Swoon Reads FAQs


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What is Swoon Reads?
It’s a teen romance imprint under Feiwel and Friends and Macmillan Publishers. It’s also an opportunity for undiscovered writers and avid romance readers to come together and make the stories they love happen. To find out more, head over to our About Us page.
How does the site work?
Once an author uploads their manuscript, members are able to read, rate, and comment on those submissions. The manuscripts rated the highest by the largest number of Readers will be reviewed by the Swoon Reads Staff. If chosen, those manuscripts considered most Swoonworthy 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.


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What’s the deal?
If your manuscript is chosen for publication, we will offer you a $15,000 advance against royalties in a standard Macmillan publishing contract for all rights in all languages, including an option on your next book.
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 trade paperback print edition and all e-book formats.
What kind of manuscripts are you looking for?
We want Young Adult Romance novels for readers ages 14 and up. To us, a romance is defined as a love story with an emotionally satisfying ending. Your manuscripts can be set anytime, anywhere – and can be realistic, supernatural, dystopic, historical, comedy, inspirational, suspense or a mash-up of any sort. Girl/boy, girl/girl, boy/boy – just wow us with the intense romance of your story. Teen novels ideally feature protagonists between the ages of 14 and 19. We also accept New Adult novels which feature protagonists ages 19-23. Check out our Submission Tips for more information.
Is there a deadline?

No. Swoon Reads is an ongoing publishing imprint so there is no cut-off date for submissions or comments and ratings. However, since publishing works on seasonal schedules, Swoon Reads will have seasonal deadlines. Our upcoming deadlines are below.

To be considered for our third list

  • Manuscripts must be submitted before midnight EST on September 30, 2014
  • Ratings and comments must be submitted by midnight EST on October 31, 2014
  • We will make our choice, contact the author, and announce in November 2014

To be considered for our fourth list, manuscripts would need to be submitted by the end of January 2015.

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!)

Submitting a Manuscript

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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 50,000 words!) in a .doc or .docx file format. Cover pages and chapters should be separated by page breaks (in Microsoft Word you can do this by pressing CTRL+ENTER), but do not include any other special formatting or type faces (our e-reader won’t translate them properly). 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 just as important to the Swoon Reads community as the writers are. We need readers to rate 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 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 YA romance, 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 from anywhere in the world.
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 and world rights are not up for negotiation.
Can I edit my manuscript once it has been posted?
Sorry, but no. 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.


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Can I download manuscripts to my e-reader or print them out?

I’m afraid not. Here’s why:

  1. Legally we don’t own these manuscripts. Think of them as being on loan to us from the writers.
  2. Also, we promised to do our best to protect the writer’s work from plagiarism and many of those safeguards are built into our e-reader.
  3. And, if you finish the manuscript on your e-reader, you might forget to come back to the site to rate and comment on it!

This is also why you can’t print the manuscripts out.

How do I read the manuscripts?
Our built in e-reader is designed to make the reading experience as easy as possible for you. Once the e-reader has opened, you can easily change the font size, see where you are in the manuscript, turn the pages by touching the right or left side of the page, and skip back and forth with the slider on the toolbar. And if you’re reading on a mobile device, the manuscript downloads completely to the e-reader, allowing you to continue reading on the go without a wi-fi connection! Also, our e-reader is designed to automatically offer you the option to sync across all your devices, so you can start reading on your desktop and then switch to your smartphone or iPad without losing your spot!


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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,

- Swoonworthy!

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 under each index is on a scale of 1-10. When a reader finishes a book, they can indicate which of these traits they think represented the tone of the book. The number you see is the average based on readers who rated. So if 5 readers rated a manuscript, but only 4 marked it for heat, then the score would be an 8/10 for heat. 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:

  1. Treat everyone with respect.
  2. Do not use language that is prejudiced or phobic (including but not limited to comments on: race, sex, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, etc.)
  3. Do not flame, bait, or otherwise troll the community. The focus of the site is love and romance. Under no circumstances should it be used as a place to insult, demean, slander, or hurt others.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 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.


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What browsers and devices are Swoon Reads compatible with?
Swoon Reads is designed to work best on these or newer browsers: Firefox 16, Google Chrome 22, Safari 6, Internet Explorer 9.
I have other questions that aren’t covered here. How can I find out more?
You can find us on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook or use our Contact form. We will do our best to respond, if not individually, then by updates to these FAQs or via our blog, Swoon Says.
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