Frequently Asked Questions
Riptide's in-house psychic predicted you'd ask the following questions. If she's wrong—and hey, it happens, but at least she has a better track record than the weatherman—please contact us with your inquiry and we'll get back to you right after we fire her.
An ebook is an electronic version of a book. You can download ebooks to your personal computer, smartphone, or handheld reading device.
Ebooks are typically a little less expensive, because even though the bulk of production expenses remain (editing, layout, cover art, royalties, etc.), there are no printing, shipping, or storage costs.
Also, ebooks last forever—no need to worry about breaking the spine or wearing out your favorite read.
They also offer instant gratification. Read an interesting blurb? Buy it now and you can be reading it in 60 seconds!
Lastly, ebooks are hugely convenient. You can purchase them from almost any computer or reading device and carry hundreds of books with you anywhere you go on a device the size of a paperback.
All of our titles are available in PDF, mobi, epub, and html, and when you make a purchase, you gain access to all four file formats. So if you switch devices in futire, simply come back to our site and re-download your titles in the approriate format. Not sure which format you need? Read all about them here.
One of the benefits of buying directly through the Riptide site is access to multiple file formats: all of our ebooks are available in mobi, epub, PDF, and html, and when you purchase a title, you can download your preferred format at any time. So, which format for which device? Here are some common ones:
For iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad users: ePub (Open e-book) is the format of choice. You can download Stanza, which will allow you to read e-books on your desktop (Mac or PC), iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad here (it’s free!).
For Nook, Sony Reader, and Android/Aldiko users: ePub is the format of choice.
For Kindle, Palm OS, Pocket PC, Handheld PC, Windows CE, or EPOC users: The file of choice is mobi or prc. You can also read PDFs on your Kindle, but we don’t recommend it.
For Windows PC, Windows Tablet, or Mac users: We recommend PDF. To read PDF files, you can download Adobe Reader here (it’s free!).
For Sony Reader: We recommend PDF. To read PDF files, you can download Adobe Reader here (it’s free!).
Word counts are more or less exact counts (rounded to the nearest hundred or thousand words, length depending) of the story text itself, excluding any front or back matter such as the copyright page or the author's biography. Page counts are the exact number of pages in the title's PDF file, including front and back matter. When you see the ~ symbol before word or page numbers, that means the counts are approximate because we've not yet completed the editing and/or layout process on that title.
No. All of our books are protected by copyright and should not be copied without permission. Remember, you are purchasing one copy for your own personal use, so if you’d like to share an ebook with others, please purchase an additional copy or copies. Re-use or re-distribution of ebooks in part or whole is not only against the law, but it also takes money out of our authors' pockets and makes it harder, if not impossible, for them to keep dedicating the hundreds of hours per book it takes to write new stories for you to enjoy.
This depends on where you live, but on average, books will arrive in ten days to two weeks. However, in some areas of the world, shipping may take as long as a month to six weeks. Keep in mind that if you've pre-ordered a book, it may not ship until its release date, although we'll do our best to ship pre-ordered titles early enough to arrive on or near the release date.
If you order a paperback/ebook combo, you'll receive the ebook immediately to tide you over while you wait for your paperback.
Please note that if you purchase pre-order and currently-released paperbacks in the same order, all items will be held to ship together when the last pre-ordered item releases. If you'd like your currently-released paperbacks sooner, please place a separate order for them.
Just one--you only incur a shipping fee for the paperback. As always, there is no shipping fee for ebooks, and you can access your ebook immediately.
Absolutely not. Ebooks, as always, do not incur shipping costs and you will be able to access and read them immediately while your paperbacks are being shipped.
Two! When you pre-order the print/ebook combo for an upcoming release, you'll earn two chances to win every single book we release for a year.
Absolutely! The Bonus Bucks program works for print books just like it does for ebooks, meaning every paperback you buy earns you credit for future purchases!
Pre-ordered paperbacks will ship no later than the official release date. If the paperback is ready early enough, we'll ship it to arrive on or slightly before the official release date.
Your order will ship in its entirety when the last pre-ordered title in the order is released. If you'd like to receive your currently-released paperbacks sooner, please place a separate order for your pre-order paperback(s).
Yes. All paperbacks onsite are at least 20% off, and all paperback + ebook combos are at least 30% off.
If your coupon is store-wide, then yes. If it's product-specific, you'll need to check the text on the coupon.
No. However, if your book arrived damaged or misprinted, or you received the wrong item, we will happily replace it if you notify us within a week of receipt.
Think of a serial like a TV show with an overarching arc, such as the X-Files or Lost. Like TV series that are divided into episodes and seasons, a serial story will be divided into novelette- or novella-sized sections released at regular intervals, like once a week or once a month.
Some series are only one season long (stories that span one novel), and some are multiple seasons long (stories that span many novels). Series (and serials) that feature multiple seasons (multiple novels) tend to have both seasonal arcs and overall series arcs: stories whose threads are tied in one season (one novel), and stories whose threads aren’t tied until the series is complete.
