So, You Want to Publish a Book?
Islandport Press typically publishes 15 to 20 new titles per year, although we receive more than 500 unsolicited submissions annually. We accept and review unsolicited completed manuscripts, as well as agented submissions.
We are unable to accept or review a project based on a query alone. Please review our catalog closely when considering whether to submit a book. We are a regional publisher. We publish books about the Northeast. Submissions should reflect a New England sensibility and primarily be set in and tell stories about this region, as well as characterize the culture and people.
Also, please note:
Do not phone the office or stop by to deliver your manuscript.
We will acknowledge receipt by email.
We do not respond to status queries.
We look at submissions in the order we receive them.
We have a small staff and receive a large number of manuscripts, so please be patient.
What type of publisher is Islandport Press?
We are a traditional publisher, meaning we acquire rights to the books we publish and then handle editing, design, and distribution. We pay authors and illustrators a royalty based on actual sales and typically a modest advance.
I already self published a book, can I still submit it?
After careful consideration, we have decided not to take on previously self-published titles. If you have already published your book in print or as an ebook, we will not be able to take it on, either as a new title or as the book's distributor.
What type of books do you publish?
Adult Books: We specialize in nonfiction, but also consider fiction, gift, and other trade titles, including food, humor, and mystery. We do not publish poetry, fantasy, thriller, self-help, craft, erotica, or science fiction.
Children's Books: We also publish picture books, story books, middle grade chapter books, and young adult titles. For middle grade and YA titles, please submit a completed manuscript, as well as a one-page synopsis of the book. We are not currently publishing early readers. Like our adult books, all of our children's books have New England sensibilities, and we prefer to work with authors and illustrators who are connected to the region.
What should I send with my manuscript?
We prefer to receive paper copies of manuscripts. If you are making simultaneous submissions to other publishers, please note this in your query letter. When sending us a manuscript, please include the following with your proposal otherwise it will not be considered.
Proposed table of contents
Short author biography
Contact information, including mailing address and email
Relevant marketing information, including competitive title research
Publicity and social media contacts
If you are submitting a children's book that you have illustrated, please include copies of your illustrations. Keep in mind that if we accept your manuscript, we still may decide to choose our own illustrator. If you are not the illustrator, do not send illustrations.
Where should I send my submission?
Please send written submissions to: Acquisitions Editor. Please send any other submissions to:
Islandport Press. submissions (at)islandportpress.com
P.O. Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096
IMPORTANT: We no longer return manuscripts. Please DO NOT send originals or submit your only copy.
I’m an illustrator. Can I submit my artwork?
We are committed to supporting artists who live and/or work in New England. We are always interested in seeing work from new illustrators. If you would like to send us samples of your portfolio to keep on file, please include a cover letter, artist bio, and full contact information including your e-mail address. You are also welcome to send a link to an online portfolio. Please send copies (never send originals).
Can I submit my work to Islandport Magazine?
Unfortunately, the print version of Islandport Magazine is on indefinite hiatus so we are not considering story submissions. We are in the process of developing an online version of the magazine so we may reopen submissions in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Islandport's Top Ten Tips: Make your submission the best it can be!
Read the submission guidelines.
This seems so obvious to us, so we’re not sure why people overlook, ignore, or avoid this, but this is the first step: Read the submission guidelines above! Please follow the guidelines. No poetry means don’t send poetry. We are focused on books that reflect the character and sensibilities of New England. You can't just find and replace the name of the town where your book is set.
Do not call or visit our office.
Just because we're a small publisher doesn't mean we have time to answer questions you can find answers to somewhere else; it's actually quite the opposite.
Do your research.
There are vast—vast!—amounts of information available online about how to submit a manuscript, and the book industry in general. A small amount of legwork will go a long way. Libraries, writing groups, literary organizations, and books, websites, and blogs on writing can help as well. How long should a book be? What is an early reader? What is a narrative arc? How can I turn my idea into a book? We are not able to help you with those questions. We should be the last, not first, stop on the development of your book.
Check the market.
Here's what we mean by competitive title research: What other books are like yours, and might compete against yours in a bookstore? Go to bookstores and libraries and see what’s out there. For instance, if you have written a book about a moose in Maine, how many other books like that are there? Are they new, or out of print? How are they the same, or how are they different, from yours? How will your book compete in this very, very crowded market?
Make it your best.
Don't send a rough draft or work in progress. Don't say, for instance, "I don't care about grammar and syntax; I'm only concerned with content." We want you to care.
Never send your only copy.
Never send your only copy. This applies triple if you are sending artwork. We are not able to return manuscripts, even if you send a self-addressed stamped envelope. These seldom work and we spent a lot of time at the post office figuring out postage errors, so we are no longer able to do this. Do not send your only copy.
That is all.
Remember the basics.
Write a nice cover letter. Include the date on your letter. Make sure your email address is on your letter. Make sure your mailing address is on your letter. Make sure your letter is addressed to Islandport, not another editor/person/publisher.
Do not send self-published material.
9. We are not a vanity press. If you have a finished product and you want to pay someone to print and distribute it, that's not us. After careful consideration, we have decided not to take on previously self-published titles. If you have already published your book in print or as an ebook, we will not be able to take it on, either as a new title or as the book's distributor.
Six months might seem like a ridiculously long time to wait, but we get lots of submissions. We read and we reply to them all. All of us do many different things besides read manuscripts. If three months passes and you haven't heard back, please see Tip #2.