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Do I have to pay to play?

Absolutely not. Bent Key was originally set up as anathema to the glut of 'pay to play' publishers who always ask for one of the following:

  • That a writer pays to submit;

  • That a writer 'enters' a 'competition' with an entry fee to submit;

  • That a writer purchases a book and provides proof in order to submit.

Bent Key does not ask writers to pay anything in order to enter their work for consideration.

What can I submit?

We work primarily with poets at this time, but will also consider short stories, novellas and non-fiction. You are also welcome to submit to any of our open zines.

Will I be paid if Bent Key publishes my work?

Yes - provided your work breaks even. Bent Key take the financial risk of releasing your books - this covers fees for editing, formatting, artwork, proofreading and printing. After these costs are covered, writers will take 40% of the profits made. If the collection does not break even, nothing is paid.

We take a larger share of the profits due to the risk we take on.

 

This is far more generous than other publishing houses, many of whom offer free copies and kudos only - and we are only able to do this by working with enthusiastic writers who are keen to put the work in to market their collections themselves in addition to the marketing we do. It also matches the offer of self-publishing houses such as KDP or Lulu.

Can I purchase reduced-price copies of my work once it's published?

Yes! You are able to purchase copies of your own work at a 25% discount from the cost price.

How does the process work if I'm accepted?

If your work is accepted, the simplest breakdown is:

  • Contracts are exchanged and signed

  • Final manuscript is submitted by a mutually-agreed deadline

  • Manuscript is edited and formatted

  • Author signs off on proof copy

  • Author meets with Sam to design cover art

  • Proof copy is submitted for final reading

  • Copies go to print

  • Launch event - organised by Bent Key

How will people be able to purchase my work once it's published?

We will supply all collections and books with its own ISBN and barcode. This means that books can be sold outside of the Bent Key site. We will endeavour to supply copies of books to local independent bookshops, provided they want to stock your work. We will also submit all work to wider retailers such as Waterstones and Barnes and Noble, though we cannot guarantee they will be accepted.

We will also have a merchandise stand at live events where people can purchase copies of your work.

At this time, we do not work with Amazon. This is because we believe that Amazon is not an ethical seller due to its anti-union stance and treatment of workers; we also believe that Amazon exploits vulnerable writers with its easy-to-access but ultimately unfair pricing and ISBN-assignation system. Plus, we just don't like Bezos. Sorry. It's the principle of it all.

Will Bent Key organise promotion for me?

We enter into the publishing agreement on a mutual understanding that promotion of the collection is 50/50. We are only interested in working with writers who believe their work is worthy of promotion! 

Of course, we will enter your work into competitions and put you forward for headlining slots at open mics; we may also consider you for longer shows and festival slots as they become available.

However, it is important to remember that we are publishers, not publicists - and so promotion will always, in the end, come down to you.

Who prints the collections Bent Key publish?

We work with a small, British printing press to produce high-quality collections. Turnaround from order to delivery is usually 14 days.

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