Close window

KOMENAR Publishing Submission Guidelines

Unfortunately due to the current economic situation and stalled retail sales, KOMENAR is suspending its search for new novels to publish until sales of our current titles show that we can go forward with new titles. We encourage you to financially support this industry if not the specific publishers with whom you hope to have a future. Your goodwill and interest in KOMENAR is greatly appreciated.

Please Be Advised

Writers should read through this entire document before deciding to submit to KOMENAR. Then you should follow all directions and guidelines to have your work considered. Submissions sent to KOMENAR that do not follow our guidelines will be refused, returned to the sender if return postage is included, or discarded, all without being reviewed. This applies to formatting as well as subject matter. So please be conscientious and you will get our consideration and best efforts in return for yours.

What We Publish

KOMENAR Publishing is a mainstream fiction publishing house that believes a novel should be a compelling read with strong forward momentum, engaging and dynamic characters, and evocative settings. We also favor a strong, rich, textured style; dialogue that develops character and sounds natural; and a subtle rhythm like one finds in narrative poetry. We primarily publish first-time novelists, though we are now making exceptions to that rule.

What We Seek

KOMENAR Publishing seeks submissions that are the beginning pages from completed novels by writers who have not been published as novelists previously. If you have had short stories published, you are still eligible for this category.

Exceptions: If your work has been previously published in book form and as fiction, please click here for our new specifications for previously-published fiction authors.

We do not republish any material that has been assigned an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or that bears a copyright or trademark for the text.

Categories of Fiction We Consider

The general category of all of our titles is Mainstream Fiction, with an emphasis on Literary Mainstream. If your manuscript demonstrates depth of craft and exploration of social issues, we expand our interest to include Mystery, Adventure, Suspense, Historical and Romance as well as General Fiction. For examples of content and style, please read the book excerpts available on this site, or request our titles at your local bookstore or library.

We do not take any Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica, True Crime, or Horror. The same is true of derivative fiction or material. We also don't anticipate publishing short story collections or anthologies for several more years. And we have no plans to publish any nonfiction at any time.

What You Should Know About KOMENAR

KOMENAR is a small publishing house. That means we publish select titles every year with a small staff dedicated to our books. We give each of our titles wonderful artwork and marketing materials, national sales opportunities, enter our titles into contests and send out review copies. We market our books three and four times longer than the big publishing houses because small publishers are expected to keep books in print for a longer time. Therefore writers with an eye toward a career in writing can get a good start from KOMENAR.

We also invest in our authors, sending them to trade shows and other events. Our authors also attend a workshop entitled "Author Boot Camp," during which we outline how the industry works and what will work for them. And we help our authors with their presentations for various events, and teach them how to approach booksellers.

Many writers send us their manuscripts, but only a few will be accepted for consideration and publication. Currently we publish two new titles per year in hardcover and trade paper. Our goal is to grow to six titles per year in hardcover and trade paper. From there our dreams expand even further.

We at KOMENAR are committed to publishing compelling books by talented, friendly and cooperative writers. We are committed to helping author and novel succeed. Our goal is to give our authors the best opportunity in a competitive publishing marketplace. Author, publisher, and bookseller must work together and subscribe to the same truths: (1) Success is measured by people willing to buy . . . and read . . . the book, then recommend that book to others, and (2) we must sell today's books in order to publish other authors tomorrow.

If You Are A Previously Published Fiction Author

We are now considering manuscripts from previously published fiction writers. If you meet this criteria and would like KOMENAR to consider your next work, we ask that you query us in the following manner:

Write a letter to us that addresses why you are looking for publication with KOMENAR. That letter should not exceed two pages. Include title and publisher information for your previously published work.

If you were self or subsidy published or were in eBook format and distribution, please give us an understanding of what you learned from that experience and what you expect from a traditional publisher such as KOMENAR.

Include with your letter five pages of the unpublished work you would like us to consider. Use our guidelines in formatting your submission.

Do not include a synopsis.

Mail your letter and submission to:

Acquisition Editor
"Previously Published"
KOMENAR Publishing
1756 Lacassie Avenue, Suite 202
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Full manuscripts are accepted only upon invitation from our acquisition editor.

What to Submit

We accept and review unsolicited submissions formatted according to our guidelines. Your submission should include the first ten pages of a completed, polished novel of at least 60,000 words. Do not submit anything unless you are prepared to submit more or all of the manuscript as we request it.

Agents are welcome to submit but only the number of pages requested here. Full manuscripts are accepted only upon invitation from our acquisition editor.

Your Initial Manuscript Submission (IMS) should include:

  • A one-page cover letter with full contact information (name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address),
  • A one-page biography, and
  • The first ten pages of your manuscript (do not include title page, acknowledgements, or dedication).

Do not send more than these twelve pages total. Make sure to follow our formatting and mailing guidelines and consult our FAQs (coming soon!) for suggestions about style.

Also please don't send any other materials--no pictures, diagrams, artwork, CDs, etc. We find these distracting and sometimes become concerned about returning materials to submitters.

You may include a self-addressed stamped envelope but we don't expect it. When none is included, we are free to decide how to contact you (telephone, email, or snail mail).

We accept simultaneous submissions of a single manuscript. We do not accept simultaneous multiple submissions from a single writer. So send us one manuscript at a time. No additional manuscripts until you've received a response from the previous submission.

