Submit a Manuscript | THL Author / Artist / Kit Submissions

GENERAL POLICIES

Tumblehome Learning, Inc. (THL) is pleased to announce that we are currently accepting manuscript and product idea submissions.  Please make sure that your submission follows the guidelines & policies below.  We receive a considerable amount of submissions on a regular basis; failure to follow guidelines will result in our immediate rejection of your submission.  Your submission of a manuscript, artwork, kit or idea does not constitute any form of binding agreement or contract.  We will not consider or return any physical works submitted to us; any rejected works are usually destroyed or deleted.  While we make every attempt to protect your submissions, and keep all our data private, we make no guarantees that your data will not be seen by a third party.  Please note that while we try to respond to all submissions which are not immediately rejected, during busy periods our responses may be very slow.

THL BACKGROUND AND TARGET MARKET

Tumblehome Learning, Inc. publishes STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) books for children in grades K-12.  The majority of our books are geared toward upper elementary and middle school grades (approximately ages 8-12).  While we occasionally publish non-fiction books, these are exceptions.  The large majority of our books are fiction, and generally have adventure/mystery plots, containing  scientific facts, engineering design processes and/or genuine historical STEM figures.  Our company mission is to make STEM education more fun by embedding scientific content into fun, fictional storylines which excite children and help them imagine themselves as future scientists or engineers.   We generally publish books from authors who have backgrounds both in writing as well as a STEM field.  The intersection of science & literacy is our niche.  As such, all of our publications must inspire children to want to become better readers and more literate in STEM fields.  One of our primary goals is to be able to align all of our publications with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards curriculum.  We have curriculum experts on staff to be able to assist with this alignment process, but you should be willing to assist us with developing freely-available teacher guidelines and online resources to assist in marketing your publication.

THL SERIES SUBMISSIONS

Please note that we do accept series submissions.  Our keynote series is called the Galactic Academy of Science, which follows a very specific format; if you submit a work for this series, please be sure to obtain a an example copy first from our site or the library and make sure that your idea fits within this style.  We occasionally accept exceptional outside authors to write for this series, or experienced, successful “ghost” writers to co-author books along with our own team of STEM experts.  If you would like to submit a specific subject idea for GAS as a primary author, we would require you to be a published expert in this field.

ARTISTS / PICTURE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

We have recently begun accepting picture book submissions.  Please note that very young readers are not our primary target.  We accept very few picture books; less than 10% of all THL publications are and/or will be picture books.  If you are a picture book author, without an artist, we will not accept your submission.  You must be an author-illustrator, preferably with a science or engineering background; if not, then please make sure that your work contains considerable scientific content.  Please understand that we may edit your work considerably to fit our mission and internal guidelines.

KITS & TEACHER RESOURCES

THL also publishes quality STEM kits containing both child-focused and teacher-focused resources.  If your book is well aligned with a particular existing product or set of products please let us know; most of our current books align with hands-on science products which we also make available for sale.  If you have a specific idea for a new, unique STEM-related activity or kit, which can be accompanied by some form of written publication, please feel free to submit it to us, and be prepared to assist us in sourcing materials for your idea.  We would also expect you to be a primary contributor with regard to writing and/or illustrating all resource/guide-related materials.  Again, we do not accept submissions containing proprietary and/or confidential information.  If you have an existing product or service and wish to propose a specific kit-related or other product or service-related business partnership, please reach the appropriate THL department via our contact page.

GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Include a thoughtful cover letter which describes your understanding of our organization, why you’d like to work with THL, and why you feel your work and your personal background is suitable for us.  Please let us know how many pages you expect your final book to be, and expected reading level.  Please also submit a very brief a brief business plan / marketing plan, described further below.  If you submit a generic cover letter, we will likely reject you outright.
  • Please submit a completed manuscript or at minimum 3 chapters (assuming your book is 150 pages or more).  Please follow a typical manuscript submission guideline, such as you might find in “Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript” by Chuck Sambuchino, or find basic summarized guidelines on a site such as Writer’s Digest.
  • We accept digital manuscripts only.  Please do not submit anything confidential or proprietary; we will not sign any NDA’s for book submissions.
  • As publisher, we generally must hold the exclusive rights to all forms of media; please do not submit a book for which you have already assigned rights to a particular form of media, if it does not have a significant sales history.  There may be occasional exceptions to this rule, such as title for which a hardcover edition of a book, which is highly relevant to THL’s market and mission, has already been published, which has sold at least 50,000 copies, and paperback rights are up for sale (as an example, but other similar circumstances may be considered).  We also occasionally accept some foreign submissions for rights consideration, via Allison Olson at lettersoupagency.com.
  • Please propose any minimum advance or royalty guidelines upfront.  Understand that we are a small publisher.  We generally compensate primarily through royalties.  We can not offer one THL author a considerably better offer than any other THL author.   We offer industry competitive compensation packages, and we get a high volume of submissions – at times, more than we can handle.  As such, unless you have a proven track record writing various title which sell thousands of books, it is unlikely you will receive an advance of any substance.
  • Please submit a CV containing prior publications and unit sales numbers by title.  Published authors and those with STEM backgrounds are preferred.
  • As part of your cover letter, please submit a very brief business plan/marketing plan.  Essentially, this is a very brief statement of your understanding of the specific market for your work, it’s specific subject and book format –and how many copies you expect the book to sell.  Feel free to suggest an ideal format, paper quality and size for us to consider.  Please make your numbers within reason.  If you believe your book will sell 1 million copies, and you are a first time author, perhaps that may be the case, but it is unlikely we would do a first print run within several orders of magnitude of this number.  If you have published successful books in the past, please use your prior sales numbers as evidence that your market plan is valid.  Please let us know what you will do to support the sales of the book, such as school & library readings, nearby bookstores where you could do signings, a regional book tour, awards which you have won and are likely to win again, art shows, social media, lectures tours / events where you typically currently speak, etc..
  • Please note that you must assign us complete editorial and art/layout rights.  As such, we will have all final editing authority and may need to change or replace your artwork if you are submitting a picture book.  If that is a condition that you can not accept, then please consider submitting elsewhere or self-publishing.  Unfortunately, we are not a “vanity press” and can not assist authors in publishing their works, if they do not meet our specific criteria, regardless of any cash consideration. If you have any other conditions whatsoever for us to consider, please notify us upfront (e.g. if we must pay royalties to a third party or if we must obtain consent from other parties in order to publish your work).
  • IMPORTANT: Submit your manuscript, letter and CV to submissions @ tumblehomelearning.com.  Please do not call our office regarding the status of your submission.  Please do not email specific people within our organization, regarding your submission.  If you have not heard anything back from us in a 3 month timeframe, and you are certain that you have followed our guidelines and that it may have been an email issue, you may resubmit.  Failure to follow guidelines will result in immediate rejection.

Thank you very much for your interest in submitting to THL!  Best of luck to you.