Last updated 21st April 2019

Novels, short story collections, technical manuals etc.

Please also read the general guidelines in the ‘Submission Guidelines’ section. Really. They are long but will save you a lot of bother.

Books by individual authors, including novels, short story collections and nonfiction books, are paid on a royalty basis. Leg Iron Books is not currently in a position to offer an advance on royalties so the authors will get quarterly reports and payments (if the books have sold) at the end of February, May, August and November each year.

The book contract runs for five years from the date of publication. Nobody signs anything until the book is ready to go. We do not hold you to a five-year contract and then sit on your book for three of those years. Leg Iron Books makes no money from books that are not on sale and neither do you.

The royalties are based on profits. There is no cunning accounting here, every sale counts as a profit and the author gets 70% of the profit from that sale. For print books this is not much – most of the sale goes to the printer and distributor, but it is never zero. The margin is much better for eBooks even though they are priced much lower than the print version.

Please send, at first, the first three chapters of your book to give a feel for the overall theme and content. Do not do this unless your book is complete because it is possible that we will request the entire manuscript within hours. A work in progress is not ready for publication.

Formats are covered in the general submission guidelines. Be sure to read those first.

Cover art

If the author has their own cover art, fine. If not, we provide cover art. Note that we do not use stock images nor images from the Internet. Cover art provided by Leg Iron Books is produced by us, specifically for that book. The book will include the cover artist’s name on the copyright page.

If the author provides their own cover art, they must hold the copyright to that image. Copyright for cover art, in that case, will be attributed to the author (or to the artist who has agreed to let the author use their image) on the copyright page of the book. If the author is unsure whether they hold the copyright to the image, or whether they have express permission from the artist to use it, their best course of action is to let Leg Iron Books provide the cover image.

This also applies to interior illustrations, if the author chooses to include any.

Cover images can be full colour but must be at least 310 dpi resolution and sized to the desired book cover size. The standard is 6×9 inches plus trim area of at least 0.5 inches all around. We will add cover text if you prefer, but if you do it yourself make sure it is at least 0.5 inches from the edges of the 6×9 rectangle in the centre of the image.

We can now do full wraparound covers. The size will depend on the size of your book – two 6×9 panels plus spine thickness, plus trim area. Leave space at the bottom of the back cover for the Leg Iron Books logo and the ISBN barcode. It is best, if creating your own cover, to save a copy with no text. This makes it much easier to go back if it needs corrections.

Interior illustrations should be greyscale and at least 310 dpi when sized to the required height and width. Colour interior images can be produced but be aware this will massively increase the cost of your book and is likely to make it difficult to sell.

Interior images in eBooks can be tricky, and not all e-readers have colour screens. If you are producing a book intended to be full of colour pictures we can offer the option of a print-only version.

How long should a novel be?

You really want, for print, a book that runs to at least 130 pages because otherwise it’s too thin to put the title on the spine. That’s a novella rather than a novel but it can still sell. Smaller than 100 pages and the print costs will make it look expensive for its size. As a ball park figure, work on the basis of at least 30,000 words for a print book. There really isn’t an upper limit – very big stories can even become trilogies – but keep in mind that the bigger the book, the more it costs to print and the more the book has to cost, the harder it will be to sell.

There is a minimum cost for print books. Go up above 130 pages and the minimum price will rise – but go below about 100 pages and the price no longer goes down. There is a floor to the print and production costs, and it’s best to stay above it.

With eBooks, size doesn’t matter. A 20,000 word story isn’t likely to sell in print because of the price vs. book size issue but in eBook form, with appropriate pricing, it poses no problem. Leg Iron Books will certainly consider an eBook-only edition if that is your preference.

Alternatively, you can combine two or more novelettes, or a series of short stories, into a single book. Leg Iron Books has already published a number of these single-author short story collections.

What if the book has more than one author?

Leg Iron Books will deal with the lead author only. That lead author will receive any and all payments in connection with the book and will be responsible for dividing receipts among the other authors. Any edits, changes, special requirements by the other authors should be channelled via that lead author. We are not getting involved in inter-author disagreements.

All authors will need to sign a contract, as an agreement to publish their work, but any group working on one project will have to select a contact author who will deal with Leg Iron Books as representing all the authors.

We have no problem with multi-author books, we just don’t have time to deal with conflicting issues from different authors on the same book. Sort that out amongst yourselves, ideally long before you submit anything.

The exception is multi-author short story anthologies with one or two editors. We’d love to take those on one day but we’re really not big enough yet. It would involve us in editing what editors have edited, then that will feed back to authors who feel they have already been edited. It would take up a lot of time and we just don’t have the manpower available to devote someone to that just yet.

So, for the moment, the only multi-author anthologies from Leg Iron Books are the Underdog Anthologies. We produce three every year so we know just how much work is involved and adding another layer on top… maybe in the future.

If you have any questions, you can contact us through the ‘contact’ page at the top of this menu. So far we do not operate 24/7 so please be patient when waiting for a response.