Submit Your Book

To submit your book to be a "Quailsong Original" do the following:
  1. Proof read your manuscript at least three times.
  2. Have at least one other reader proof read your manuscript.
  3. Unless you are using passive language to create a specific effect, remove all passive language during proof reading.
  4. Replace excessive abstraction with concrete language (or vice versa) during proof reading. (Use the full ladder of abstraction.)
  5. Remove all profanity and vulgarity during proof reading.
  6. Remove all graphic descriptions of sexual acts or sexual organs.
  7. Carefully consider depictions of violence. If the descriptions are graphic, detailed and provided primarily for shock value they should be removed during proof reading.
  8. Convert your manuscript into epub format.
  9. Scan the epub using the Quailsong book scanner, with all categories checked, and copy the results.
  10. Let us know you are ready to submit using the contact us form and we will send you instructions on how to upload your work .

Will my book be accepted?
We hope so! Once we receive your submission we will evaluate it using the following criteria.

  • First, if it looks like you haven't followed the submission instructions, we'll ask you to do that before proceeding.
  • Second, we will evaluate the strength of the basic story. There needs to be something beautiful, interesting, powerful, or funny. A merely inoffensive story will not be accepted.
  • Third, we will evaluate the craftsmanship. If the story is very powerful, we may work with an author to fix craftsmanship, but generally we expect the story to be polished and well put together when it is submitted.
  • Fourth, we will evaluate the overall impact of the story on the reader. If the story is likely to leave the reader degraded, feeling worthless, or feeling hopeless then we will pass on the story.
  • Fifth, we will evaluate our interaction with the author. If the author seems very difficult to work with we may pass on even a very good story.

What's the deal if the book is accepted?
If the book is accepted we will send you a contract to sign and return. At a high level the terms are as follows:

  • You will affirm that the book is your own work and that you have no contractual obligations that would prevent you from publishing with us.
  • You will grant Quailsong the non-exclusive right to publish your book on our site in perpetuity. You will retain all other rights and may continue to publish through other channels so long as doing so would not interfere with our right to publish.
  • You will receive $100 on acceptance. After your book sells its first 25 copies on our site, you will receive 50% of the profit for each additional sale.
  • If your book is picked up by a major publisher that requires exclusive rights to publish, you may buy back our right to publish for $200.

Can my characters use profanity or do terrible things?
Yes. We know how characters are. You may not want them to do those things, but sometimes they will anyway. All we ask is that we not be forced to listen to it or watch it. There are many creative ways to tell the reader what's going on without putting them through it.
Avoiding profanity, vulgarity, prurient interest, and graphic violence is not meant to create bland stories. It is intended to 1) avoid degrading the reader, 2) avoid distraction from the more powerful elements of the story, 3) push the writer to dig deeper instead using cheap tricks.

Can my characters get depressed or bemused by the absurdity of things?
Yes. In fact it may be important to the story or to your story telling style.
We are not trying to tell sanitized stories of perfect people in a perfect world. That would not match the human experience and would likely produce a story that falls flat.
As post-modernism took over literature during the 20th century, it became fashionable to posit that life had absolutely no meaning, and was therefore probably pointless. Some took a brighter view that the experience of living was the point. Others took a darker view that life was nothing more than a cruel absurd joke and the only courageous thing to do was accept it. We must be cowards, because we don't accept that view. Life is often absurd, not because it is meaningless, but for the opposite reason. Absurdity comes from the mismatch between the meaning of life and our views or activities. It is absurd that a great artist spends most of his or her time cleaning toilets to pay the bills. It is not absurd that a toilet cleaning robot cleans toilets all day.

Does the story have to have a happy ending?
No. Some of the stories on this site qualify as serious warnings. A warning story helps people build or appreciate better lives. Degrading, hopeless books just spread the despondent attitude that there is no point even trying.

What does "very difficult to work with" mean?
Regularly missing appointments without letting the other participants know, using abusive language, intentionally causing unnecessary drama, responding angrily or defensively to constructive criticism, and lying to cover up failures are examples of being very difficult to work with.