** JANUARY 2015 **
We’re closing submissions for a bit. The guidelines below are, more or less, what we’ll be looking for when we we open in the future. Please read them carefully.
We publish crime and literary fiction. We believe in the life changing power of the written word. We disagree that books are disposable entertainment, interchangeable widgets with different character names and cover art. It’s likely after reading a proclamation like that you’re either saying, “Yes! I get that.” Or you’re saying, “Oh, you sound pretentious! Get over yourselves!”
Well, at least we all know where we stand now.
So, if you’ve written a novel and you’re interested in submitting it to Tyrus Books, here are some notes we’ve compiled.
On the subject of protagonists, we might be interested if—
- Your protagonist is not working for the CIA, FBI, the NSA or some government organization, known or unknown, including special ops of the military.
- Your protagonist is not law enforcement (including the following versions: grisled detective; crime lab technician; disgraced ex-cop looking for redemption; small town sheriff; homicide detective working “one last case before retiring with his wife.”)
- Your protagonist is not some rogue international badass with a full arsenal of handguns, shotguns, machine guns, nunchuks, throwing stars, blow guns, an advanced understanding of poisons, a Formula One certified driver and black belts in six different martial arts.
- Your protagonist is not a member, high ranking or otherwise, of a criminal syndicate that either “runs this town” or is in the business of “international racketeering.”
- Your protagonist is not being chased by a serial killer, has to defuse a bomb, cure a deadly disease, has had family members kidnapped in an effort to blackmail your protagonist into turning over cash or doing something shady to guarantee a “safe return” of the family member, a safe return, we might add, that we all know is NOT coming.
- Serial killers, mass murderers, creepy guys that somebody dreamed up while watching the Saw movies—if any of these people or people like them show up in your book, your book is not for us.
On the other components of your book, we might be interested if—
- Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer wouldn’t be interested because there aren’t enough explosions, car chases, elaborate kidnapping plots, speeding helicopter shots over major metropolitan areas with dramatic music, etc.
- The setting is somewhere in America that hasn’t been overdone.
- Your use of violence isn’t something out of a special Quentin Tarantino guest edited issue of Fangoria. Bad stuff happens, we get that. Violence for the sake of violence doesn’t have to.
- It’s taking place today or within the last decade.
- Just say no to drugs. The meth craze might be sweeping the nation, but we’re…somewhere…else.
- Ghosts, werewolves, vampires, spirits, gnomes, unicorns, aliens, fairies, chupacabras, angels, and mermaids aren’t typically part of the extended Tyrus Books Universe. We don’t do horror, western, sci-fi, fantasy, gopher lit, erotica, or paranormal. If you’ve created a new genre, we might be interested in hearing about it, but it needs to be a Tesla type invention, not Dyson.
- You’ve told the story in approximately 60,000 – 100,000 words. You’ve read it. Others have read it. You aren’t passing off a first draft as “completed manuscript.”
If you’re going to namedrop some of our authors as comp titles to the book you’ve written, be sure to read more than the description on our website. We understand the temptation, but it also comes off as super transparent, and ultimately not helpful to the cause. If you think one of our books might be like something you’ve written and you don’t have the money to buy/read that title, let us know and we’ll personally buy the book for you or give you a big discount.
Hey! It’s great that you’ve written a book. You should be proud and we are, regardless of what all the fussiness above might suggest, happy for you. That said, it’s possible (perhaps even likely) that your book isn’t a good fit for our line. We’ve got a fairly narrow niche of what we do. If it turns out that your book isn’t a good fit, that’s not an indictment on you as a human being or the quality of your book.
We will do our best to respond to your query, but if you don’t hear from us after a few months, it means we’re excusing ourselves from your consideration. No slight intended. The more you ignore the guidelines above, the more likely we are to ignore your query. No slight intended.