Call for Submissions / Bella’s Publishing Philosophy

At Bella Books, we believe stories about women-loving-women are essential to our lives—and so do our readers. We are interested in acquiring manuscripts that tell captivating and unique stories across all genres—including romance, mystery, thriller, paranormal, etc.

We want our books to reflect and celebrate the diversity of our lesbian, sapphic, queer, bisexual, and gender non-conforming community—in all our glorious shapes, sizes and colors.  Our desire to publish diverse voices is perennial. We don’t want to tell your stories for you—we want to amplify your voices.

We believe that our readers want fresh plots, and that they relish hours spent with engaging characters whose complexities, struggles and triumphs celebrate their hopes and dreams. They want books they can’t put down, stories they think about for days afterward, and characters so compelling they wish they could meet them.

We publish romance, mystery, action/thriller, science-fiction, fantasy, erotica and general fiction. At this time, we are particularly interested in acquiring romance manuscripts. We welcome your submission.

Submission Process

Our submission process requests specific information required for a thorough analysis. We will promptly acknowledge its receipt and let you know within 90 days if we are interested in pursuing rights and publishing your work.

If you have any questions before submitting your work, send an inquiry to submissions@bellabooks.com.

To submit your manuscript and give it the best chance for acceptance, please follow the instructions below:

e-mail your submission package to submissions@bellabooks.com and include the following:

  • E-mail, with the title of your manuscript followed by the author’s name as the subject line. The body of the e-mail can be blank.
  • Cover Letter, in a single Word-compatible document, as an attachment (some mail programs call it an “enclosure”). Your cover letter should include:
    • Short bio, your legal name, complete publishing history, if any, and all pen names in use;
    • Your complete contact information, including e-mail and a telephone number where it is acceptable to leave a message about your submission;
    • An explanation of any rights that might not be available for us to acquire, if applicable (see below under Other Issues You Should Consider);
    • Why you feel your manuscript will appeal to our readers.
  • Synopsis, in a single Word-compatible document, as an attachment. Please follow the Bella Author Formatting guidelines available here. This document should include:
    • Plot summary, including how the story ends, of no more than 750 words;
    • Character and setting description of no more than 250 words;
      Word count of your completed manuscript. (Please note, we are most interested in stories at least 60,000 words or more in length although there is no set minimum or maximum word count.)
  • The complete manuscript in a Word-compatible document, as an attachment. Again, we strongly recommend that you follow the Bella Author Formatting guidelines available here.

Any further correspondence regarding your submission should be sent to submissions@bellabooks.com. Please do not inquire about the status of your submission or manuscript review unless the timeframes for our response (given above) have elapsed.

Additional notes…

Your submission package and final manuscript should reflect your best work. We understand everyone makes mistakes, and rely on a team of editors and proofreaders, but we expect any submission to have a competent level of format, style and usage as reflected in the Chicago Manual of Style. Bella Books themselves serve as excellent indicators of the standards of grammar and style we expect.

We consider a submission of a project to be an offer from the author to enter negotiations for a contract. That means that the person submitting it should have the right to do so, that no other publisher is currently considering its acquisition and that the rights we may wish to acquire are available. As a small press we can’t invest the evaluation resources only to find that the project is under contract or otherwise encumbered. For this reason, we cannot accept simultaneous submissions. If there is any issue with the rights to the manuscript you are submitting, please include an explanation of the issues in your cover letter.

The submission process outlined above is the only way your manuscript will be considered, and it applies to authors and agents alike.

Thank you for your interest in Bella Books. If you have any questions about the submission process, please direct them to submissions@bellabooks.com.

We look forward to receiving and reviewing your work!

– Linda Hill, Publisher