches, Hexes, Curses, Demons)
  • Bestiary (Here There Be Monsters)
  • House of Sin (Smut, With A Sprinkle of Plot)
  • The Vault (Enter at Your Own Risk, Slashers, Gratuitous Violence, Splatterpunk with Plot)

What We Do Not Want

  • Fan fiction or anything that may cause copyright issues.
  • Sex is great, but plot should come first.
  • Books that focus on intolerance of a person or group’s race, religion, nationality, physical or mental ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. 
  • Gratuitous gore and violence (including sexual) with no purpose – blood and guts are fine as long as there’s something more going on than the shock factor unless you are applying for The Vault.
  • Stories that glorify, minimize, or inaccurately represent child abuse, animal abuse, or sexual assault.

Query Submissions

  • A standard professional query letter that includes your 25 – 30 word book pitch and the word count of your manuscript.
  • A 250-word synopsis of the work.
  • Your social media profiles/author website- we would like to see that you understand who your target reader is and how you would reach them.
  • The first 50 pages of the work formatted as listed below.

Manuscript Format

  • The manuscript must be understandable by a mixed audience. Any English is fine as long as the average joe can understand all of the references and it follows basic grammar rules.
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font, normal margins, and 1.5 or double spaced.
  • Indicate scene breaks with three stars, no space (***)
  • Submission must be in Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • Save the file name in this format: Title of Story_Author’s Full Name
  • You may use a penname as your author name in the manuscript, but please include your full legal name in the form submission box for payment purposes.

Send your Submissions

Preferred Method: Our Novel Submission Form
Email: with the subject line “Novel Submission – Name – Title – Genre – Word Count”.
Please include all the same information in your email as you would include in the submission form as we will be copy and pasting it into the submission portal for you. 
If you have any questions or concerns about the information on this page, please email

We now have a Discord Community, for those that want to be involved and share ideas with fellow authors. 

Frequently Asked Questions

No way! No news is good news. Keep in mind that we aren’t a vanity publisher, so we’re working on our entire catalogue for the upcoming year but only have so many slots. So we are both reviewing samples and requesting full manuscripts at the same time we are receiving new submissions. If you haven’t received feedback or a rejection email, it means we’ve found something we love about your novel and we’re trying to narrow down our select to fit our availabiliy for the next year.

It can take anywhere from one to six months.

Yes, please. The idea of our contracts are to give us the rights/access we need to sell your book to the best of our ability while providing you with a path to run away if our relationship doesn’t work for you without either party suffering dramatic financial losses. We are happy to work with you until the contract satisfies us both.

© Grendel Press 2024. All Rights Reserved.