Frequently Asked Questions

What genres does Josha publish?

We publish a variety of genres, though we are particularly interested in the following:

  • Memoirs (coming-of-age, personal, transformational)
  • Short stories (collections)
  • Essays (collections)
  • Fiction (women’s fiction, domestic fiction, autobiographical fiction, romantic fiction provided it is not also one of our prohibited categories listed below)

We are not currently accepting science fiction or children’s books.


Are there any genres Josha does NOT publish?

Under no circumstances will we consider the following:

  • Formula fiction
  • Erotica
  • Fan fiction

We also do not consider previously published material or any material with gratuitous or excessive sexual or violent content, or anything discriminatory in nature.


What is formula fiction?

Formula fiction is fiction that has a plot, storyline, setting, and/or characters that feel as if they were written according to a “formula”. It is predictable and relatively indistinguishable from many other works. Included in this category is following specific tropes, such as for romance.  


What is fan fiction?

Fan fiction is fiction that is written as a spin-off of existing works, such as movies or books, by someone other than the author. For example, if I were to write a story about the life that Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy lead after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, that would be considered fan fiction.


What is considered erotica?

Erotica is writing with graphic depictions of sexual activity with the express intent of sexually arousing the reader. As it relates to manuscript submissions here at Josha, sexual content that serves the purpose of furthering the plot is acceptable and is not considered erotica. However, gratuitous sexual content that does not further the plot would be considered erotica.


Does Josha accept simultaneous submissions?

No, Josha does not accept simultaneous submissions. If you have multiple manuscripts you believe might be a good fit for Josha, please submit only one. After you have received a decision on that manuscript, you may submit another after a period of 90 days. A rejection or acceptance of one manuscript will have no impact on the decision for other manuscripts submitted by the same author. Each manuscript will be evaluated based on its unique, individual merit.


Does Josha have formatting requirements?

Yes. All attachments provided should follow these guidelines:

  • File type must be Microsoft Word
  • Times New Roman font, size 12, double-spaced
  • All margins should be no less than ½ inch and no greater than 1.25 inches
  • Paper color should be white, font color black
  • Chapters should begin on their own page (refer to tutorial here for how to insert a page break)
  • First line of every new paragraph should be indented

Additionally, full manuscript submissions must use first line indent setting, not tabs (i.e., the tab key on the keyboard). Refer to the tutorial here for how to adjust this setting. If your manuscript is already completed, you may select all content in your document and then expand the paragraph grouping on your ribbon, then follow the remaining instructions in the tutorial.


What are Josha’s query requirements?

All queries should go to submissions@joshapublishing.com. Please begin your subject line with QUERY: {Manuscript Title}, {Genre}.

We like to see well-written, concise letters. Please include the following information in the body of your email. We do not open unsolicited attachments.

  1. Legal name
  2. Pen name (if you have one)
  3. Manuscript title
  4. Manuscript genre
  5. Short synopsis (3-5 sentences that strongly convey your storyline and also pique our interest)
  6. Professional bio
  7. Relevant experience (this includes writing experience as well as any relevant life experience that qualifies you to write about your topic)
  8. Social media handle(s)
  9. Website (if you have one)
  10. If your manuscript is part of a series, indicate this as well as how many books will be in your series and a very short (1-3 sentences) synopsis of the series as a whole
  11. Anything else you think is relevant that we should know when considering your manuscript (please keep this short and to the point)

Note that with the exception of (9) website and (11) additional information, all items listed are required for consideration.


What are Josha’s submission guidelines?

Review our Submissions page for all submissions guidelines.


Does Josha respond to all submissions?

Yes, Josha responds to all submissions. Initial query submissions and submissions of additional materials (only if requested) will receive a response within 60 days of submission. Full manuscript submissions (only if requested) will receive a response within 6 months of submission.

If the stated time period has passed since your submission, please send us a gentle reminder via email. The subject line should read FOLLOW UP: {Query/Partial/Full} – {Manuscript Title} – {Genre} and the body of the email should be a brief message that includes the date of your submission.


What is the response timeline for submissions?

