By Light Unseen Media
Submission Guidelines

By Light Unseen Media is currently seeking outstanding and unique manuscripts in the area of vampire fiction and non-fiction. Authors are asked to query before submitting manuscripts. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be considered.

Please review the following guidelines for authors. If you feel your manuscript meets our needs and is consistent with our mission, we welcome your query.

We strongly encourage fiction writers to read the following short online articles:

Seven Wrong Things You Know about Vampire Folklore
Think Outside the Coffin: Writing the Vampire Novel

Guidelines for Fiction

  • We are seeking full-length novels ranging from 75,000 to 150,000 words. We are not currently accepting short stories, novellas, or short story collections. If your novel is the first of a trilogy or series, be aware that we will not commit to publishing more than one book at a time. Publication of further volumes will be dependent on sales.
  • We are primarily interested in dramatic fiction with a realistic tone. Vampire themed campy humor, parody, satire, "chick-lit" stories, formula romance and erotica for its own sake have all been done to excess. We also will not consider extremely violent horror fiction or stories focused on "slayers," "hunters," "enforcers" and so on as the protagonists. These have been done to excess and beyond.
  • Fiction must be wholly original. We will not consider fiction that is based on other authors' works, including works in the public domain (such as Dracula or Carmilla), or that utilizes names, characters or specific settings from existing fictional universes in books, films, television shows, role-playing games, video games, anime/manga, and so on. We are seeking manuscripts that display the author's own unique vision and breadth of imagination.
  • Stories should emphasize careful and thoughtful development of complex, three-dimensional and fallible characters, complicated relationships and conflicts, and strong, coherent plots with satisfying resolutions.
  • Stories should avoid promoting gratuitous negative bias or stereotypes against any group, including members of any religion, people of any sexual orientation, any racial or ethnic group, or members of any specific nationality.
  • We will consider historical (any time period or culture), traditional fantasy and science-fiction genre stories as long as they are primarily vampire-themed and meet the criteria above.
  • Although we prefer adult fiction, we will consider manuscripts aimed at a young adult audience, as long as the writing is intelligent and does not condescend to that age group. We are not considering juvenile fiction at this time.

If your manuscript conforms to the above guidelines, send a query by electronic or paper submission. Each query must include the following for consideration:

  • A cover letter with a pitch, your story synopsis (500 words or less), the total word count of your manuscript, and an author bio. Your pitch should explain why your manuscript is perfect for By Light Unseen Media. Your synopsis should describe the whole story, including the ending--we want a synopsis, not a teaser. Your bio should focus on your writing and/or publishing experience and credits and other background specifically relevant to your manuscript content.
  • The first three chapters of your manuscript in standard manuscript format: 12-point type, 8-1/2" x 11" pages with one inch margins, with page numbers, your name and the manuscript title in a header at the top of each page. Use this format whether submitting electronically or on paper. Electronic files should be sent as attachments in RTF, Microsoft Word, Word Perfect or plain text format. Do not send a PDF, zipped, or HTML attachment. Due to the many viruses online, these attachments will be deleted unopened.
  • Full contact information for the author, including full legal name, pen name or pseudonym if any, mailing address, e-mail address and telephone number.
  • Query materials will not be returned. Do not send your only copy of anything.
  • Do not send a full manuscript unless we have requested it.

Send queries by mail to:
By Light Unseen Media
PO Box 1233
Pepperell, MA 01463-3233

or electronically to:
vyrdolak [at] bylightunseenmedia [dot] com

Be sure to use the subject line, "MANUSCRIPT QUERY" in your email. E-mail with no subject line, or a vague one, looks like spam and may be deleted.

Guidelines for Non-Fiction

We are seeking high-quality non-fiction that examines vampires in folklore, cultural tradition, occult theory and as a modern social subgroup or counter-culture. We are especially interested in manuscripts that describe original primary source research, either in historical records or in the field, in a form accessible to the general reader. We are willing to work with the authors of graduate-level dissertations who would be agreeable to editing their work for a non-academic readership. We will consider manuscripts that examine vampire-themed literature and media if they demonstrate a new and original approach to the material.

Manuscripts should range from monographs of at least 50,000 words to 150,000 words. Illustrations should be gray-scale or black and white line art, and should not take up more than ten percent of the manuscript. All illustrations must be original, public domain, or licensed for use by the author.

Non-fiction manuscripts must conform to laws and regulations regarding copyright, fair use, and libel.

If your manuscript conforms to the above guidelines, send a query by electronic or paper submission. Each query must include the following for consideration:

  • A cover letter with an outline of your manuscript including table of contents, a chapter-by-chapter summary, the total word count of your manuscript, and an author bio. Your bio should focus on your academic credentials or other training, your writing and/or publishing experience and credits and other background specifically relevant to your manuscript content. Credentials must be verifiable and you must include your real name.
  • The first three chapters of your manuscript in standard manuscript format: 12-point type, 8-1/2" x 11" pages with one inch margins, with page numbers, your name and the manuscript title in a header at the top of each page. Use this format whether submitting electronically or on paper. Electronic files should be sent as attachments in RTF, Microsoft Word, Word Perfect or plain text format. Do not send a PDF, zipped, or HTML attachment. Due to the many viruses online, these attachments will be deleted unopened.
  • Full contact information for the author, including full legal name, pen name or pseudonym if any, mailing address, e-mail address and telephone number.
  • Query materials will not be returned. Do not send your only copy of anything, including illustrations.
  • Do not send a full manuscript unless we have requested it.

Send queries by mail to:
By Light Unseen Media
PO Box 1233
Pepperell, MA 01463-3233

or electronically to:
vyrdolak [at] bylightunseenmedia [dot] com

Be sure to use the subject line, "MANUSCRIPT QUERY" in your email. E-mail with no subject line, or a vague one, looks like spam and may be deleted.

We will make every effort to respond to queries within a reasonable time frame. However, our slush pile and production line is somewhat backlogged, so it may be several months before we're able to respond. All submissions are given careful consideration.

Authors should be aware that they will be expected to participate actively in their book's promotion and marketing if accepted for publication.

By Light Unseen Media welcomes queries from literary agents.