Guidelines

Enclave is very author-friendly. From a personal connection to the publisher, Steve Laube, to contracts that are favorable to the author we are a fellowship of Christians who write fiction. Whether you’re one of our authors or not, Steve Laube wants to help you improve at the craft of writing fiction. He travels the nation every year teaching at writers conferences. He is looking forward to meeting you.

Writers Guidelines for Enclave Publishing

Enclave publishes full-length novels for Christian adults, teens, and older YA readers (11 and up) in the speculative fiction genres. Speculative Fiction includes Fantasy, Science Fiction, Supernatural, etc.

Our philosophy is this:

Enclave publishes out-of-this-world stories
that are informed by a coherent theology.

We will consider publishing a manuscript if it meets all of these conditions:

  • It is a speculative novel (SF, fantasy, etc.– please, no books of poetry).
  • It is at least 70,000 words in length (maximum word count limit of 140,000).
  • It is for adult, teen, or older YA readers (no children’s, middle reader, or chapter books).
  • It arises from the Evangelical Christian worldview.
  • It is a completed manuscript (no partials).

What is a Book Proposal You Ask?

There are many ways to create a book proposal, but remember, in a sense, this is your job application. Present yourself as a professional and let your idea and your writing speak for themselves. Directions below are to guide you so your submission will be engaging, complete, and follow industry standards. Instead of obsessing of minor details, follow the standards and let the focus be where it belongs: the book itself! Please read everything below.

If we are interested in your project, we will be in contact within eight weeks or sooner. If we do not think your project is something we can represent, we may or may not be in contact, depending on current workload.

Your first submission to us will be through our acquisitions form (click here to view it). Enclave authors do not have to be represented by a literary agent to be considered for publication.

COVER LETTER
The cover letter should include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. It should sum up the plot or idea in a single paragraph, as well as giving the book’s title and estimated word count of the entire manuscript (not page count). The cover letter should not be more than one page.
Cover letter article.
(We HIGHLY recommend that you read this article!)

THE PROPOSAL
The first thing is your title. And if a series, the name of the series. For example:

Magnificent Book Title
Book one in the Fabulous Fiction series

Create a Promo Sentence and a Sales Handle (these are the bits you see on the front cover of a novel or as a headline across the back cover. In addition create back cover copy that tells the story without giving it away (back cover is usually around 75 words)

Examples (from the cover of the novel Oxygen):

Promo sentence:
A mission gone desperately wrong – and no way out short of blind faith…

Sales handles:A tragic accident or a suicide mission?

Back cover copy:

Dreams turn suddenly to nightmares for NASA and the crew as an explosion cripples the spacecraft on the outward voyage. The crew’s survival depends on complete trust in one another – but is one of the four a saboteur?

In the year 2012 Valkerie Jansen, a young microbial ecologist, is presented with an amazing opportunity to continue her research as a member of the NASA corps of astronauts. When a sudden resignation opens the door for her to be a part of a mission to mars, her life dream becomes a reality.

Synopsis:
This is a three page, single spaced exercise in telling your entire story in a small space. This is used by use to get an overview of the whole book if we like the first few chapters. It is also later used by sales and marketing to get a handle on the entire story as they look for hooks to sell it.

Series Info:
If it is a series please provide a 1/2 page overview of the subsequent books in the series so we can get a feel for the entire series story arc.

Other elements you can include:
Since fiction can be entertaining and taps the emotional center of a reader here are some other helpful things to include in your proposal :

In a single sentence, state your purpose for writing this novel. Why did you write (are you writing) this story? What are you trying to prove about life with this story?

Describe your protagonist’s quest. What does he want or need? What is his goal? For what does he yearn?

What is at stake in this story? If your protagonist doesn’t attain his goal, so what? Why does it matter and why should the reader care? What are the consequences?

What is the “takeaway value” of the story. How will the reader be changed for having read it?

THE MANUSCRIPT
The manuscript will be double spaced with one inch margins on all four sides. (The proposal and synopsis above are single spaced. The manuscript is double spaced.

You can include your full manuscript if it is complete. Be aware we will only read the first three chapters to make an initial evaluation. If it passes that threshold we will read the rest. (This is just like you do when evaluating whether or not to purchase a new book. Likely you will either flip to the first few pages or click a “look inside” feature.)

If the manuscript is not complete, let us know. But if you are a first-time author it will be tough to know if you can finish the book well. We recommend you finish the book first before submitting it to a publisher.

A COURSE ON HOW TO WRITE A BOOK PROPOSAL

We recommend that you consider taking Steve Laube’s course on book proposal preparation found on The Christian Writers Institute website. (Here is a link to the course. The cost is only $10.) It is a one hour lecture talking about the basics elements of a proposal. Included in the course are two sample proposal templates, one for fiction, one for non-fiction. In addition he has included the article mentioned above on cover letter preparation and a sample of an effective cover letter. Plus a copy of the ebook shown below in three different electronic formats.

You should also consider reading all the Steve Laube Agency articles on the topic of book proposal preparation. For example, Tamela Hancock Murray wrote a ten part “Book Proposal Basics” series (find it here). In addition they have nearly 200 blog posts on this topic…which is a measure of how important it is. [You can find them here.]