FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

These guidelines outline how we deal with submissions, and how we want you to deal with us.

This process provides a structured procedure for both you and ourselves, and ensures you know where you’re at in the process.

Our level of interest in your work will often be determined by how well you’ve read and understood this process and the other submission related material on our website. We are more likely to take you seriously based on your adherance to this process.

Your Options

In submitting material, you basically have two options.

  1. Pursue a project related to a solicited or unsolicited book title
  2. Submit a work to the community document project available on this website.

By pursuing 1. you should relatistically be seeking commercial publication for that work, and be confident that we can produce high quality written material. The rest of this document, and the others in the development category are highly relevant to the pursuit of such a goal.

If you wish to pursue option 2., then you are contributing to the public community effort to expand, comment or interpret the FSpaceRPG game system, with the understanding that FSpace Publications can use the material as it sees fit to include in some manner at a later date possibly for a commercial publication. This basically gives you some chance to get officially published, but in the mean time presents you ideas to the community. We will certify the compliance of the document submission with regards to it’s official fit with FSpace. This and other issues with this avenue of publishing is covered in the community publishing section. To help improve the quality of your work the development section is useful, but not required.

General Guidelines

At present we publish only in the English language. We also adhere to British English stnadards, not US English for FSpaceRPG products. We are after a a plain English writing style, not an overly complex grammatical work that rivals the great writers of our time.

It is important to communicate your ideas clearly to the reader to ensure they understand what you mean, with the least amount of ambiguity. At the same time your writing style should generate interest in the reader, and convey a sense of adventure and provide an interesting narrative.

Ultimately the users of the work should enjoy reading and using the product. The aim is to have fun, and the work should be a conduit to having a good time.

This does not mean the product should be presented as a comedy, parody or satire. This is a serious game after all.

Also don’t think clear communication with the least amount of ambiquity means writing in a "long winded" manner. Keep it as concise as possible. Our editors have sharp eyes and a nasty habit of demoshling frivolous material. This costs us more in edotorial resources, and will result in a lower royalty offered to you.

The closer your work approaches perfection the more it could earn you if it is well received by the end users.

Because you will often receive a royalty based on sales, the better it is received, the more you make.

FSpaceRPG, being a hard core science fiction roleplaying game system, has it’s roots firmly grounded in the real world. It is our aim to provide a game and supplements that reflect a realistic situation under the circumstances and framework that we have provided. We expect all writers to adhere to this aim when developing a product. Internal consistancy, plausibility and believability by the end user of the game is critically important.

We expect any writer to extensively playtest their work before we get the final submission version. We want the best quality possible. It’s also a wise idea for the writer to know and fully understand the FSpaceRPG game system before the embark on any such project.

Our Wish List

Our Wish List defines the kind of supplements we are after, and some books we want some input for.

Anything outside those lsits is considered unsolicited. This doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear a proposal about things not on the list.

The Type of Proposal

There are two kinds of proposals:

1. Solicited proposals

Our Wish List outlines those titles we are seeking solicited proposals for work. Please remember that just because we have a title on that list, that we don’t immediately accept any submission for it. We want the best proposal, so we’ll wait till we have an acceptable proposal.

Sometimes we undertake private solicitation for works to be undertaken. This tends to be as a result of us approaching established authors or writers who are recognised authorities on a particular subject. Even if we privately solicit a work, we may not accept the response. It all depends on the quality of the proposal,

2. Unsolicited proposals

Where a title doesn’t appear on our list, you can put forward a unsolicited proposal for a new title. This is often the best way if you have some new idea, such as an alien race that you want introduced into the universe.

We will consider all serious proposals for unsolicited work so long as they comply with our proposal requirements.

To get accepted your work must be intriguing, interesting and to a high standard. Don’t put any old rubbish our way. Take great care to put together a stunning presentation to us. To get past our review panel you’ll need to show your creativity off.

Because a new title has not had any market research built around it, we are unlikely to know it’s commercial viability. Put your best foot forward in presenting the concept so we can better appreciate it’s commercial viability. Remember we have limited resources and will expend those resources on projects with the highest probability of generating a return.

Please note some subjects are prohibted, either because we do it inhouse, other authors have taken the project already, it doesn’t fit with the spirit of the game or is offensive to the target audience, or the guardians of certain target audience members. We reject any such proposal automatically.
 

The Proposal Process

There are four steps to the proposal process:

STEP 1: Choose a title.

If you are submitting a solicited proposal select the title from from our Wish List. Ensure you read the capsule description for that title. This explains what we are looking for. Ensure you read any reference works we suggest.

