Swoon Reads FAQs
What is Swoon Reads?
Swoon Reads publishes young adult and new adult novels. Writers can submit their original, unpublished manuscript to the Swoon Reads website, and readers who sign up can rate and comment on manuscripts to help us choose which titles we want to publish. Swoon Reads is an imprint of Macmillan publishing under Feiwel & Friends and was founded by Jean Feiwel. For more information, please see our About page.
How does the site work?
Writers can upload their unpublished, original young adult or new adult manuscript and community members are able to read, rate, and comment on those submissions. The Swoon Reads Staff uses community reviews and ratings to help us choose which books to publish. Chosen manuscripts will be published in both print and e-book formats.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. Swoon Reads is completely free for both Readers and Writers. There is no fee of any kind attached to membership.
What’s the deal?
If your manuscript is chosen for publication, we will offer you a $10,000 advance against royalties in a standard Macmillan publishing contract for all rights in all languages, including an option on your next young adult or new adult book. Full terms and conditions can be read here.
Will my book be published in print or only as an e-book?
Every title chosen by Swoon Reads will be published in both a print edition and all e-book formats.
What kind of manuscripts are you looking for?
In short: unforgettable, previously unpublished young adult and new adult stories.
Swoon Reads novels ideally feature protagonists between the ages of 14 and 23. They can be set anytime, anywhere, and can be anything you want—realistic, supernatural, historical, and more. Head on over to our Genre Guide for the full rundown!
Still want more info on what makes a young adult or new adult novel? Check out our blog.
You can see our full submission tips here.
Is there a deadline?
Swoon Reads publishes new books all year round, so there is no cut-off date for submissions, comments, or ratings. However, since publishing works on seasonal schedules, Swoon Reads will have seasonal deadlines where we will look at manuscripts submitted up to a certain date to select new manuscripts to publish.
Our seasonal deadlines typically fall around January 5, April 30, and August 31. However, those are not set in stone. We recommend you keep track of our blog and social media channels for deadline alerts. Or, you can just ask us via our Contact Us page.
Manuscripts submitted before the deadline will be reviewed by our editorial staff for that selection cycle. Manuscripts submitted after the deadline will be considered for the next selection cycle.
You just announced a list, and my manuscript wasn’t chosen. What now?
Don’t despair. If your manuscript wasn’t chosen you now have a couple of options:
a) Remember, we will be choosing another list in a few months. Simply leave your manuscript up on the site and use the next few months as time to gather more ratings and comments (We especially recommend this option for manuscripts that still fall under the 6-month exclusivity window.)
b) Our Readers have been leaving insightful comments full of great editorial notes. If your exclusivity window has expired, and you aren’t happy with your current ratings, you can always take this opportunity to make revisions to your manuscript and then resubmit. (Just remember that you will lose all your current ratings and comments when you take your manuscript down, so be sure to print or note down any comments you want to remember, and be ready to start again with a clean slate for your newly revised manuscript!). If you choose to revise, please see our open edit letters for more advice from our editors.
I heard Swoon Reads titles are being considered for TV/Film. What's the deal?
Swoon Reads has partnered with A+E Studios to develop titles for TV and film. If selected, your manuscript will be shared with the A+E Studios team, and you could see your book on TV someday! Read the full announcement here.
What genres do you accept? Do you only take romance novels?
Nope! Swoon Reads now accepts ALL YA fiction genres. Fantasy, contemporary, historical, paranormal, mystery, horror, romance... All are welcome!
However, please note that we still do not accept non-fiction or short stories (including short story anthologies).
Can I just email my manuscript to you?
Sorry, but no. Reader ratings and comments are a key part of our decision making process, so all submissions must go through the site. For specific instructions, head over to our Submission Tips page.
How do you want me to format my novel?
Manuscripts must be book length (that means over 45,000 words!) in a .docx or google doc ﬁle format. For the best viewing experience, you will need to add styles to your manuscript to mark your chapter breaks. All text should be in 12 point font, double spaced, with one-inch margins. For more information, check out our Submission Tips page.
Is this only for novels or can I submit my short stories and novellas as well?
Currently, we are only accepting completed, full-length novels, preferably between 50,000 and 70,000 words. We will not accept short stories or queries.
Do I have to submit a manuscript to join?
No! Readers are the heart of the Swoon Reads community. We need readers to rate and review the submissions and let us know which books are Swoonworthy!
My manuscript is already posted on another site. Can I still submit it to Swoon Reads?
That depends. Our Terms and Conditions require that submissions “MUST NEVER HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR SALE.” The key word here is “SALE.” If you have ever made money from your manuscript—whether through a traditional publisher, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, or any other self-publishing method—then, sadly, it is not eligible for Swoon Reads.
However, sites like Wattpad, Figment, and Fanfiction.net, among others—where you share your work, but don’t make any money from it—are completely eligible. And, we DO NOT require you to remove your work from these sites. So, if you have a finished young adult or new adult novel, we’d love for you to submit it. And maybe even tell your readers there to come over and rate it on Swoon Reads?
Oh, and we do require that it remain an exclusive submission to our site and that you do not attempt to sell it either by yourself or through a third party (agent, publisher, bookstore, etc.) for the six months it is on Swoon Reads.
Can I still submit if I don’t live in the U.S.?
Yes! As long as it’s in English, we accept manuscripts internationally.
Do I have to have an agent to submit to Swoon Reads?
Nope! Taking down some of the barriers to traditional publishing is one of the goals of Swoon Reads. You do not need to have an agent to join or submit.