Of course, each episode within a season has its own arc too, but those arcs are often much smaller and simpler and cannot generally stand alone. They’ll also often end on a cliffhanger or a note of suspense regarding the season and/or series arc.
In some ways, it’s very similar to a series. To use our television show analogy, a book series is like a TV series, and each title in that series is like a complete season of the television show. Serialization takes this one step further by breaking up each season into multiple episodes. However, not all serialized stories will feature multiple seasons.
There are many reasons to serialize a story. Some stories are best suited to being digested in small bites, such as very intense stories or deeply erotic ones. Serializing such stories gives the reader time to come up for air, so to speak.
Serializing also lets a reader truly savor the reading experience. Many readers “gorge” on great books, plowing through them all in one or two large sittings because they’re so deeply engaged. As with episodic TV, if you follow a serial as it’s released, you can satisfy your hunger one episode at a time, but won’t gorge. Even better, you know there’s another great episode waiting for you next week or next month—a delicious treat delivered to your inbox at regular intervals. Of course, if you’d prefer to read them all at once, you can always purchase the serial when it’s complete—sometimes there’s no greater pleasure in life than watching eight seasons of the X-Files in three weeks ;-)
Serializing also heightens anticipation. Having to wait to see what happens next—but not wait too long—is its own delicious torture, and a type of delight in which many readers revel. Anticipation can deeply heighten the reading experience when the new episode is finally released.
Lastly, serializing gives the reader time to reflect on what they’ve read before moving forward to the next piece. More time for contemplation results in a deeper, richer reading experience, and one the reader is much less likely to forget.
It can be, but we’ve taken great care to offer buying options that won’t cost you so much as an extra penny. We’ve bundled our serialized titles together into collections by “season” (one complete book’s worth of “episodes”), and they’re priced by word count, just like all our other titles. So even if a 80,000-word season is broken into four episodes at $2.99 per episode, you can purchase the complete season for the same $8.99 the story would’ve been if it hadn’t been serialized. However, these bundle deals are available onsite only; on third-party sites like Amazon.com, episodes must be purchased individually.
Individual episodes are only available as ebooks, but complete seasons will often be available as paperback books as well. These will release a short time after the completion of an entire season or series, and some may contain bonus content or additional artwork. Many readers enjoy subscribing to the serial’s ebook titles as they release, and then purchasing a paperback copy at the conclusion of the serial—just as you might watch a TV show as it airs, and then later buy the DVD box set.
Individual episodes can be purchased in ebook anywhere our books are sold at $2.99 per episode. This is $1 cheaper than our standard price point for stories of that length—our way of ensuring the affordability of complete serialized seasons, no matter where you prefer to shop.
Complete seasons can be purchased in ebook bundles at the Riptide website only (you can find them listed with our other collection bundles), though some may be released at various third-party sites several months after the completion of the season. Seasons are priced based on word count, just like our non-serialized fiction. So even though a season may contain four individual 20,000-word episodes priced at $2.99 apiece (for a total of $11.97, in this example), subscribing to the whole season via the Riptide website would cost you only $8.99. Subscribing to an entire season generally results in a fairly large discount over purchasing episodes individually.
You can buy a complete season onsite at any time, either by pre-ordering (subscribing to the season before it’s been released or before it’s complete), or ordering once the whole season is finished. If you pre-order, you’ll receive each individual episode two days before its official release day. If you buy the whole season after its completion, you’ll have access to all season episodes at once as a collection of instant downloads. If you subscribe to a season midway through the season, already-released episodes will be available to you as instant downloads, and forthcoming episodes will be available to you two days earlier than their official release date.
Completed seasons may also be made available in paperback, which you can buy anywhere our books are sold. Print versions of seasons will only be released after the entire ebook season is complete.
Generally speaking, there is no way to buy a complete series in a single purchase. Like non-serialized book series, each complete title within the series is sold individually. However, we may run onsite specials from time to time where we bundle all series of a season together into one purchase.
This is largely a matter of personal taste. If you wish to savor and enjoy the anticipation, buy them as they release. If you love the authors and can’t bear to wait a year to start reading the story, buy them as they release.
If you cannot bear cliffhangers, you may wish to wait until the entire story is complete—or at least an entire season—and buy them then.
Whatever you decide, we strongly recommend you buy them onsite to enjoy the season discount.
Riptide won’t publish any episodes in a season until the entire season is written. This way, we can guarantee the availability of a complete novel.
However, like many a television show and book series, sometimes things are canceled before their overall conclusion. If this happens with our serial fiction, the overall series arc may never reach its full potential, but all episode and seasonal arcs will be neatly wrapped, and you’ll end your read feeling as satisfied as you would have with any other book with which you hope for but do not necessarily expect a sequel.