For those putting forward an unsolicited proposal, formulate a title you think might be appropriate. ensure you do not use any name in the title that might be a trademark or registered trademark of another organisation or individual (use your country’s patent office website to undertake a search).

STEP 2: Read our guidelines

Our guidelines are the definative rules regarding how we want work presented to us for commercial projects. You should ensure you are intimately familiar with them before contacting us. If you are unable or unwilling for whatever reason to comply with these guidelines, then we simply don’t want to hear from you (in such cases your work might be better suited to the community document publishing process).

Initially we will be somewhat forgiving to people who submit material while our guidelines develop.

The better you comply with our requirements the better chanceyour work stands of being considered for publication.

Our current guidelines are:

    • Original Submission Guidelines PDF

     

Our Guidelines will be coming shortly, and will be continually updated over time as we formalise our standards or restructure our editorial, publishing and production processes. Also other guidelines may be applicable to projects others than FSpaceRPG.

STEP 3: Send us a introduction letter

Once you have defined what you want to write, and how you are going to write it, then drop us an email with the following details (and no more or less than this):

    • The title of the work you’ve selected
    • The reason you want to write that title
    • Some general professional background on yourself, generally a cv/resume and a short brief on your gaming background if any.
    • Clearly identify any special skills or knowledge you have that makes you an ideal candidate to write the title in question.
    • Give us a complete background on any books, professional articles or online magazine articles you have written. Provide details on each work regarding publisher, publication dates, ISBN number etc. If details are online, send us the URLs.
    • A concise synopsis (1 or 2 paragraphs) of how you would go about the project, including any suggestions regarding changes to the outline of a solicitied titled project.
    • Any further background that could be relevant about your experience

Once you’ve assembled this, please send it to the Product Line Manager for the title or the Managing Director if no Product Line Manager is defined.

We are extrmely busy, show don’t continue to send us correspondance regarding your initial email. If you don’t hear from us within 4 weeks, then just follow up with us to ensure we got the email. Once we get your email we will respond.

If we think your introductory information warrants further consideration, we will respond asking you to proceed with a formal proposal. We will make a number of suggestions regarding the project and what we would like to see in the proposal. So proceed to Step 4.

If we reject your introduction, we will explain why, and maybe suggest a different course of action. This doesn’t open up the matter for discussion or debtate. It’s a rejection, and it means exactly that. Harrassing us will not change our minds, it’s just likely to make us feel like we don’t want to deal with you, and that we made the right decision in the first place.

STEP 4: Send us a formal proposal.

If we like your introduction letter, then a chance exists that you could be writing for us. At this point we need to see a more substantial proposal. At this point you have to undertake some serious effort to impress us with your skill and quality.

We require the following 4 components as part of a formal proposal:

    1. Covering Letter - that covers the substance of your initial introduction along with any amendments to the prosaol to bring it in line with suggests made by our Review Panel.

    2. Project Outline - formulate and document an outline that summarises the composition aspects of the book, such as number of pages, chapters etc. Define each chapter along with page count, and give a breakdown of each section and subsection with a brief summary of the contents for ewach section. This lets us know what you are porposing to deliver and gives us some specific idea of the content of the delivered product.

      If we have an outline structure for a Wish List title, then by all means ensure those are encompassed in your outline.

      If you are only submitting a component for a compilation project, this component is not needed.

      Completing this outline to the desired level is your responsibility.

    3. Writing Sample - we need to be provided with a 5000 word sample of a part of the book to be delivered if you are working on a complete title. This must be written to the standard you intend delivering to us. This is the true test of your writing standard and ability. So spend considerable effort on making sure this is of good quality.

      For a compilation project we are actually likely to want to see the final product. Often submissions for these are relatively small, so we like to see the final piece.

    4. Submission Declaration - We need you to sign and send in a signed copy of our Submission Declaration and Evaluation Waiver. We are happy to receive a PDF or TIF scanned from a signed copy as an interim measure until such time as you send a physcial copy of the signed document. We will not proceed with reviewing the proposal until we see this.

Once completed submit it to the person contacted, or the person notified as the Product Line Manager in our response. As usual this should be conducted by email. As these documents are larger than your introductory letter, it will take us longer to read and assess the proposal.

At this point, we either will accept or reject the proposal.

Our rejection may not be reflection of your ability. In some cases it will be. The writing sample lets us see how good a writer you are. In most cases we reject work based on the fact it does not meet our needs. In some cases we will respond with "does not comply with game". This simply means you got it wrong. In such a case we can let you take another crack at it, but only if we indicate that your should.

If we accept the proposal, then it’s time to talk turkey and go through all the contractual processes required to bring you onboard. For confidentiality reasons we do not discuss the specifics here. We will deal directly and privately with successful candidates.

Categories: Development

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