• Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx

City Lights Press would love to see your work. We are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts in contemporary fiction: women’s fiction, historical romance and young adult fiction. Our goal is to find and share compelling fiction from authors in all stages of their writing careers. Unlike most publishing companies, we do not assume the majority of what we receive is trash, we want you to succeed. We do not require our writers to be represented by an agent.

If you have a manuscript that you would like us to consider for publication and worldwide marketing, please fill out the following information, attach your manuscript and submit. (all fields are required in order for the form to be accepted.)

If you are under the age of 18, you must have parental approval to submit your work, and you must have that permission stated on the first page of your manuscript along with the name and contact information of your guardian.

Thank you for your interest with City Lights Press and we look forward to reviewing your submission.

If you don’t receive a response to your submission within 30 days it means we are unable to publish your work at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of books does City Lights publish?

City Lights Press will look at all unsolicited manuscripts regardless of genre. However, our current focus is on the women’s fiction, historical fiction and young adult genres. These genres are currently the most successful, but luckily, they all have sub-genres as well. More specifically, Cozy Mysteries, Historical fiction and Women’s Adventure are some of the popular sub-genres. If you believe your book fits into one of these categories or one similar, go ahead and submit your manuscript.

What kinds of marketing efforts can set me apart as an indie author?

There is no such thing as being an overnight success; it takes not only a dedicated publishing team but also an author willing to be involved in the process of promoting a book. Establishing an online presence prior to publishing your book is a great way to give yourself an advantage. Setting up relevant author pages and interacting with fans and readers is a great way to launch a successful online presence. Of course, we can help through ongoing marketing efforts, using social media as a means of promotion, having our own social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, etc.

What sets City Lights Press apart from other indie publishers?

Not only do we love what we do (and we’ll prove it to you), but we have one of the most industry-friendly contracts there is. We want you to be a part of the process and see you succeed. Our goal is to work with authors in all stages of their writing careers in order to share the best stories that readers will love. We want you to focus on what you do best—writing books, and have fun with the rest (like social media).

What are the advantages of publishing with a small press versus a traditional big publisher?

Opting to publish your work with a small publisher like City Lights Press means working more closely with a team of individuals committed to marketing your work long-term, rather than “Big Five” New York publishing companies concerned only with meeting their own aggressive sales goals.

Like many small presses, City Lights Press accepts unsolicited submissions, unheard-of in the big companies. Without publishing history, authors usually don’t get an agent, and without an agent, they usually don’t get published. Small presses, like City Lights Press, offer the opportunity to get published; providing an important stepping stone for inexperienced authors.

Authors will have more direct involvement in the publishing process and may even have some creative control over the book’s editing and design. In general, choosing to publish with a small press is a great tool to get your work out there by a group of people passionate about representing unknown or emerging authors.

What’s more, we’re dedicated to marketing an author and not just a single title, unlike many of the big publishing companies whose focus is on what’s next.

Do I need to have an agent to work with City Lights Press?

No, here at City Lights Press we do not require you to have an agent. There are pros and cons to having an agent, and whichever you chose to do we will work with.

If you are new to the industry an agent may be helpful for you personally. A good agent will have a thorough understanding of the market and will know what is best for you. Not all agents are the same, some will specialize in editorial while others are better for creative support.  So the choice is yours.

What formats does City Lights Press publish their books in?

City Lights Press specializes in eBooks and Paperback books.

We hope print books never die, but eBooks are currently the best and most popular way to read a book these days. eBooks are much more convenient and seem to be the route everyone prefers. There is a lot more that can be done with eBooks, such as adding hyperlinks for more promotion. eBooks are also faster to produce. Generally, as long as your book is of novel length, it will be published in paperback as well as eBook.

Why should I submit my work to City Lights Press instead of self-publishing?

While self-publishing sounds more convenient and cost efficient, you will only be making your job more difficult. Not only will you have the difficult job of writing a book, but you will then take on all of the additional work of a publisher. Although there are the few success stories, most self-published books do not succeed and you will not go very far.

With City Lights Press you will not have to worry about anything other than writing your book, we will take care of the rest, including a marketing and promoting your work.

My manuscript has been published in the past; can I submit it to City Lights Press?

Yes! If you have been previously published or have a back-list to which you have recovered the rights we are more than happy to work with you.

Some books are published prematurely with little to no marketing and do not do well. We understand that and we want to see your work succeed. It is a fresh start for your past books with a whole new angle on the same old work. We will work with you in order to make the necessary changes to see your book be successful, including a new cover, marketing plan and promoting not only your book, but you as well!

How important is a social media presence as an author?

The straight forward answer is: it is incredibly important.

Most “big five” publishing companies won’t even glance at you unless you can show them that you have an online following.

Social media is a fantastic medium for connecting to readers and should be used as such. On Twitter and Facebook, you have direct access to your fans–and you should take advantage of that by sharing your life and work with them. Instead of simply spamming your pages with “buy my book”, use social media to connect to readers. Talk to them. Start conversations. Talk about your life.

As author Celeste Ng stated so eloquently, “The key to social media for authors is remembering this: its main purpose is really to show that you are a real human being who lives in this world. Readers don’t need to know every detail of your life (unless you want to share that!)—what I think most readers are hungry for is just knowing that this book didn’t come out of a vacuum, that an actual person wrote it. So it doesn’t really matter whether you do Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or whatever; what matters is that you share a glimpse of what you do, what you think, what you are about. It could be pictures of your cat; it could be the food you eat; it could be articles you find interesting or internet memes or really anything. And it doesn’t have to be a torrent, either—it can be just a post here and there, maybe once or twice a week, as you feel moved.”

I submitted my manuscript but haven't heard back. Is there anyone I can contact?

Because we accept unsolicited manuscripts, we receive a large number of manuscripts every day.

If you don’t receive a response to your submission within 30 days it means we are unable to publish your work at this time.