MAIN STREET RAG
BOOK PUBLISHING OPTIONS
General Submission Options / Poetry / Short Fiction / Novels / Novellas
* * * MAILING ADDRESS * * *
Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001
704-573-2516, contact us
As with most publishers, we are often approached by authors offering unsolicited manuscripts--especially now that many people know we have our own bindery operation. Our standard answer has been that we choose our manuscripts almost exclusively through contests. Since we have changed that policy, the purpose of this page is to make it easier for authors to know whether we are a good fit for each other without wasting our time or theirs and to let them how and when we would consider their manuscripts.
TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS / IMPRINTS
Most of our titles are either poetry or creative short fiction because those are genres we know best. Details for the policies and formats we prefer to publish are listed below. Among the areas featured are Novels, Poetry, Short Fiction and our newest venue Novellas.
We also publish textbooks, essay collections, memoirs, anthologies and magazines for other publishers. Because we are a small company we cannot take on every worthy project under our own production umbrella. The issue is: who pays for production. Some of our projects have been financed by grants, some by other publishers (since we are a production house with both printing and binding capabilities), and some are author-financed through our self-publishing label, Pure Heart Press. We can produce anything, but there are some things that we do not have the distribution or marketing staff to justify financing.
PURE HEART PRESS is our self-publishing imprint. As such, we will publish anything the author or editor is willing to pay for. We can do everything from set up to shipping on these projects. The difference between these and our primary imprints is that the author is responsible for the content, the cost of production and all the marketing (although we do offer marketing assistance for additional cost).
MAIN STREET RAG. This imprint is not open to general submission except through the General Submission Options menu below. It's primary focus is poetry books selected through the MSR Poetry Book Award contest and MSR Chapbook Contest; books recommended for the Authors' Choice Chapbook Series, and books selected through solicitation by MSR editors.
MINT HILL BOOKS. This imprint is for all prose projects including essay collections, memoirs, novellas, novels and short fiction anthologies. This label is also not open to general submission except through the General Submission Options menu below. We prefer to have a relationship with an author either through our magazine or one of our short fiction anthologies before we will consider publishing a novel, novella or short fiction collection.
There are some genres we will not publish under any imprint besides the PURE HEART PRESS. Chief among them are Children's Books. We will not publish them through the Main Street Rag or Mint Hill Books labels unless they are paid for with grant money.
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General Submission Options
* * * NEW (August 2012) * * *
ALL book submissions must now be made via EMAIL in WORD or RTF format--NO PDFs.
Specific information for what we will look at, when and how is detailed below--so read all the way through this section.
Main Street Rag is in the process of setting up reading seasons based on genre.
Novellas: Open submission May 1-September 15. If you submit your novella during this time, we will consider it without charging a reading fee.
Poetry Chapbooks: November 1-January 15.
Novels: No open submission at this time.
Poetry Books: No open submission at this time.
Essay/Creative Non-fiction: No open submission at this time.
Short Fiction Collection: No open submission at this time.
Those who do not want to wait until our next open submission can have their manuscripts evaluated for publication for a FEE.
Fee schedule as follows:
Poetry Chapbooks (28-36 pages of poetry, no more than 40 lines to a page): $25
Poetry Books (on an 8.5 X 11 sheet, 40 lines to a sheet): $35 for up to 70 pages, $45 for over 70-100 pages. $60 for over 100-120 pages. We don't consider poetry book manuscripts over 120 pages.
Short Fiction Collections: $20 reading fee for the first three stories or 20K words. If we like what we read, we'll ask to see the rest.
Essay/Creative Non-fiction Collections: $20 reading fee for the first three stories or 20K words. (We publish very few of these.)
Novellas: $40 reading fee (Higher because we have an established open reading period for these.)
Novels: (Inquire first--we rarely take a novel manuscript from an author we do not know.) $20 reading fee for the first three chapters or 20K words. If we like what we read, we'll ask to see the rest.
