Deseret Book Submission Guidelines
Publishing at Deseret Book
Deseret Book is a publisher and retailer that publishes and promotes a variety of books, all of which reflect the values espoused by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Books we are interested in will be
1. Of value to our readers. Readers should feel they are better people for having read the book and that they are getting good value for their money. The book should uplift and inspire.
2. Well-written and well-researched. Poor writing and careless research greatly increase editing and production costs and often indicate less-quality work. The book should be clean of offensive material, including profanity, vulgarity, excessive violence, or sexually explicit or suggestive scenes.
3. Unique. The book should stand out by providing a new approach and insights to the subject. It should not merely reiterate material and ideas already available in other works.
In general, Deseret Book is interested in LDS-content fiction and nonfiction. We publish a limited number of manuscripts in specialized genres such as children’s picture books, family and parenting, and self-help. In addition, we are not interested in the following genres: business and finance, cookbooks, family histories, memoirs, poetry, or personal journals.
In addition to books published under the Deseret Book imprint, we also appeal to a values-based, general market through our Shadow Mountain and Ensign Peak imprints. While both imprints are intended for a national market, Shadow Mountain specializes in non-religious books while Ensign Peak titles are generally religious in nature. To learn more about Shadow Mountain or to submit a manuscript intended for this imprint, please visit shadowmountain.com. The Ensign Peak website is currently in development. In the meantime, please submit manuscripts intended for this imprint through Deseret Book. Please note that all submissions submitted through the Deseret Book and Shadow Mountain websites go through the same review process and will be considered for all three imprints.
LDS Living Magazine, Shadow Mountain Records, and Excel Entertainment are also divisions of Deseret Book. To submit an article query to LDS Living or a music demo to Shadow Mountain Records, please visit their individual websites. For questions regarding Excel Entertainment, please contact Arthur Van Wagenen at email@example.com.
Submitting Your Manuscript
We do not require that you be represented by a literary agent. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. We will consider manuscripts that are being submitted simultaneously to other publishers; however, please let us know you are submitting elsewhere so misunderstandings can be avoided.
Please submit your query or cover letter, outline/synopsis, and a partial or full manuscript online at http://submissions.deseretbook.com, or click on the link at the bottom of the guidelines. We will no longer review submissions sent to us by mail or e-mail. Hard-copy manuscripts will be returned unopened. Please send any specific questions not answered below to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Query/Cover letters should include:
- Information about your manuscript, including the title, genre, intended audience, total word count, and a compelling 2–3 sentence blurb describing your manuscript.
- A brief explanation about why this book is different from others in its genre.
- Your contact information and background in relation to your book.
- Your current or future marketing plans.
2. Outlines/Synopses (optional) should:
- Be brief (less than 2 pages in length) and concise.
- Give us an overview of what your manuscript is about and where it’s going. For nonfiction, a table of contents is acceptable. For fiction, an overall plot summary or chapter-by-chapter outline is adequate.
3. Manuscripts should be formatted as follows:
- Double-spaced, 12 pt. font with one-inch margins.
- Indented first lines without extra returns between paragraphs.
- Typed and saved in a single Word document or PDF file for upload.
- Numbered in sequence, not by chapter, for each page of the entire manuscript. Include your last name in the upper left-hand corner of each page, followed by a short identifying word or phrase from the title of the book and the page number. For example: Anderson/Prayer/132.
- Spellchecked and proofread before submission. Your submission should represent your best work, not a first draft.
- For nonfiction books, include complete documentation with full publishing information for all sources quotes, such as a bibliography. (See Copyright Permissions)
- For children’s picture books, submit all the text in a double-spaced format or in a single-spaced format with double spaces between paragraphs. We are happy to see original illustrations, but it is not necessary to have completed illustrations prior to submission. If your manuscript is accepted for publication and you will not be providing illustrations, we will hire an illustrator for your book. Sample sketches or word descriptions are acceptable. (Example: [A mother and child by the beach.])
- For self-published books, submit the original manuscript in a Word document or the final printed book as a PDF. Make sure you have retained copyright before submitting.
