Who Are Stonefly Press Authors?
Stonefly Press authors are professional fly fishermen, guides, tyers, outfitters, and fishery stewards who are also provocative authors with unique voices and deep knowledge of their subject. They possess a restless drive to share their expertise in person and in print, and their books are as much a part of them as they are a part of their message. They share a deep passion for the environment, waters, and their industry. They are charismatic public speakers before large and small audiences, and they command attention in a roomful of peers.
While Stonefly Press actively commissions authors, we also believe in new voices. Though acceptance of unsolicited manuscripts is uncommon, you are invited to review the following proposal guidelines and take a chance. Referrals always help garner more attention.
What Type of Books Do We Publish?
Stonefly Press is looking for best of craft knowledge and writing, so be creative - and persuasive - while answering the questions that follow below. Your proposal should be a reflection and a flavor of your manuscript to follow.
A book proposal to Stonefly Press should be so compelling as to make it all but impossible for us to not commission the manuscript. It should possess that “wow” factor that makes the editor want to read more, or to keep it from going to another press. Treat the proposal as if it were a job interview for a position you desperately want. Sloppiness and errors in the proposal will be deadly to a manuscript’s prospects, just as they can be for a prospective employee.
What Questions Should Be Asked?
What is the purpose and content, and who is the audience?
The proposal first should answer two questions: What is the purpose and content, and who is the specific audience? It’s important to be persuasive, but not too all-inclusive. A book with a tightly focused topic and audience is often far more compelling than a book that purports to reach everyone in every market segment.
The proposal next should answer the questions: Why now? What is it about this topic, at this time, which makes it more compelling than it would be otherwise? Is there a dearth of competition? A flight of inspiration? A pervasive trending in this direction? Provide some rationale to support your position.
What else is out there?
It is important to note what books are competing, in either content or emotion, so you and Stonefly Press can better position the book. It is also important to note who is presenting on a similar topic, region, or species and what impact this may have on your own speaking engagements.
How solution driven is it?
This is relevant for both nonfiction and narrative fiction. If your book fails to provide solutions, it probably isn’t for Stonefly Press. Outline what solutions are provided—step-by-step methods, reflections, directives, charts, lists, inspirations, and any others.
How connected is it to the larger fly fishing industry?
Are there interviews with known figures in the field? Discussions or reviews of leading fly shops, outfitters, and events? Is there national or regional relevance?
How many people has this work reached already?
Tell us about the origins of the work, how it has evolved since you first presented on the topic, to how many people you have presented it, and to how many people you plan to present it to upon publication. Who were they? What audiences did they represent?
Can you quantify its impact?
Do you have any data to support the impact of the work? Anecdotal endorsements? Number of speaking engagements per year? Mailing list? Social media followers or hits? While not critical to the proposal’s success, the more you can quantify, the better your chances.
Why are you the right person to write this book? Include your professional résumé, and those of any coauthors, including previous articles and publications, as well as past and pending speaking engagements. Audience size for each engagement is important. Include the title of any previously published books, along with the publisher name, publication date, and number of copies sold to date. Please also share the availability or limitations you have for promotion, press junkets, book signings, instructional retreats, and speaking engagements going forward.
How much have you written already?
Submit a detailed table of contents that includes individual chapter synopses. For nonfiction, two sample chapters are required along with the annotated table of contents and complete proposal. At least one sample chapter must be from a substantive chapter in the work. For narrative fiction, a complete manuscript is requested—it’s not enough to have a great beginning, you also need a compelling close.
How long do you anticipate the manuscript to be? Include estimates for number of illustrations or photos. Will you be supplying these? Are there any complicating issues, like permissions? If an enhanced ebook is created, where would you like to see the enhancements (hyperlinks, audio, video)?
Include a firm timeline for the completion of the manuscript. Estimate from the time of the signed agreement, if necessary. Better to estimate a conservative timeline than promise more than you can deliver. In the final analysis, it’s better to get the manuscript right than to get it on time, so build in plenty of time. Stonefly Press will expect you to adhere to the established timeline.
Do you need help?
Ghostwriter, transcription, image research, or anything else? Include any requirements you may have to help you finish your manuscript.
Anything Else We Should Know?
Include any additional information that may contribute to the publication decision. Important factors include whether the material, or part of the material, has been previously published, contracted, or is in press; whether the material has been submitted to other publishers, and if so, which ones; and whether any other individual may feel they have a claim of ownership over some of the material.
Has my proposal been received? Has it been accepted? All proposals will be acknowledged shortly after receipt. Multiple factors contribute to a publication decision, so that process takes longer. However, all proposal submissions will receive a decision.
How should I submit my contracted manuscript? Submit your manuscript in Microsoft Word as one complete file (not separated into chapters), and submit your photographs in a separate file. The file names should include the lead author’s last name and the date (for example, “Jones_10-10-06”). Send the electronic files via email or on a CD.
Contact us using our online form if you would like to make a submission.
What happens after my manuscript is submitted? Once a first draft of a contracted manuscript is submitted, it is reviewed by an editor. Following this review, the manuscript may be shared for further review with other Stonefly Press editors, or with external readers and reviewers. At any point in this process, you may be asked for revisions. Once you and your editor have agreed on a final draft and terms of an agreement, the editor will send your manuscript to production. You will then be introduced to your developmental editor, and a schedule for the project will be created. Most authors review the edited book twice—once after the initial editing is complete, while the manuscript is still in Word, and a second time after it has been formatted and designed, when it is in PDF form. Proofreading is done by our editorial team after your final review. Sometimes additional reviews are necessary for the whole book or for a chapter or two. Questions and comments from your developmental editor will be embedded in the file, and we will schedule dates for your review ahead of time to ensure that you are available.
Send materials to:
640 Clematis Street #588
West Palm Beach, FL 33402
For submissions via email, please first contact us via our online form.
For questions about your contract or submission timelines, contact your editor or use our online contact form.
Thank you for sending your manuscript to Stonefly Press. We will make sure that your work is handled expertly and efficiently. We look forward to working with you.