Submission Guidelines: e-published, subsidy-published and self-published

We selectively review novels that are not covered by the Historical Novels Review online in our Indie section. The HNS welcomes all ‘independent’ published writers to submit their work for review, as our aim is to support non-traditionally published authors.  Indie titles include, but are not limited to, electronically published, self-published, and subsidy-published novels (we’re calling them all ‘Indie’ for the purposes of this website). Some small press titles may be included in the Indie section as well. Decisions on placement rest with the editors.

Please note:

  • We only review historical fiction, i.e., novels with a clear plot and distinct characters (either imaginary or based on real people)
  • We do not review non-fiction, personal memoirs, or books that are of a more personal nature.

Scope of HNS Indie

Books will be classified as Indie in situations such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • as the author, you pay a financial contribution toward any aspect of the publication of the work (i.e. editing, marketing, cover design, etc.)
  • the publisher does not fully edit incoming manuscripts and/or suggests that the author pay for any aspect of the editing process
  • the publisher refers rejected submissions to a fee-based company
  • the publisher asks that authors purchase copies of their own books and/or does not offer free copies (often not even proofs)
  • the royalty arrangements do not match standard traditional contracts, i.e., usually starting at 10-12%

Please be aware that not all publishing companies who appear to be, or advertise as, “traditional” publishers are as transparent as they portray.

In addition, HNS Indie oversees the reviews of all e-originals as we have a team of e-book reviewers.Therefore, if the work is offered only in electronic format, even if under traditionally published criteria, it will be sent to HNS Indie.

Our classification is determined through our experience and research, is at our discretion, and is our final decision.  If you disagree you are not obliged to submit to the HNS for review, although please be aware of our annual Indie Award.

Submission criteria

Titles submitted for review by HNS Indie must contain significant historical content, which is defined as a focus/setting of at least 50 years in the past. Content will also be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of writing
  • Plot cohesion
  • Characterization
  • Reader engagement

The title must be professionally laid out, designed, written, and edited, including the following elements:

  • Design should be appropriate to the subject, content, and genre
  • Type/font should be clear and readable
  • Style should be consistent throughout the book
  • The author must cite permissions for use of any copyrighted materials, including cover art

A brief description of the work and information about the author should be provided. Promotional materials and publicity releases may also be included.

The following information should be included with all submissions: author, title, publisher, publisher’s address, publication date, price, number of pages, and ISBN. Galleys will be accepted, but finished copies are preferred. No books or galleys can be returned.

Submissions may be rejected on grounds including, but not limited to, failure to follow submission guidelines; flawed subject, presentation, or writing; insufficient information included with the book; time limitations; or any other reason the editors deem fit. The editors do not enter into discussion on the acceptance, rejection, or placement of a submission. Authors/publishers submitting a work for consideration will receive e-mail confirmation when the submission has been received. When a submission has been accepted and the review published, the publisher or author submitting the work will be provided with a link to the review. The editors assume no obligation to inform the author/publisher when a submission has been rejected.