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Swann+Bedlam, the world’s deepest underground small press run is now ready to publish books by other people. So you wrote a book and now you're wondering who the hell is going to publish it? 

 

What we are looking for?

Anything good, whether it be lit fic, horror, fantasy, or memoir. We’re particularly interested in books that smash, stretch the limits of, or just don’t care about genre. 

 

Who we are looking for? 

We are looking for good writers with at least one original thought in their heads! We don’t give a fuck about identity politics. Don’t even bother telling us your ethnic identity or sexual orientation.  WE DON'T CARE. We want writers who have worked in a factory,  seen the inside of a prison cell, grew up on an isolated compound, worked the night shift at Taco Bell, or were teen runaways.

 

Please, if you have an MFA or other arts degree probably don't bother.  When MFA writers send us their manuscripts they are often overwritten, pretentious, and by the numbers boring. But what's worse is when a person spends years getting an MFA they often feel entitled to something like getting published. Amateurs are supposed to cower before them and thank them for their work of genius. They will take no criticism from the peasants. This is incredibly unappealing and makes that person impossible to work with. We don't have the time or resources to coddle your ego. 

 

 In short, we want interesting people with something to say, and in our experience (which is sadly growing by the day) the more writing credits, time spent behind a computer screen, and degrees a person has the less they have to say. We don't want your resume. We would rather you wrote 10 unpublished books and you're sending us your 11th because you think it might finally be okay.

 

 If you spend time on the internet asking for the opinions of others, we are not the press for you. If you work so much you only have 20 minutes a week to write or you write during your shift as a manager for Home Depot, we'd like to hear from you. If you think social media is a plague on society and you often wonder what the hell is going on with people today? Why doesn't anyone j-walk anymore when the streets are obviously clear? We definitely want to hear from you. If you prefer to seek out books, films, and weird stuff for yourself rather than having it spoonfed to you by 'friends' on Facebook, we'd like to hear from you. If you think it's weird people read books prescribed to them on TikTok (or if you think TikTok is Chinese spyware which it obviously is) we'd like to read your book. 

 

What is Swann+Bedlam?

Swann+Bedlam is a small press. Small presses are not like big presses. Big presses are subsidiaries of global corporations with powerful networks of influence. Big presses can get your books onto the shelves of major retailers, into libraries, onto TV shows, and onto successful blogs and podcasts. Big presses can get your name out there and make you sound like the second coming of Jesus, even if your writing sucks ass. They can market the shit out of your books without having to spend a dime because they are embedded in global media empires. Small presses like us are much more limited. We do not have the same resources when it comes to marketing. Don’t be fooled - anything a small press can do, you can probably do yourself with a bit of research and some hard work. In fact, publishing with a small press is often worse than self-publishing, because:

  • Many small presses are run by only one person

  • Many small presses are run by - let's face it - idiots 

  • Many small presses are run by semi-illiterate philistines who couldn’t write or edit their way out of a paper bag and will not edit your book properly 

  • Many small presses are run by people who can’t use InDesign and won’t typeset your book properly 

  • Many small presses are run by people with poor taste who will put a really shitty cover on your book 

  • Many small presses spend zero dollars on advertising and rely on a very small social media presence to sell books - and therefore don’t sell any books, even if those books happen to be good

  • Many small presses have shitty websites that look like they were designed in the late 1990s 

  • Many small presses are run by cronyistic circle-jerkers who only publish books written by friends, friends-of-friends, or cousins 

  • Many small presses want you to write in a ridiculously niche genre that they invented and won’t consider submissions that don’t fit with their narrow branding 

  • Many small presses are run by pretentious phonies who project a false aura of success while engaging in what is essentially a kitchensink enterprise

  • Many small presses are run by stingy parasites who will spend the absolute minimum amount of time and effort producing and marketing your book, then ask you to promote it yourself and try to ride your coattails to success 

 

Ready To Submit?

Send submissions to: swannandbedlam@gmail.com 

Paste the first 2,000 words of your work into an email. If you want, add a little blurb to let us know where the story is going. If you don't follow these guidelines chances are we might still read it... UNLESS YOU SEND AN ATTACHMENT THEN WE WILL JUST DELETE IT. DO NOT SEND AN ATTACHMENT. 

 

If we like it we'll request the full manuscript from you.  

Due to high submission numbers, we can no longer send a customized letter if we decide not to pick up your manuscript.  If you don't hear from us in 3 months, thank you for taking the time to consider

Swann + Bedlam.

Think of it as it's us not you. 

HUMAN TEST: Please address the email to Swann + Bedlam to show that you read our guidelines. Emails simply addressed to "the editors" or not addressed at all have probably been spammed all over town. We don't have a problem with sloppy seconds but we do have a problem with generic and lazy.  

FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently answered questions, a few of which are quite silly. 

 

Q: Will you charge a fee to publish my work?

A: No. This is not a vanity press. We invest time, money, and resources into the books we publish. We might even lose money in the process of producing and marketing your book. One of the main reasons to get your work traditionally published is so that someone - in this case us - can undertake financial risk instead of you. 

 

Q: Who will retain copyright of the published works?

A: This is not work for hire. Authors retain the copyright to their own work. Swann and Bedlam gain exclusive publishing rights for a set period of time. 

 

Q: Will you steal my visionary manuscript and use it to get fabulously rich?

A: No. 

 

Q: Will you reject my manuscript but plagiarise all my priceless and amazing ideas?

A: No. 

 

Q: Do you publish fanfiction or work that blatantly breaches copyright?

A: No. 

 

Q: Do you publish work that has been previously self-published?
A: Only if it absolutely blows our minds. Otherwise, we prefer previously unpublished work. 

 

Q: Are you interested in previously published work that is not currently in print or under contract?

A: Yes, we are very interested in preserving great fiction from obscurity. 

 

Q: Will you publish ranty manifestos?

A: Yes, the crazier the better 

Q: Will you publish nonfiction? 

A: YES! If you've written a memoir about your time living in the tunnels under Las Vegas or if you are the head of a weird cult, we'd love to hear from you. If you've spent the last three years of your life developing a tried and true no fails method for calling upon the Dark Lord himself and you want to publish a DIY guide, we want to hear from you! Black magick sex manual? Sure, why not!? Do you like taking pictures of dead things? Perfect! We want to hear from you. Send us ideas/proposals/or excerpts from your work right now! ...Unless you're a communist. Fuck those commie bastards who hate capitalism yet still own a smartphone. What bullshit. Stop getting your news and views from your Facebook group. Pffff. 

Q: Should I email you to make sure you received my first email? or to follow up?

A: NO please don't. Just assume we got it. We get a lot of submissions and it can take time to carefully go through each one.  It's the case of don't call us we'll call you. 

Q: Will you put my book on NetGalley? 

A: After January 2025 we will no longer be under contract with NetGalley for reasons detailed here and here. The short answer: It's a useless service that is overpriced and does not give authors or publishers (other than big publishers) their money's worth. The reviews are around 95% garbage. They use a vague lax policy to make it sound like they will get you reviews and it's totally worth it. When you tell them this is not good value for the money because people borrow borrow borrow but less than 10% read and review they say the answer is to give them more money ($700) to get featured in their newsletter.  And an even shorter answer? Fuck NetGalley. The publishing industry is fucked. AI is going to rule it all in the future. We probably shouldn't even bother... ugh. 

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