4. General guidelines:
- Do not submit manuscripts by mail, by e-mail, or in person. Manuscripts submitted through these networks will not be reviewed.
- Do not send duplicate manuscripts to Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain, or Ensign Peak. All online manuscripts submissions go through the same channels, and duplicates will be discarded.
- Do not submit manuscripts written in languages other than English.
- Do not submit final products for vending. For distribution in our retail stores, please visit our retail product guidelines.
- If you are under 18 years of age, parental approval is not necessary to submit a manuscript; however, if a manuscript is accepted for publication, parental/guardian consent will be required before the project can move forward.
- Please allow four to five months for a response on your manuscript. Once a decision has been reached, you will be notified via email. If you have questions about the status of your manuscript, or wish to withdraw your manuscript, please let us know at email@example.com. Before contacting us, please know that the number of manuscripts submitted, as well as pressing deadlines on books already in production, often result in delays.
Copyright Permissions & Protection
It is your responsibility to clear the use of all text and quotations under copyright, including lengthy prose quotations (more than a few lines) and all lyrics and poems. Please note the following requirements:
1. Include complete publishing information for the sources of any quotations (the author and title of the work, the place of publication, the name of the publisher, the publication date, and the page(s) of the quotation). If you wish, you may cite just the author, title, and page numbers in the text and provide the full citation, including the publishing information, in a bibliography.
2. For scriptures, include book, chapter, and verse.
3. Keep a copy of the original sources, such as photocopies of the title page and copyright page of any books from which you are quoting. We will require this information if your manuscript is accepted for publication.
4. Do not use poetry or words from songs written by established national writers. It can be difficult to find copyright holders to secure permissions, and heavy fees are usually charged.
5. Limit your use of quotes. Quotes must support your ideas and cannot become the main point of a paragraph, section, or complete text.
6. Acquire permissions from sources or people comprised in stories, including those who have had their names changed. If a person can identify themselves or their experience in your work, then you probably need their permission to use their story.
7. Review the FAQ of the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/) for specific copyright questions.
8. Contact the Church’s Intellectual Property Office to request permissions regarding Church copyrighted materials, including scriptures, General Conference talks, and Church manuals.
9. Do not worry that we will steal your idea or any part of your manuscript; no reputable publisher will do that. Under the current U.S. copyright law, your book is already protected the moment you set it down on paper. If you wish, put a notice on the title page in the following manner: “© 2013, John Doe (your formal name). All rights reserved.” Please understand that we receive approximately two thousand submissions a year and have projects currently in development; it’s possible that something we’re currently evaluating or working on is similar to your idea. Deseret Book cannot be held responsible for any possible overlap.
10. It is unnecessary to register your manuscript for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office before submitting it. Upon publication of your book, we will submit the necessary forms to formally register the copyright in your behalf.
After the Review
After the acquisitions and publishing teams have reviewed your manuscript, they may (1) accept it for publication, (2) invite you to revise and resubmit it, or (3) reject it. If you are asked to revise your manuscript, please do not be offended. This is actually a positive response, indicating that your manuscript has excellent potential for publication.
Many factors must be taken into account in deciding which manuscripts are accepted for publication, and rejection does not necessarily mean that the manuscript is not publishable—only that it is not right for Deseret Book at this time. Our resources—financing, time, and staff—are limited, and we can only accept limited number of manuscripts and genres from the many submitted to us. In general, we do not have the time to provide a detailed critique or evaluation of manuscripts.
Publishing Production and Marketing
We only discuss details regarding contracts, royalties, production processes, and marketing plans after a manuscript has been accepted for possible publication. Please note that in today’s publishing environment authors are required to be heavily involved in the promotion of their books through social media and public appearances.
Thank you for your interest in publishing with Deseret Book. We will be in touch once we’ve had a chance to thoroughly evaluate your manuscript. Please allow four months for our response.
To submit a manuscript now, click HERE
Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain, and Ensign Peak are registered trademarks of Deseret Book Company.
These guidelines are for informational purposes only and are in no way legally binding.