Our Manuscript Guidelines
We hope to provide publishing services to any author that requires them, but must also be clear in our position regarding potentially problematic content. While ultimate responsibility for the actual content of manuscripts lies with the author, we prefer to state from the outset what we, as a company, find acceptable and unacceptable.
There has been much debate concerning responsibility of the content in self-published books, with cases of inappropriate or offensive material finding its way onto retailers such as Amazon. With some self-publishing companies not even looking at a manuscript (or its contents) before offering a contract, we do worry that there will be more problems of this nature. We review and provide feedback on all manuscripts we accept for publication, and will not accept any material that is offensive, inflammatory, sexist or racist, or that preaches hate in any way.
Acceptance of manuscripts is based on the material represented in the submitted samples, prior to editorial feedback, quotation and terms being provided. Should any offensive or inflammatory material become apparent in the manuscript after confirmation (i.e. after terms have been agreed and initial payment made), we reserve the right to terminate the contract immediately. We are not obligated to refund any payment already received. When submitting a sample of your manuscript for review and editorial feedback, please ensure that such sample(s) are an accurate and fair representation of the nature and style of your manuscript as a whole.
Please also review the guidelines below, and feel free to ask any questions if you are unsure.
We are not able to consider texts with the following content:
Incitement of hatred, prejudice or discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexuality, class, disability, or any content that could be perceived as such
NB: individual characters displaying such views would be acceptable
- Explicit violent sexual scenes, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or sexual assignment
- Explicit sexual content between non-consenting adults
- Explicit sexual content between children (under 18 years), regardless of consent
NB: explicit sexual content between consenting adults (over 18 years), regardless of gender, sexual orientation or sexual assignment, would be acceptable; implied violence or assault (including sexual) would be acceptable; graphic non-sexual violence (e.g. horror/crime) would be acceptable.
- Accusations of crimes or wrongdoing against a named/implied person not confirmed or established legally or historically
NB: ‘true crime’ and ‘true story’ texts, where all names, locations and events are made anonymous, would be acceptable
We base our prices on the level of editorial attention we assess the manuscript as needing, and therefore on the estimated time we’ll be spending on it. We very rarely find (during the editing process) that the whole manuscript needs more editorial attention than inferred from the sample, but if this does happen then an additional fee may apply. This is to ensure that we have enough time to thoroughly address all aspects of editorial work required and produce the highest quality text possible.
If the manuscript is submitted as a fictional text, we will assume, and trust, that the manuscript is a work of fiction and, as will be stated in the copyright declaration, that names and characters are the product of your imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. If any characters are even loosely based on real persons or experiences, we strongly recommend that names are changed beyond all resemblance, as any legal implications would fall entirely on the author.
If the manuscript is submitted as a historical novel, referring to real events and people, the responsibility lies with the author to ensure that any accusation of wrongdoing against a named/implied person has been confirmed or established legally or historically.
Our distributors (Ingram and KDP) also have certain restrictions about content that they will not distribute. Please follow the links below to their restrictions:
Ingram Content Integrity Guidelines
KDP Content Integrity Guidelines
Please note that if one distributor will not accept your content, it may be possible to use the other distributor, which is why it is useful to check both sets of guidelines.
Get In Touch
Learn more in our free publishing guide, which gives you a more detailed look at the process, or by speaking to one of our Publishing Advisors, who would be happy to walk you through all the details you need to begin the process.
“When I found Rowanvale, they seemed like the perfect publishing house for me and my books, almost like it was too good to be true! But they really are everything they say they are.”
– D. Bishop