That being said, our serial authors are contractually obligated to deliver a pre-set number of seasons. Sometimes events may conspire to make this impossible or to make a season unexpectedly late (death, illness, “acts of god,” etc.), but by and large you can be assured that a serial begun is a serial completed. After all, Riptide staffers all know well the frustration of starting a brilliant episodic story in fandom and then discovering it was never finished. We’ve designed our serial contracts to prevent that from happening here.
This varies from book to book. Some seasons may consist of as few as one episode, some as many as eight or more; it all depends on where the natural conclusion to the season arc falls. On average, however, an episode in a serial story will be 15,000 to 20,000 words (roughly 55 to 75 pages), and an average season will consist of three to five episodes.
This varies from serial to serial, but release dates for each episode are always clearly posted on the season collection page, as well as on the individual episode pages. Most seasons will feature one episode per month, so the average season will run three to five months long.
As with TV, there may be a “summer break” (or a fall or winter or spring break, depending on the timing of the release) between the prior season and the new season, but many will release one season after the other with no interruption.
And as always, if you pre-order your season subscription through our website, you’ll receive your episodes two days before they’re available anywhere else.
We do! Posters, fine art prints, and fun stuff like mugs, puzzles, and mouse pads. We utilize a third-party website, DeviantArt, to display, create, sell, and ship those items on our behalf. You can see our gallery of available art here. Click on any illustration to see purchase options for that individual art, or visit our prints shop here to see purchase options by item type (poster, mug, etc.).
This is a legal licensing issue. While we own the copyright for all of our hand-drawn covers, we do not own the copyright for our photo covers. Since we're only licensing the photos on our photo covers for specific, limited use, we're not able to make those covers available as merchandise.
Probably not, no. We don't have the shipping facilities for processing delicate items, so we'd rather trust to the experts who handle this sort of merchandise on a daily basis.
No. Since the art items are sold entirely offsite by a third-party vendor who merely pays us a small royalty for the right to do so, we cannot award Bonus Bucks for those purchases.
Indeed! Buying prints of the art you love is a great way to help support your favorite authors.
Base prices equal to the amount the vendor (DeviantArt) keeps on every sale are set by DeviantArt. We then add a small additional cost to allow for a profit for publisher and author. For most items, our share of the sale price is between 20% and 30% of the price you pay. While this means that DeviantArt is making the vast majority of the profit on each sale, they've certainly earned it; they're handling item manufacture, ordering, payment processing, shipping, and customer service on our behalf.
It's certainly possible! Keep in mind that commissioning a painting is very expensive, so we're unlikely to do one unless it seems there's sufficient demand for art items with that character. If there's something you'd like to see, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aim to provide you with as many options as we possibly can. This means that whenever possible, we let you choose from the full-wrap art (front cover, back cover, and spine), the front cover art with the typography, and the front cover art without the typography. (We don't make available the full wrap art with the typography because it would look very unbalanced.) It's up to you which version you'd like. Some folks want a poster of the book cover exactly how it appears on the book itself, and some folks just want to admire the beautiful painting without any of the text on it. We want you to be able to choose the version that makes you the happiest.
No. The watermark on the sample image is there to protect our intellectual property, but it will absolutely not show up on your ordered items.
Two ways. You can visit our DeviantArt gallery (all paintings in the gallery are available for sale), or you can go directly to a specific book's art by clicking on the "Posters & More!" link beneath the buying options on the individual title's book page. Please note that visiting our gallery will take you offsite to a third-party vendor (DeviantArt) who manages all our art orders on our behalf.
For each book you pre-order (the book can't have been released yet) directly through our site, you'll receive one entry into a drawing to win free books for a year! Every six months, we'll pool all the entries and do a drawing. There are second and third prizes, too:
- First Prize is one free copy of every single ebook Riptide releases for 12 months!
- Second Prize is one free copy of every single ebook Riptide releases for 6 months!
- Third Prize is one free copy of every single ebook Riptide releases for 3 months!
That's a lot of free books! We'll draw winners at random every year in early January and early July. And even if you don't win, you still get a nifty bonus: pre-ordered books are available for download two full days before their official sale date!
Ready to earn some entries? Check out our titles coming soon!
Every new book we release will be available for pre-order for at least two weeks, and some for up to a few months. There are some excellent reasons to pre-order.
You can purchase and forget about it. Your book will be waiting for you on release day in every available format; no need to remember when that is. You'll also receive an email on release day letting you know your files are available for download.
Each pre-order purchase earns you an entry into an awesome contest where you can win free Riptide books for a year!
Your pre-ordered books can be downloaded two days before the "official" street date, so you get to read the story two days before everyone else.
When you buy direct through the website, you'll receive Bonus Bucks on every purchase you make.
- The author will receive a much higher royalty for the sale than he or she will if you purchase the book through a third-party vendor like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. One of the best ways to support your favorite authors is to buy direct from the publisher site.