Regarding Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter should not exceed one page and should include the title of your book, your contact information, and the date. Please do not summarize, pitch or include a proposal or plot synopsis. Instead, we prefer a conversational cover letter that includes why you chose KOMENAR, why you write, why you wrote this, and/or what made this a significant project to you.

Please do not compare your work to any other writer or with any specific novels. Many editors and agents ask for this, but we find it distracting. Sometimes it even works against you if you compare your work to an author or book that we don't like or would not consider publishing.

Manuscript Formatting Criteria (MFC)

Please format and proof your work, using these Manuscript Formatting Criteria (MFC). Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will not be read. Questions about these guidelines and this process are welcome.

  • Set margins for your manuscript pages at 1.25" on all sides.
  • Double space all manuscript text.
  • Include in either the header or footer page numbers, your first and last name, and the title of the book. For example, George Smythe / The First Day.
  • Use a plain, standard font, such as Courier, Palatino, Georgia, New Century Schoolbook, or Courier New.
  • Do not use Times Roman, Times New Roman, or any font that is small, narrow, big, or fancy.
  • The font size should be 12 point.
  • Print on one side of the paper only.
  • Paragraphs should be indented three to five spaces. Do not put an extra return between paragraphs instead of indenting.
  • Send only manuscripts that have been checked for spelling, grammar, and punctuation, especially regarding dialogue.
  • Spacing between a period and the first word of the next sentence should be two spaces. This can be accomplished using Select All for the pages to be submitted, then using Find And Replace to substitute a period and two spaces wherever there is a period and one space.
  • Do not staple your submission.

Sending Your Manuscript

Mail your submission to:

Acquisition Editor
KOMENAR Publishing
1756 Lacassie Avenue, Suite 202
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Send your materials in a flat envelope and include your return address on the outside of the envelope.

Do not hand-deliver, email, or fax your submission.

Do not require a signature for your submission. We have neither the time nor staff to sign for materials and will therefore refuse the package. Postcards included to be used to show receipt are also not a good strategy. Delivery confirmation is the best way to go if you are concerned about your submission mailing. And don't send anything with special "fast" delivery. No one in this industry responds well to speed or impatience.

Manuscript Review Process

Our manuscript review and acquisition process runs unevenly year-round. You can send an Initial Manuscript Submission (IMS) at any time. Our goal is to respond in less than three months. But that is not always possible. Our ability to respond is dependent on book sales cycles in the industry and availability of acquisition staff. Basically, we cannot acquire new manuscripts if our current titles need our sales and/or marketing attention. Those two factors absolutely control our manuscript review process.

After we receive an IMS, we log it in. Materials are then initially evaluated for following guidelines, formatting and subject matter. If an IMS fails either of these tests, we send out a form letter.

Those that pass the initial evaluation are then read and reviewed. If the review is not favorable, we write a letter of rejection and hopefully will include a suggestion or two for the writer to consider. If we have not asked for a rewrite, please email us at to request a second review.

If the review is favorable, the writer will be contacted by email or telephone call for more pages and/or a revision. Based on the agreeability of that interaction and resulting decisions, more pages may be requested to be reviewed and possibly circulated among the review committee. If the reviewer feels KOMENAR cannot go forward at that point, the writer is informed of our decision either by email, snail mail or a telephone call.

After the review committee, a favorably reviewed manuscript can be sent on to the acquisition committee where the piece is considered for publication. Marketing is discussed, as well as a schedule of needed editing time. Then we develop an overall strategy for the manuscript, contact the submitting writer with our comments and concerns, and discuss our strategy regarding the novel. If everyone is in agreement and satisfied with the situation, we discuss the contract and schedule the novel for production.

Contacting KOMENAR Publishing

Please email questions about our guidelines and the submission process to

Please do not contact us for the name of our acquisition editor. This is not privileged information but we will not provide you with a name. The designation "Acquisition Editor" on letters and envelopes helps us direct mail to the appropriate people. That's why we ask you to use the title rather than an individual's name.

Please do not call or email KOMENAR to check if your submission has been received. Instead mail your submission using service(s) offered by the U.S. Postal Service to confirm our receipt of your materials (see our mailing guidelines for suggestions).

After four months, if you are still awaiting a response to your submission, please email KOMENAR at the above email address. We will respond to your email. We will. We promise.

Please understand that at different times of the year KOMENAR staff must make acquisition of manuscripts a secondary endeavor. Especially if we are in the midst of design, production and sales schedules. At that time we will respond to your emails but may not have a status on your submission.

When telephoning KOMENAR, please be prepared to leave a message either with a staff person or on voice mail. Include your telephone number and email address, as well as the reason you are calling. Be as flexible and helpful as possible with any KOMENAR staff member. Realize that someone will attend to your concerns but may have to respond on our time schedule.

Depending on when individuals can respond, email may be the likely form of reply. Frequently time differences and work schedules make a return telephone call impossible. (Please email KOMENAR staff directly only if you are invited to do so. Invitation will be obvious when you receive an email with an individual's private business email.)

Above all, please understand that KOMENAR has a hard-working staff that will respond to requests for information or answer questions. We share this reader/writer community with you as industry professionals, and as writers and readers ourselves. But we are also people like you who will avoid others who approach us with an attitude that does not fit the business situation.

Thanks for reading these guidelines, and for considering KOMENAR!

Close window

KOMENAR Publishing
1756 Lacassie Avenue, Suite 202 - Walnut Creek, CA 94596
telephone: (510) 444-2261 - fax: (510) 834-2141
address general questions to:
© 2009 KOMENAR Publishing, All Rights Reserved