Pay Reading Fee (Online through PayPal)
* * * * If you decide to pay the reading fee, please wait until a return email instructs you to email your manuscript. Also note: evaluation can take 6-8 weeks. We thank you for your patience. * * * *
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Anthologies. Main Street Rag will publish as many as 5 short fiction anthologies annually. Details and current themes: Anthology Page.
Short Story Collections. For an author looking to publish a complete collection of their work, The Main Street Rag (our quarterly literary magazine) or one of our anthologies is a starting point. We like short story collections to be in the 50K-100K word count range and it's always good if a few have been published in print magazines. If the entire collection is available online somewhere (for free), it does not behoove us to invest money in a print version.
Novellas. We define them as 25K-50K words in length. Free reading period is from May 1 through September 15.
Please note: Authors who have not been published in either the magazine or one of our anthologies are less likely to be considered for book publication and are considered unsolicited manuscripts. All unsolicited manuscripts are subject to a reading fee as outlined in the General Submissions Options section.
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We produce some of the most high quality poetry books and chapbooks that are being produced anywhere in the U.S. for sale at some of the most reasonable prices anywhere. Sample and see for yourself from the MSR Bookstore.
There are several ways to get a book of poetry published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company:
(1) Self-publish (using our Pure Heart Press imprint). Information is available on our bindery page.
(2) Enter one of our contests. Our Chapbook Contest (the Editor's Choice Chapbook Series) is currently on hiatus, but click here for details for our Poetry Book Award Contest. We select one winner per contest, but as many as 15 finalists/runners up from an individual contest have also be offered publication as a result of entering one of these contests.
(3) Be invited to submit a manuscript for publication. This option is restricted almost exclusively to those who have a long-term relationship with our literary magazine or have had a book previously published by Main Street Rag. Point of clarity: If you have to ask to be invited, that's not really an invitation. On this end, it feels more like someone trying to avoid a reading fee. Authors want us to value their work; it's only fair that they value our time. That's what reading fees are for.
(4) Be recommended for publication by one of our authors. This option was first offered in 2010 and was specific to our Author's Choice Chapbook Series. We have expanded it to consider other work; however, the recommending author's book must have already been published. We do not consider referrals from authors until we have a track record of their own performance (in terms of sales and marketing).
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We do publish novels, but very few and we prefer to have a relationship with an author either through our magazine or one of our short fiction anthologies before we will consider publishing a novel. Our novels are designed for limited runs and sell best in the region where the author lives, but they are available online and for national/international distribution. We are not POD, but we are not far removed from it and it is against our policies to overprint and ship all over the countryside carrying the risk of bookstore sales and heavy returns. That is old school publishing and if that's what you are seeking, then we are probably not the right publisher for you.
If you would like Main Street Rag to consider your unsolicited manuscript, please do not mail or email samples until you have read the General Submission Options.
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A Novella Series. Main Street Rag started it's novella series in 2010 and plans to publish as many as a dozen per year. We define a novella as a piece of literary fiction too long to be considered a short story and not long enough to be a novel (25K-50K words). It is not a collection of associated short stories, but a single story with definitive characters and progressive storyline throughout. We have a specific reading period for novellas (May 1-September 15) during which time we will consider them without a reading fee. We do not consider novellas outside this reading period unless the author is invited to submit a manuscript by the managing editor of Main Street Rag or pays a reading fee as outlined in the General Submissions Options. Details for novella submission: MSR Novella Series.
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These are the ways Main Street Rag Publishing Company selects manuscripts. We wish we could accommodate everyone, but we are a very small publishing company with limited resources. Because we are also a bindery and printhouse and contract for other publishers, much of our staff's time is dedicated to the process of book production. We don't have a lot of manpower to spare for manuscript selection, so we must limit how and when we consider manuscripts. Respecting our guidelines will ensure an author the best opportunity for publication that we have to offer. We thank you for your cooperation.
Home BACK ALLEY / BOOKSTORE / CONTESTS / EDITOR'S COMMENTS / EVENTS / SUBMISSIONS Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001
704-573-2516, contact us