There are many benefits to shopping directly through the Riptide web store.
We make all file formats available to you at all times, so if you switch devices or accidentally delete your book, you can re-download the appropriate format with zero hassle.
You earn Bonus Bucks for each purchase you make, and can use those Bonus Bucks to purchase free books or gift certificates from our store.
Books on pre-sale may be offered at a discount through our site only.
We offer exclusive print-and-ebook combos at an average discount of 30%, and all paperbacks onsite are sold at an average discount of 20%.
If you pre-order a book, you'll be able to download it two days before the official release date.
All pre-orders earn you an entry into our Free Books for a Year contest.
Themed collections (groupings of short stories or novellas) and serial stories are bundled and offered at significant discount through our site only.
- Both our authors and ourselves get to keep a much larger share of the purchase price when you buy directly from us (or any other publisher site), which makes it easier for your favorite authors to spend more time writing new books. Third-party vendors such as Amazon may keep as much as sixty-five percent of your sale price, leaving as little as thirty-five cents on the dollar for the publisher and author to share.
Soon, we'll be making it possible to search for books in many ways: by author, title, series, genre, sub-genre, type and/or frequency of erotic content, all sorts of keywords, etc. In the meanwhile, start with our "Titles" link in the navigation bar or our search box on the top right corner of the page. When you find a book you wish to purchase, add it to your shopping cart.
You can also use the search bar in the upper right corner of our website (across from our logo). Just type in a full or partial author name or book title and click on the little magnifying glass.
Checking out is easy, safe, and secure. During checkout, you'll be prompted to log in, or to create an account if you're new to Riptide. We use PayPal to process our credit card payments, but you don’t need a PayPal account to shop with us. PayPal allows you to pay for your purchase with any major credit card (click here for more info from the PayPal site), your Paypal balance, or a linked checking account.
As soon as your payment is confirmed, your books will appear in your bookshelf for download.*
*If you've purchased pre-sale titles, they'll appear in your bookshelf two days before their official release date.
We use two separate ratings in concert: Heat Waves (how explicit) and Frequency (how often). Both are on a scale of 1 to 5. We also use a number of tags to specify the type of content (for example, “bondage,” “flogging,” “rimming,” “threesome,” etc.) and help you find exactly the kind of story you’re in the mood to read.
Heat Wave Scale
- 1 wave: Non-romances. No erotic content. If there is romantic content, it’s not the focus of the story.
- 2 waves: Stories with sweet romantic content such as a kiss or a touch over clothing. No explicit language. Appropriate for most YA audiences.
- 3 waves: Primarily sweet/sensual stories. Love scenes may happen, but will be “off screen” or entirely non-explicit. No graphic language. May be appropriate for YA audiences.
- 4 waves: Stories with sensual love scenes. They will occur “on screen” but will be primarily non-explicit. May include some explicit language.
- 5 waves: Stories with explicit love scenes and graphic language.
- Non-romances. No erotic or romantic encounters.
- Erotic content is secondary to the focus of the book and occurs in a very small percentage of scenes.
- Erotic content is relevant to focus of the book occurs in a fairly small percentage of scenes.
- Erotic content is integral to the focus of the book and occurs in a fairly large percentage of scenes.
- Erotic content is the central focus of the book and occurs in a large percentage of scenes.
Click on the "Register" button all the way in the upper right corner and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also create an account during the checkout process.
Never. Registration is absolutely free. You won't even be added to our mailing list unless you choose to be.
Absolutely. Since we use PayPal—one of the safest payment processing options in the world—you will never have to reveal your personal details to any site, including ours. We do not even see your credit card information, let alone collect it.
Pricing is based on book length. Rather than featuring only three or four price tiers, we have ten different tiers at Riptide. This ensures that the customer never overpays for a book at the short end of a wide price tier (for instance, some houses sell all books up to 15K words for $2.99, but who wants to pay $2.99 for a 5,000 word short?), and that the author is paid fairly for books at the long end of a wide price tier (for instance, some houses sell all books over 40K words for $5.99, even though it may take the author three or four times as long to write a 100K book as a 40K book).
When deciding how to price our tiers, we took into account the time and expense that goes into producing each book at Riptide. Unlike many other e-publishers in the M/M space, we provide Manhattan-quality developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading for each book we produce. We also provide professional layout, hand-coded file conversions to eliminate irritating artifacts and layout errors in your e-book, and gorgeous cover art. All of these things mean that Riptide’s production process is much as fifteen times more expensive than at other e-houses, and consequently, our cover prices are sometimes a little bit higher (but not fifteen times more!). However, we’ve learned through experience that quality sells, and readers appreciate the respect we show them by not producing a sub-par product.
