Author Questions


Note: all royalties are paid in United States dollars (USD)

  1. What are these Black, Silver, and Gray Brackets?
    • These terms refer to royalty brackets:
      • Gray Bracket is 40% to the author and 60% to Thirteen Below
      • Silver Bracket is 50% to the author and 50% to Thirteen Below
      • Black Bracket is 70% to the author and 30% to Thirteen Below.
  2. What are Thirteen Below’s royalty rates?
    • Royalties start in the Gray Bracket until all investment monies are recurred. Once recurred, royalties jump to the Silver Bracket. Upon Thirteen Below profiting $500 under the Silver Bracket your royalty percentage increases to the Black Bracket.
      • Example: Book price is $5.00
      • Gray Bracket equals your royalties at $2.00 and Thirteen Below’s is $3.00
      • Silver Bracket equals your royalties at $2.50 and Thirteen Below’s is $2.50
      • Black Bracket equals your royalties at $3.50 and Thirteen Below’s is $1.50
  3. What are “investment monies”?
    • Investment monies refer to the upstart needed to publish your book: editing, proofing, cover art, ISBN numbers, and marketing fall into this category.
      • Example: Investment monies equals $250 on a $5.00 priced book
      • under the Gray Bracket eighty-three copies of the $5.00 book must be sold to achieve Silver Bracket
      • under the Silver Bracket two hundred additional copies must be sold to qualify for Black Bracket
  4. Why does Thirteen Below offer staggering royalty rates?
    • Thirteen Below does this to further encourage authors to promote their work.
  5. Will Thirteen Below notify me when my royalty bracket changes?
    • Yes. You will receive an initial statement before your book releases with the breakdown of all investment monies. A follow up statement will be sent with each royalty statement and payment for your records. This also allows you to self-check our numbers should a question arise.
  6. What about holiday or promotional sales, price drops? How does this affect my royalty bracket?
    • Holiday and promotional sales will affect your bracket climbing when your book is purchased from third party vendors. This occurrence will be clearly noted on your statement as will price drops. If your book is purchased through our site holiday or promotional sales will affect your royalties but not your bracket standing. All sales through our site are processed at full price (for holiday or promotional sales) regarding your royalties bracket. A price drop will be processed normally and a new statement will be sent reflecting sales and brackets standing.
  7. Do company coupons affect my bracket?
    • Nope. If a reader purchases your book through our site using a coupon or promo code the reduced price of your book isn’t applied to your bracket placement. Your royalty statement and payment will reflect the reduced coupon price but we will process your bracket placement at full price.
  8. How does Thirteen Below handle writing partners and royalties?
    • When dealing with a writing pair Thirteen Below sees them as one entity where royalties are concerned. Thirteen Below will retain our bracket portion while the team of authors receives the other. Thirteen Below is willing to deposit monies split evenly into separate banking accounts. If the pair’s royalties are not to be split evenly then Thirteen Below will only deposit into one account.

General Author Questions

  1. Does it cost anything to publish with Thirteen Below?
    • No. Thirteen Below covers all publication cost. No publisher should charge an author any kind of “fee” for publication.
  2. What is the standard size for printed books?
    • All books 50,000 words or greater will go into eBook and print. Anything less than that will be available in eBook only, no exceptions. If an author has several short stories with a similar theme, the author may pitch a single author anthology. The total word count must be greater than 40,000 words. Thirteen Below will take into account previous sales records if a single author anthology is pitched.
  3. I have a completed series with a combined word count totaling greater than 50,000 words signed with Thirteen Below, would Thirteen Below be willing to offer them in print?
    • If the series is complete/finished then yes. All books must be completed before a print version is considered. All individual books in the series will be combined together into one. If necessary Thirteen Below will split the series into two or more paperbacks. We may ask you to extend or offer a new short story totaling 15,000 words or more to stimulate sales.
  4. Will the paperback receive its own cover?
    • Yes your paperback will have its own cover. The covers previously used for your individual releases will be inside with their accompanying story in full color.
  5. What third party vendors are Thirteen Below affiliated with?
    • We sell through Amazon (most of the time, some titles are not Amazon appropriate), ARe (All Romance eBooks), B&N’s Nook, and Createspace.
  6. How much say do I have in the final edit and cover art?
    • Thirteen Below will work closely with the author regarding their vision for the book regarding editing and cover art. With that said some editorial changes are necessary (especially regarding developmental editing). These changes might sting a little but the final product will be worth the stabby feels. Thirteen Below has a certain look and feel regarding cover art. Our cover artists will do their best to incorporate everything the author wishes but company standard takes precedent.
  7. What minimal word count is Thirteen Below looking for?
    • Thirteen Below does not publish anything under 7,500 words. Novelettes ranging from 7,500 to 17,499 words must be an impeccable story and tight for consideration. We are seeking longer works in the novella and novel range (ie 17,500 words and above).
  8. Will I receive author copies of my work?
    • Absolutely. You will receive one copy of each format in eBook. If your book goes to print you will receive four paperback copies (if you partnered up then each partner will receive four copies at no charge). For printed books you will also receive four personalized bookmarks for your book. From there the first twenty-one purchasers from our site will also receive a bookmark with their order free of charge. (For writing pairs each will receive two bookmarks.)


