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Frequently asked questions and submission guidelines

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What kinds of books does Reck House Press publish?

Engaging mysteries and literary fiction always get our attention. For nonfiction we are particularly interested in manuscripts that reference cultural or popular history. We also like to see memoirs, biographies, collections of letters, edited diaries, and journals of extraordinary literary quality – anything, in short, that situates a literate and appealing character in a palpable place and time.

Are there genres that you are not interested in?

We do not publish poetry, romances, westerns, Christian or other religious (or inspirational) literature, erotica, children's or young adult books, fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels, "how-to" books, reference books, cookbooks, health guides, polemics, or technical manuals.

Does my book need to be finished for me to send you a query?

If it is nonfiction, not necessarily. If it's fiction, yes!

Do I need an agent to submit a query to Reck House?

No. We accept "over the transom" queries from authors.

Do you read unsolicited manuscripts?


Then how do I get you to look at my manuscript?

Complete our query form to give us a brief but compelling description of your work. If we are interested in your manuscript, we will ask for more, usually within a month.

Can I query more than one manuscript at a time?

Yes, you can query as many of your finished (fiction) or nearly finished (nonfiction) manuscripts as you wish. But please use a separate query form for each!

Can I query you if my manuscript is with an agent, or if another publisher is considering it?

No. Your agent should be handling all queries and submissions of your manuscript. And as a courtesy to our publishing colleagues, we do not want to see any manuscript that is already in the hands of another publisher.

If you like my query, what will you want to see next?

We will contact you with a password for submission, and then, for nonfiction, we'll be looking for a proposal (that is, minimally: a projected (and detailed) Table of Contents, the first chapter of the book, and your qualifications for writing this book). For fiction: we will request a number of pages which we will specify, and REQUIRE a one-page synopsis. Please do not send us more pages than we request, and please do not forget the synopsis.

If you're still interested, then what happens?

For fiction we ask for the full manuscript. Since each nonfiction project is different, what we ask for at this point will vary. When we acknowledge receipt of your pages, we'll let you know approximately when we'll have a decision for you.

Can I continue to submit my manuscript elsewhere while I'm waiting for your decision?

If we've asked for your full manuscript, or for more than just your proposal or synopsis, no. Our readers and editors will be committing a substantial amount of time and thoughtful discussion to your manuscript at that point, and if it impresses them, we like to proceed swiftly, unencumbered, and unconfused.

If you decide to publish my book, what's the process?

Once we have signed a contract, your manuscript gets a full edit, you review the copyediting, design work begins, and preliminary marketing strategies are discussed.

Does Reck House pay advances?


Does Reck House pay royalties?


Can I specify my cover design?

The designer will consider your suggestions, but is under no obligation to follow them.

How will I be involved in publicity for my book?

Publicity is considered a collaborative effort at Reck House. You are expected to have researched potential, realistically targeted markets. The detailed marketing strategy for each book is discussed once we have a contract. Reck House prepares press releases and press kits, arranges reviews, and works with you to set up readings and interviews. In addition, the Reck House Press website posts a page for your author biography, and features your book on a separate page. Remember, though, in this publishing climate, the primary burden of successfully marketing your book falls on you, the author.

What specific guidance can you offer before I query Reck House Press?

Review our submission guidelines thoroughly before completing the query form.


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