Our pricing tiers are as follows:
- Under 5,000 words: $.99
- 5,000 to 9,999 words: $1.99
- 10,000 to 17,999 words: $2.99
- 18,000 to 29,999 words: $3.99
- 30,000 to 39,999 words: $4.99
- 40,000 to 49,999 words: $5.99
- 50,000 to 69,999 words: $6.99
- 70,000 to 89,999 words: $7.99
- 90,000+ words: $8.99
Most but not all of our titles will fall into these tiers. On rare occasion and for a variety of individual reasons, a book may be priced in a different (usually lower) tier.
Your library is available at any time from any web-capable device. If you're logged in, just click on "My Account" in the upper right-hand corner of the page, then click on "Files" to see all the files you've ever purchased. They'll be available for download in every format we support.
Yes. If you have Windows 7, save your purchase to a folder on your computer, plug your Kindle or Nook to your computer, and drop and drag the book to the documents section of your device.
For Kindle, you may also send our books as an attachment to your Kindle device email.
On the collection description page, you'll see a separate release date for each individual title within the collection. As with all pre-orders, you'll have access to each title two days before that official release date. Most collections will feature one release per week until the collection is complete. Of course, if you order the collection after the final release date, you'll have access to the full selection of collection titles all at once.
Bonus Bucks are our way of saying “Thank you!” to customers who shop repeatedly at our site. (Why does that matter to us? Because third-party sites like Amazon and ARe take between 30% and 65% of the cover price of each book, leaving much less money for us to share with our authors.)
Every time you purchase with us, you receive one Bonus Buck for each dollar you spend on books. When you’ve collected 50 Bonus Bucks, our website will automatically turn them into a $5 account credit. You can then apply that credit as you check out, as if it were cash!
Your credit is applied to an order as soon as you select the pay-by-credit option during checkout. However, if for some reason you don't complete the checkout process, your credit may seem to disappear, even though you haven't gotten your books.
But don't despair! If this has happened to you, please contact email@example.com (please be sure to include your username) and we'll get your credit reinstated ASAP.
Spread some joy with our special Gift Cards!
Here's how they work:
Purchase a gift card (and earn some Bonus Bucks for yourself!).
After checkout, return to the Gift Cards page and click the Send tab.
Enter the recipient's email, and an optional message and sender name.
If the recipient is an existing customer on our website, their account will be credited with the sum you've gifted. If not, an account with credit will be created for them, and they'll receive an invitation to come aboard and enjoy their gift.
Sort of, but not directly. We accept Paypal, and you can use your checking account via PayPal to pay for your purchase. (You may also use your Visa, Mastercard, or Riptide gift certificate to pay for your purchase.)
No. Like almost all ebook retailers large and small, our books are non-returnable. We will, however, happily replace any damaged files.
No. DRM (Digital Rights Management software) doesn’t actually discourage pirates. All it does is inconvenience honest readers who wish to transfer files between personal devices. If you see our books being sold with DRM on a third-party site, the DRM has been added without our permission.
Thank you for helping Riptide and its authors to protect their intellectual property and incomes. If you see one or more of our titles being illegally distributed, please send the link or links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since we're a boutique publisher, our focus is on quality over quantity. The average novel spends about six months in active production at Riptide, and our staff is small. This means we won't be releasing several new books a week. Rather, we'll release one new title every week or so. Look for our new releases on Mondays—a perfect pick-me-up to get you through the long week ahead!
The Riptide Publishing newsletter, Making Waves, is one of the best ways to keep abreast of all our new releases, specials, and news. We'll also give away free stuff in every newsletter: excerpts, prizes, maybe even an exclusive short story from one of your favorite Riptide authors!
Of course, we'll never give your email to anyone else or use it for anything but our newsletter, which we send out, on average, once each week, usually on Saturday.
If you don't want to miss any of the fun, be sure to sign up for Making Waves now in the box on the right side of our webpage.
Yes and thank you! Small presses live and die on the recommendations of happy readers.
On every book page, you'll find social media sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, and more. Coming soon, we'll also have a "Recommend" button, and when you click that, we'll email your friend a link to the recommended title. We do not store this information, so you don't have to worry about your friend's email being added to our mailing list. That will never happen.
There is no limit to the number of times you download a purchased book, as long as you’re downloading it for your own personal use. (Downloading an extra copy to share with a friend or family member is stealing, alas.) If you purchase through Riptide, you will have access to the file in every major format available now and in the future, so if you have a Kindle today but buy a Nook next year, that’s no problem—just redownload the appropriate format.
You can edit your account information at any time by logging in via the link in the upper right-hand corner of the page and then clicking "My Account," also in the upper right.
Simply put, we have some of the most rigorous quality standards and friendliest contract terms in the business. We’re authors too, so we know what it’s like to sign a year’s work away, only to find yourself trapped in a relationship with poor royalties or bad editing, late payments or terrible covers or nonexistant communication. We are not an author mill. We have no set production quotas, and we view authors as partners, not as inconveniences.