Initial query submissions and submissions of additional materials (only if requested) will receive a response within 60 days of submission. Full manuscript submissions (only if requested) will receive a response within 6 months of submission.

If the stated time period has passed since your submission, please send us a gentle reminder via email. The subject line should read FOLLOW UP: {Query/Partial/Full} – {Manuscript Title} – {Genre} and the body of the email should be a brief message that includes the date of your submission.


What should I do if it has been more than 60 days (6 months for full manuscripts) since my submission without a response?

If the stated time period has passed since your submission, please send us a gentle reminder via email. The subject line should read FOLLOW UP: {Query/Partial/Full} – {Manuscript Title} – {Genre} and the body of the email should be a brief message that includes the date of your submission.


What is the submission process?

Review our Submissions page for the steps in the submission process.


How do I submit a written piece for the blog?

If you are interested in submitting a written piece for our blog, contact us here, including your name and a brief pitch for your content.


What is the publication timeline if my manuscript is accepted?

There is no set timeline for publication. Each manuscript will have a unique set of needs and time required to accomplish each stage based on the length of the manuscript, the content, and the types and extent of editing required. If a contract is offered, a tentative timeline for that book will be discussed and agreed upon with the author.


Should I have my manuscript edited before submitting to Josha?

Yes! There are many freelance editors out there who can help you polish your manuscript for submission for a reasonable rate. You can find them with the hashtag #writingcommunity on social media, on Fiverr, and on Reedsy.


What is a “revise and resubmit”?

Sometimes we receive a manuscript that has potential but requires a significant amount of developmental editing (for example, needing to rearrange a memoir from a topic-based organization to chronological) before Josha would consider offering a contract. If you receive a “revise and resubmit” notice from us, that’s great news! The notice will include details about what kind of revisions we’re requesting. If you choose to make those revisions and resubmit, we will consider your manuscript with fresh eyes. If you do not agree with the requested revisions, we completely understand—it’s your book—and you’re always free to submit to another publisher that may be a better fit for you.


Does Josha accept unagented submissions?

Yes! Josha accepts direct submissions from authors.


Does Josha charge any fees for publishing my manuscript?

No. Josha is not a vanity press or a hybrid publisher. We are a full-service independent publisher and will never ask an author to pay for any portion of the publication of their manuscript.


Does Josha provide advances?

No. Josha is a small independent publisher and we do not currently offer advances on manuscripts. However, our contracts provide competitive royalties to our authors in addition to annual profit-sharing opportunities.


Josha is currently closed for submissions; when will submissions re-open?

Josha does not have set dates for accepting submissions. We close submissions when the volume of submissions requires that we do so in order to provide timely responses to everyone who’s submitted. Once we have less of a backlog, submissions will be reopened. You can check back periodically or sign up for our newsletter to be notified when submissions re-open.


How do I submit my query?

All queries should be submitted via email to submissions@joshapublishing.com.


I have a question I don’t see answered here; who do I contact?

If you have a question and you don’t see it answered here, contact us here.


If I accept a contract, will Josha do my marketing and/or advertising for me?

If you contract for Josha to publish your book, Josha will work with you to develop a marketing plan. However, you will be responsible for implementing the marketing plan on your own website and/or social media platforms. Josha will also advertise your book on various platforms as well as on the Josha website and social media accounts.


Do I need to have a marketing plan in order to submit to Josha?

No, you do not need to already have a marketing plan in order to submit to Josha. We will work with all contracted authors to create a marketing plan tailored to each specific book.


Do I need to have a website or social media accounts in order to submit to Josha?

No, you do not need to already have a website in order to submit to Josha, though you will need to create one prior to your book’s publication. The earlier you start this process, the better. Josha will not create your website for you, though we are happy to connect you with resources you may use to do so.

You do need to have an established social media account in which you engage with your intended audience. This demonstrates your commitment to audience engagement as well as to self-promotion, which would be part of your overall marketing strategy. We do not have a minimum number of followers for your social media accounts; instead, your account will be reviewed for authentic engagement.


Don’t see your question above? Contact us – we’re happy to help!


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