I already have an agent. Can I still submit?
Yes! We also accept agented submissions. However, we do prefer that submissions be exclusive to us and not be for sale for the length of their time on our site; also, the Swoon Read contract terms are standard and key terms like the advance amount, royalties and world rights are not up for negotiation.
Can I edit my manuscript, description or cover once it has been posted?
You can now edit your descriptions and upload a new cover from your manuscript page (look for the edit button!). If the mistake is located inside the manuscript itself (for example, if you accidentally left any personal contact information on the title page), please use the Contact Form to request it be removed.
Once a submission has been posted to the site, it will no longer be available for editing. Making significant changes or edits to a manuscript could interfere with the rating and commenting process. Please make sure that you have a finished draft that you are comfortable with before you submit it to the Swoon Reads Community.
What happens once my manuscript has been on site for 6 months?
After 6 months, you can either leave it up to see if readers start to take notice (we have been known to take manuscripts that have been on site for as long as a year or more that hadn't captured our attention early enough), or you can request to delete your manuscript on the book's manuscript page. If your manuscript wasn't chosen, we highly encourage you to revise, or if you feel you just didn't get enough reads try sharing your title on your social channels to entice more people to read, rate and comment.
We will leave your manuscript on site until you request to delete it. Please note that once your manuscript is deleted, all ratings and comments will be lost, so be sure to save them!
I just submitted my manuscript, but I realized I made a mistake! What do I do?
You can now edit your descriptions and upload a new cover from your manuscript page. If the mistake is located inside the manuscript itself (for example, if you accidentally left any personal contact information on the title page), please use the Contact form. A Swoon Reads team member will be able to help you out.
Is my work protected?
We do everything we can to protect your work from theft and plagiarism. We do NOT allow cutting/pasting or copying from any Swoon Reads submission, nor can you print or download any manuscript to an outside e-reader. When using our app, manuscripts are only accessible and readable within the app. An independent file will not be downloaded to a user's device. We also require all members of the Swoon Reads community to agree to a set of Terms and Conditions that legally prohibit anyone from stealing and reposting any content from Swoon Reads, and you must be a registered member of Swoon Reads to access any of the submissions.
- Do you have a mobile app?
How do I read manuscripts?
You can read manuscripts either on our website or by using our mobile app. First, you will need to add manuscripts to your My Reads page. You can do this by selecting “read now” or “read later” when you find a manuscript you like through our website. Then you can read on your computer, or with your app on the go.
Our built-in e-reader is designed to make the reading experience as easy as possible for you. You can change the font size, background color, and font. You can see where you are in the manuscript and even make in-line comments. Just highlight the text you want to comment on, and let the author know what you're thinking!
Also, our e-reader syncs across all your devices, so you can start reading on your desktop and then switch to your phone or tablet without losing your spot!
- Can I download manuscripts to my e-reader or print them out?
How does the rating process work?
After reading a manuscript, it’s vital that Readers share their opinion of the novel with us by rating the submission on a scale of 1-5 hearts:
- Not for me,
- It's okay,
- I like it,
- I love it,
This is how the Swoon Reads Staff decides which manuscripts we are going to read. The submissions with the largest number of high heart ratings will be considered for publication by the Swoon Reads Staff.
The act of rating a manuscript is a vote of conﬁdence. But not everything can be ﬁve stars! Please use the evaluation scale above as your guide, then scroll down and give us some speciﬁcs with the Swoon Index and by leaving a comment.
What’s the Swoon Index?
It’s our simple way for Readers to share speciﬁc traits of the novel. Were the love scenes hot and intense? Was it a tearjerker? Did it make you laugh? Was it so action-packed you couldn’t put it down? The number for each index is on a scale of 1-10. When a reader finishes a book, they can indicate just how much of these traits the book had. The Swoon Index is not used for rankings, but helps other Readers see if a manuscript is right for them. For example, if a Reader is in the mood for something sad, they can look for the manuscripts with the highest Tears index. And, for Writers, it’s a great way to see if your work is being received the way you intended.
What is your commenting and moderation policy?
Swoon Reads is a community—a place where writers, readers, and publishers can work together. As such, we value your comments and rely on your input. And we recognize that submitting a manuscript, especially online, takes a great deal of courage. So, in order to ensure a safe and fun space for all, we ask everyone who participates on the site (in manuscripts, comments and profiles) to agree to the following:
- Treat everyone with respect.
- Do not use language that is prejudiced or phobic (including but not limited to comments on: race, sex, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, etc.)
- Do not flame, bait, or otherwise troll the community. The focus of the site is to give the community a chance to participate in the publishing process. Under no circumstances should it be used as a place to insult, demean, slander, or hurt others.
- Keep your comments civil. While we want you to be honest in both your likes and your criticisms, remember that it is possible to dislike something without being nasty and crushing someone’s spirit.
- Keep any disagreements civil, and remember that just because someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t mean they hate you or are a terrible person. Disagree with an idea, not a person.
We believe in community moderation. This is your community as well, and there are a lot more of you than there are of us. If you notice another member breaking the rules, politely ask them to stop, or flag them using the report button for moderation from us.
Swoon Reads moderators are the final judges of what constitutes a violation of the rules above and we will take whatever actions are necessary to address misbehavior, including deleting offensive material and banning members.
When in doubt, remember the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
What browsers and devices are Swoon Reads compatible with?
Swoon Reads is designed to work best on these or newer browsers: Firefox 35, Google Chrome 40, Safari 7, Internet Explorer 11.
- I have other questions that aren’t covered here. How can I find out more?