We’re not seeking to make money on volume by turning over as many manuscripts as we can as quickly as we can, quality be damned. Instead, we carefully select a small handful of manuscripts and shower them—and their writer!—with all the love and attention they deserve. That means excellent cover art, excellent layout, Manhattan-quality editing, a dedicated marketing staff, and author-friendly contracts. We’re proud to put our name on every book we publish, and our authors are too!
Our press may be new, but our staff is most certainly not. We know traditional publishing, e-publishing, the LGBTQ market, and sales and management intimately because we’ve been a part of it as authors, editors, marketers, and business owners. To learn more about us, please browse the rest of our FAQ and check out our staff bios.
We know a primary concern with any new publishing venture is the possibility it will go bankrupt. Rest assured that cannot happen at Riptide because we’ve taken on zero debt—and we never will. Our business model is structured such that we grow no faster than the press's own profits can support, and we’re so confident of Riptide Publishing’s success that we’ve seeded the venture with our personal royalties and savings. That said, we understand you want more than assurances, so we have a comprehensive bankruptcy clause in our contract, based on the industry-standard EPIC model.
We've also demonstrated a marked ability to package, edit, and market books that garner strong sales and critical acclaim in our opening year—including achievements such as multiple Dear Author Recommended Reads and Top 10 bestsellers in a variety of Amazon and ARe categories, a large number of 2012 Rainbow Awards, multiple titles on blogger Top 10 Books of 2012 lists, and even a Goodreads Choice Awards semi-final placement.
We publish all genres of LGBTQ romantic, erotic, and literary fiction, with a particular focus on:
- Speculative fiction, such as fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, urban fantasy, etc.
- Military: any era, any nation, any planet
- BDSM: well researched and 100% consensual, please
- Power exchange: real slavery, capture, kidnapping, etc. (noncon is welcome here)
- Meticulously-researched historicals from any era
- Literary fiction with little or no erotic or romantic content
We are also actively seeking:
- Menage (M/M/F with strong M/M elements is welcome)
- Transsexual fiction
- Stories without HEAs or HFNs
- . . . You name it, if it’s a great story, we want it!
We publish all heat levels, from sweet romance to hardcore erotica. We do not require romance in our erotica (although that’s lovely, too), nor do we require HEAs or HFNs. We love happy endings just as much as the next reader, but we believe there’s a place for dark romance and dark erotica with dark endings.
Our list is shorter than most.
- No pedophilia or necrophilia, please.
- No scat.
- No bestiality, though shifter sex in animal form is welcome.
- No rape as titillation, though dubcon and forced seduction as titillation are welcome, as is rape in non-titillating circumstances.
- No materials that encourage or shine a positive light on hate of any kind. Please note that doesn’t mean your character can’t be a bigot; it just means you-the-author should not be agreeing with him or her.
We purchase worldwide English language rights for all print and digital forms, translation rights, and audio rights. You retain film rights, and any other rights not explicitly stated in the contract. Standard contract terms for new books are four years. Reprints are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Most rights are negotiable.
No, no, and no again. There’s nothing in the world more frustrating or muse-killing than finding yourself contractually obligated to submit a sequel to a publisher who’s treated you poorly. Not that we’ll ever treat you poorly, mind you, but we want our authors to return to us again and again because they love it here, not because they’ve signed their creative life away.
Absolutely not. Expert editing, layout, cover design, and all other parts of the production process are 100% free.
Because we are an invitation-only publisher who invested significant resources into crafting the perfect (we hope!) author-friendly contract, we don't post our contract publicly. However, most of our terms (contract length, royalty rates, bankruptcy clause, stance on right of first refusal, etc.) are spelled out clearly in our FAQ, and much of our contract is modeled after the industry-standard EPIC contract. Of course, all invited authors are more than welcome to review our contract at any time.
Every contract is different, but most authors will begin with ebook royalties at 40% of net, regardless of the length of their project. Once they cross a certain sales threshold, royalties increase to 50% of net, and once they cross the final sales threshold, royalties increase to 60% of net. Authors with consistently strong and well-established sales histories may receive higher royalties.
Royalty rates for print-on-demand, traditional offset printing, and various subsidiary rights are a bit more complex, but ultimately designed to split net profits 50/50 between the author and the publisher. All terms are fully detailed in our contract, and we're happy to answer any questions a prospective author may have.
“List” means the price on the cover of the book. So if your print book lists for $16.99, and you earn 10% of list on your title, you’ll earn $1.70 for each sale, regardless of what price the retailer sells the book for. “Net” means the sale price of the book minus third-party vendor fees. Nothing else is taken into consideration for the “net” calculation. So if your ebook sells for $5, and you earn 40% of net for each sale, you’ll earn $2 for each copy sold directly through our website, but $1.20 for each copy sold through a vendor like All Romance Ebooks, because ARe keeps 40% of the sale price of the book.
