Submission Guidelines


Now that 2023 is upon us, we are once again in a position to consider novels/series. Please read the specifics for submission details. NOTE: things are still tight but we will at least consider exceptional works.

TANSTAAFL Press welcomes submissions from both published and unpublished authors however please carefully follow the guidelines below.  Any submission or material that doesn’t meet these guidelines will be destroyed unopened.  TANSTAAFL does not return any material sent unless previously negotiated.

Novel Guidelines:

  1. TANSTAAFL Press publishes only fiction.  We are currently looking for: military SciFi, alternative history, or space opera. We will consider exceptional works in other genres of fiction or short story compilations if somewhat related to SciFi or Fantasy.
  2. All submissions must be single emails to
  3. All attachments MUST contain the submission title, the author’s name, and the author’s contact information (email as minimum)
  4. All emails should contain a cover letter describing your writing history, what you are intending to accomplish with your work, and what you want out of a publisher.
  5. Submissions must contain a TEXT document containing approximately the first 1000 words of your work.
  6. Any work that starts with or has as a major plot point a dream sequence will be rejected with no response.
  7. Submissions must contain a 300-500 word summary of your work
  8. TANSTAAFL Press accepts submissions that are sent at the same time to other publishers.

Novel Submission Responses:

  1. TANSTAAFL Press does not guarantee a response.  We will respond only as we feel necessary based on the work submitted and what our business plan and resources dictate.
  2. We reserve the right to reject your submission if you don’t follow our guidelines.
  3. All responses will be direct replies to the emails originally sent.  This of course means you have to check your email.
  4. We are diligent at TANSTAAFL Press however a large number of submissions can mean a delay in reading your submission.  However, if you do not hear from us within 30 days, assume that we have, for whatever reason, chosen not to pursue your work.


Below you will find a link to our boilerplate contract. This is the starting point (not necessarily the ending point) of any negotiations. We have examined many “pro-writer” and “pro-publisher” contracts and have put as many of the former clauses and as few of the latter as possible.

Once we reach this point in our relationship we ENCOURAGE you to seek legal advice on our negotiations!  Remember the name of our press – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. We want a contract that not only feels fair to both parties but is fair!

We offer no upfront $$ and on the whole, we pay slightly under the market for any sales under 1500 but we pay significantly over the market for sales above that number.

Boilerplate Contract