  1. How do I go about submitting my manuscript?
    • Thirteen Below is an invitation only press. This means we do not accept manuscripts from unsolicited authors.
  2. I received an invitation to submit, what does this mean?
    • This means Thirteen Below openly invites you to submit a full manuscript within six months of receiving your invitation. You may submit more than one manuscript within the six month period.
  3. Is there a timeline from when I receive my invitation to when I can submit?
    • Yes. As previously stated from our initial invitation you have six months to submit a full manuscript.
  4. I’ve received my invitation and looked through the submissions page, can I ask for a copy of Thirteen Below’s contract?
  5. How do I apply or obtain an invitation to submit?
    • Staff members bring an author to the owners’ attention. From there a decision is made. If you would like to bypass the staff you are more than welcome to fill out this form. Having a recommendation from a signed author never hurts.
  6. My manuscript has already been edited and polished by professionals; will my manuscript still go through the editing process?
    • Yes. We have our own editors and your manuscript will process through our channels for house style purposes.
  7. Can I publish with a partner?
    • Of course you can. Please note that when dealing with a writing pair Thirteen Below sees them as one entity where royalties are concerned. Thirteen Below will retain our bracket portion while the pair receives theirs. Thirteen Below is willing to deposit monies split evenly into separate banking accounts. If the pair’s royalties are not to be split evenly then Thirteen Below will only deposit into one account.
  8. Will I receive author copies of my work?
    • See question number 8 under the section above titled General Author Questions.
  9. Can I purchase more paperback copies?
    • Paperback copies of your book are available to you at print cost plus shipping for the first 30 copies for which no royalties will be paid. From 31 on it is the market price with 35% off. Other Thirteen Below print books are also available to you at 30% off. Other Thirteen Below eBooks are available to you at 15% off.
  10. Does Thirteen Below only publish gay romance?
    • While gay romance is what we are known for we are open to all couple pairings.
  11. Does Thirteen Below publish twin-cest, brother-cest, and sister-cest?
    • Bring it on!

Cover Art

  1. Do all works receive individual cover art?
    • No. Novelettes have a uniform cover for each romantic pairing. Novellas and novels will receive their own cover.
  2. Can I bring my own cover art or artist?
    • No. Thirteen Below does not accept outside art or artists.
  3. Who owns the cover art?
    • Thirteen Below does. However, the author may use the artwork for promotional purposes and post the art to their site. Once a contract comes to a close you may retain the artwork at no charge if your contract expires while under Silver or Black Bracket. If the contract expires while still under Gray Bracket then you may purchase the artwork for $15.


  1. What is the duration of Thirteen Below’s contract?
    • Contract life is 5 years (in which time Thirteen Below owns the primary rights to your work). After the 5 years, ownership continues on a month by month basis. All rights will revert back to the author upon request when the first of the next month occurs. A formal letter will be issued stating all rights belong to the author. If you fall under Silver or Black Bracket you may retain your artwork and final edited manuscript at no charge. If you fall under Gray Bracket you may purchase your final art for $15 and final edited manuscript for $30.
  1. What is Thirteen Below’s rights revision policy?
    • At any time you may request your rights returned effectively terminating our contract. This request must be in a formal written letter with a clear explanation as to why. Thirteen Below will review your request but it is our right to deny your rights revision request. If both parties agree your royalty bracket will be taken into consideration. If you fall into Silver or Black Bracket you may purchase your art work for $30 and final edited manuscript for $60. However, if you fall under Gray Bracket you may purchase your art work for $75 and final edited manuscript for 75% of the initial editing cost. A $75 contract termination fee will be applied.
  2. Who has the subsidiary rights to my manuscript?
    • Thirteen Below owns the primary rights of your manuscript allowing us to sell your manuscript to third party vendors. This also allows us to offer your manuscript to book clubs and promote through giveaways. Secondary rights remain with the author allowing for performance art adaption.
  3. Will authors be on a strict timeline or schedule while under contract?
    • Yes. Deadlines are very important to Thirteen Below. Once a schedule is worked out between you and your editor, deviating from said schedule is frowned upon. (The same applies to our editors; they are not allowed to stray from the schedule you put into place).
  4. When a contract ends what happens to the final edited version of my manuscript?
    • If you are under Silver or Black Bracket you may retain the final edited manuscript at no charge. If the contract ends while under Gray Bracket you may purchase the final edited manuscript for $30.
  5. Does Thirteen Below have a first rights refusal clause?
    • Yes we do however you as the author may refuse us and take your sequel manuscript to another publisher. All we as a press want is the first chance to snatch up your amazing sequel (we hope you don’t deny us that privilege).
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