Royalties are paid monthly, either via check or Paypal. (Authors outside the USA are paid via Paypal only.) Sales made at our website are paid the next month, but third-party royalties are passed on to you only once we receive them, which means you may not see royalties from your January Amazon sales until April or so. Some vendors pay quarterly. Others pay only twice a year. Some pay monthly on a net 45 or net 90 delay. If we've offered you a contract, we're happy to answer any questions you might have about specific vendors' schedules and policies.
Like most of our fellow publishers in the erom space, we rarely offer advances. In exchange, however, we offer one of the most competitive royalty rates in the business.
Short answer? Anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000+ words.
Longer answer? We sell stories as short as a thousand words: Riptide Wet Dreams for erotic shorts, and Riptide Ripples for non-erotic shorts. Even our $.99 shorts receive unique cover art and full distribution to all major sites.
We accept longer stories too, of course, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll publish a work much longer than 125,000 words, excepting epic sci-fi or fantasy.
For a complete breakdown of our short, novelette, novella, and novel lengths and sale prices, please see our pricing FAQ.
Maybe. If you have a long and proven track record, or you’re an existing Riptide author, we may consider a reprint. Otherwise, no. Please note that contract terms on reprints will vary from our boilerplate depending on how much (or how little) editorial, cover art, layout, conversion, and marketing work needs to be done.
Simultaneous submissions: No. We’ll get back to you in twelve weeks or less, so please be patient and do not submit your manuscript to anyone else while you have it out with us.
Multiple submissions: Any author may submit to multiple open calls at any given time. Authors already working with the house may also submit multiple projects (for open calls or otherwise) directly to their editor. Otherwise, no; if you are submitting via referral, invite, or agent, please choose your single best work for our review.
Yes we do. Please note, however, that with the exception of open calls and well-established authors with proven track records, Riptide Publishing will only accept unagented submissions by invitation or existing author referral only.
If you've been invited to submit by an editor to whom you didn't pitch, and your work is rejected, we do indeed send a personalized letter. After all, we're authors too, and we all know the frustration of receiving a one-line “thanks but no thanks” rejection. Our rejection letters may still be fairly short, but they will explain the primary reasons why we felt we couldn’t accept your piece.
We may also on occasion send what we call an R&R, or a “revise and resubmit” letter. Celebrate—these are good news! An R&R means the acquisition editor saw great potential in your story, but felt something (or several somethings) weren’t quite strong enough to justify a contract. The editor will send you back a list of those things that need fixing and invite you to resubmit once you tackle the revisions. By no means are you obligated to do so, and it’s important to note that even after you make the revisions, your manuscript may still be rejected. But many R&Rs result in contracts in the end.
If you have made such significant changes that the manuscript no longer even resembles the version we rejected—in other words, if it’s essentially a new book—then yes. Otherwise, no.
No. If the anthology or collection editor thinks your piece won’t work for his or her purposes but would work as a standalone, he or she will forward the submission to another editor for evaluation.
Remember, we are an invitation-only publisher. Please do not send submissions unless you're responding to one of our open calls, you've been referred, or you have a long and proven track record in the M/M genre.
If you fall into one of the above categories, please send the following to email@example.com:
- A 1-page query letter in the body of the email.
- A 3 to 5 page synopsis as an attachment to the email.
- The first 20 pages of your manuscript as an attachment to the email. If your manuscript is shorter than 20 pages, include the whole manuscript.
All attachments should be .doc or .rtf files. Please format your manuscript as follows:
- 1” margins all around
- 1.5 line spacing
- NO TABS OR SPACES for paragraph indents! Use the paragraph formatting feature to indent your first lines 0.5”
12-point Times New Roman or Book Antiqua font
Save your files as “Book-title_Author-lastname_SYNOPSIS” and “Book-title_Author-name_MS” respectively. For instance, Pride and Prejudice would be Pride-and-Prejudice_Austen_MS.rtf and Pride-and-Prejudice_Austen_SYNOPSIS.rtf.
Be sure to include a header on each page with your book title on the left and your name on the right. On the synopsis, please include a title page with your full name, address, phone number, and email.
Depending upon the length of the book and the house’s current production schedule, your book could be published anywhere from two to ten months after acceptance. (Some long-lead acquisitions or books bought on proposal may be published a year or more after acceptance, but never without explicit author permission.)
Most novellas require roughly four months to produce, and most novels require roughly eight months to produce. In almost all cases, we will have your cover art and advance reader copies (ARCs) ready at least a month in advance of your release date so you and we can solicit early reviews and promote with ease. In many cases, we have ARCs ready three to four months in advance of your release date for submission to long-lead review sites like Romance Times and Library Journal, though doing so will of course will lengthen the overall lead time between acceptance and publication.
A manuscript goes through many stages to become a published book. First, your manuscript is assigned to the appropriate developmental editor (DE). The DE may make suggestions for some pretty significant changes—or, if the book is very clean, the changes may be minor. Expect this process to take one to three months, depending on the length of the book, the number and significance of edits required, the speed at which the author is able to return those edits to the editor, and the editor's schedule.
