Guidelines for Submissions


Please read this page carefully before submitting your manuscript.

My name is (Mrs) Jo Holloway, and I do most of the work round here, including being the Commissioning Editor. I don’t mind you submitting to other publishers at the same time – I encourage it. But please, write your query letter to me, and target it for Sunpenny; I hate generic letters – they signify lazy authors. πŸ™‚

Consider which of our imprints you think it would best fit into. Our imprints are: Sunpenny Books (general literature); Sunberry Books (children’s, teens and young adults – YA); Boathooks Books (boating of all kinds); BlueJeans (general romance); Rose & Crown (inspirational/Christian romance); ChristLight (Christian books, fiction and non-fiction); and EPTA (general non-fiction) – and our NEW imprint, as yet to be named, focussing on memoirs. autobiographies, and biographies – especially hoping for disabled manuscripts.

You do not have to have an agent to submit to Sunpenny. All you need is to demonstrate you know this is a job interview, by sending me a nicely-written email with:

  • In the subject line, “Submission: (YOUR TITLE)”
  • Dear…. (hint: be polite. My name would be nice.)
  • Your TITLE
  • Your logline
  • One-para introduction to your book (description)
  • Which imprint you think your book is best suited for.
  • A brief bio (yours, not your dog’s), relevant info only – if you start on your Jamaican vacation my jealousy will mean instant rejection. Kidding. Nope. πŸ˜‰
  • A para on how you will market/publicise your book (if I invest time and money in you, I need to know you are savvy in the ways to sell your book, so I have some chance of getting my money back. Like a Dragon investor).
  • A para on what you have done with your book so far, eg is it on an open writing site like Wattpad; did you self-publish in any way before now; if so, what sales did you garner… etc.
  • ATTACH: A synopsis. This is not a sales blurb, it is a synopsis of the story of your book, with all relevant highs and lows, and an ending, not a question.
  • ATTACH: Your manuscript, preferably in Word document format, but similar will do. No, I do not steal other authors’ work. Scout’s Honour. (The Girl Guides threw me out for preferring to be creosoting poles for the new Scout Hut instead of pressing flowers.) And if you think sending a PDF will safeguard your book from anyone who DOES want to steal it, you are naΓ―ve. In the nicest possible way. πŸ˜€

The preferred formatting for manuscripts is A4 page size, Times New Roman font, 12-point, with at least 1.5 line spacing. Page margins should be at least 1.5-2″ all round; please use normal indented paragraphing, not block paras. Please don’t use fancy fonts (or sans serif – scientifically proven to be harder on the eyes of the reader than serif), and no fancy chapter tops or numbers – if your book gets in, we need to do layout at some stage, and all that nonsense just means more time for us in typesetting/layout. Making your manuscript stand out means having a great story, well-polished – not visual effects that will hurt my eyes. I thank you. My eyes thank you. πŸ™‚

I don’t accept paper manuscripts any longer, unless there is a very good reason you can’t do a digital one. If you do send a paper manuscript, I will have to charge for typing it up (if it’s accepted). I do not return paper manuscripts.

I do NOT take on erotic books of any kind. I like sci-fi but am not very knowledgeable of that niche in the market. I like fantasy (try me). Weirdly, I am willing to look at vampires and werewolves, but I do not like gratuitous gore or sex (please look up gratuitous to be sure you get that). I will look at literary books with storylines on racism, but I won’t accept hatred or racist manifests as such. I have no knowledge of the LGBTQ-etc niche market, and prefer not to go there, though if we meet anywhere, you are simply a person to me – I just don’t want to get entangled in heated argumentative books of ANY kind, be it race, gender wars, politics, or the like. Spread love. You do you, and I’ll do me. πŸ™‚

And that’s it. if you read this far, great! What happens next? I receive your submission and assess it for our ethos and its greatness. This can take a while, depending on how busy I am. I will get back to you as soon as possible – and I DO try to reply to everyone, rather than leaving you hanging. You deserve that respect.

EMAIL YOUR SUBMISSION TO: submissions@sunpenny.com