Once the book is done with developmental edits, it goes on to the line editor, then back to the author, possibly more than once. This process can take one to two months, sometimes more with an exceptionally long or error-prone manuscript or during a particularly busy season for your editor. After that, it goes to the copyeditor, and again back to the author, which can take an additional two to four weeks. Then it goes to two separate proofreaders. When the proofreaders are done with it and you've had a chance to review their work, it goes to the typesetter, who lays out the manuscript and produces what’s called a galley. The galley first goes to a production proofer, who checks the page proofs for typographic errors, and then goes back to the author, who gets one last chance to review the manuscript for errors. That concludes the author's portion of the editing process. We know that's a lot more editing than you'll find at many other epubs, and it may seem a bit intimidating, but it's how Riptide produces Manhattan-quality books, and we guarantee you'll be delighted with the end result!
Once the editing's done, we send the book to our converter, who uses software to convert your Word doc into a variety of ebook formats and then checks and codes each format by hand to ensure a beautiful and error-free layout. The finished conversions go to a production proofer, who double-checks the converter's work. Any errors found are fixed before the conversions are released.
Meanwhile, your chosen cover artist is hard at work giving your book the best possible face for the world. When you’re done with the galley and the cover artist is done with the cover, we put it all together into an ARC, which we then start sending out to reviewers in advance of publication. We like to have at least four weeks for this to generate the most exposure and excitement for your release we can. In a perfect world, we have four full months to send your ARC to long-lead review sites like Romance Times, Library Journal, and Publisher's Weekly.
We are one of the only epubs in the LGBTQ space to offer true developmental edits, comprehensive line edits and copyedits, hand-coding for our ebook files, extensive production proofing, or long-lead pre-publication ARCs. This is why our production time is longer than most, but we firmly believe it's worth the wait.
If your story is over 60,000 words, it will be included in our print program automatically. Most print titles release simultaneously with the ebook.
If your story is between 25,000 and 60,000 words, print publication hinges on the success of your ebook sales.
Shorter stories may be bundled into thematically similar single-author or multi-author print collections. We will occasionally make open submission calls for such collections. Shorter stories between 10,000 and 13,000 words may also be placed into print as standalone chapbooks, primarily for promotional purposes and sales at conventions.
Interior illustrations are tricky in ebooks and make the book expensive to produce. If your book requires, say, a map at the opening, that’s fine, but anything more than that may be rejected.
As for cover art, we have an excellent stable of artists to provide cover art for our titles and create a consistent look across our brand, but we are open to considering outside art if the rights are free and clear. Please note that if we do consent to use your cover art, all rights for the art must be turned over to us.
We distribute our ebooks to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, All Romance Ebooks, Rainbow Ebooks, and TLA.com. We also distribute to dozens of large and small etailers through Ingram, one of the largest book distributors in the world, and Overdrive, a premier distributor to libraries and other retailers. Of course we also sell our books on our own site, and we're constantly working to expand our distribution to vendors who will not devalue your work by heavily discounting it.
Our print books are also distributed through Ingram. This means your print book will be sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Books-a-Million, and hundreds of other online stores throughout the world. They'll also be available for order through any brick-and-mortar bookstore, though given the subject matter, it’s unlikely your neighborhood Borders will stock them routinely. And of course we sell print books directly on our website, and at multiple conventions and events throughout the year.
Riptide's marketing department, helmed by Stephanie Grober, lives to make each and every Riptide title a success. Our staff helps every single Riptide author develop a marketing plan for each individual book they publish and for their careers as a whole. We also offer ongoing marketing training to our authors to help them grow and develop at their own pace. We'll schedule blog tours for you, provide prize support for your marketing efforts, create banners and bookmark designs for your books, and even ship you swag.
In addition, every book you publish with us will be submitted to a large number of reviewers, and we advertise the press as a whole on several genre-appropriate sites and publications. We also make appearances at conventions and book fairs each year, host blog tours and virtual parties filled with giveaways, and promote your work on sites ranging from Goodreads to Lambda Literary to FetLife.
Each new Riptide title also gets a turn at NetGalley, where your book will be exposed to 80,000+ professional readers (librarians, booksellers, bloggers, and media professionals).
Through Riptide's media connections, our authors have placed editorials and received reviews at major venues such as Romance Times and USA Today. As a small house, our success hinges on the success of each and every book we publish; rest assured we'll do everything we can to make your book a hit.
We’d make them all walk the plank if we could. Since that’s not legal anymore (much like ebook piracy, yarr!), we monitor the popular pirate sites and issue DMCA takedown notices to all offenders. If you spot your book being pirated somewhere, just shoot us an email and we’ll handle it. And if it’s something we can’t handle with a notice, we have an IP lawyer on retainer to deal with the sticky situations. Your book is yours, and we will defend your copyright to the full extent of the law.