We have decided to suspend manuscript submissions for the time being. We have every intention of taking submissions in the future but are currently reworking our approach to make the process increase the probability of manuscript acceptance.

Story Grid Publishing is driven by the merit of the work as opposed to money or status. Our submission process is purposefully rigorous in order to create a system that gives every writer a level playing field.

For more information, watch the below video and in-depth conversations with our founder, Shawn Coyne.

At Story Grid Publishing, every author has to submit their book for consideration using the same process. There are no exceptions.

To submit your manuscript for publication, you must have the following documents:

  • The complete manuscript.
  • The Story Grid (see Part 8 of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know which outlines how to create a Story Grid for your manuscript).
  • Story Grid Spreadsheet – all 13 columns filled out for all scenes in the manuscript (see Part 6 of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know which outlines how to create a Story Grid Spreadsheet for your manuscript).
  • Editor’s Six Core Questions answered (see Chapters 28-35 of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know which outlines the Editor’s Six Core Questions).
  • Story Grid Global Foolscap completely filled out (see Part 7 of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know which outlines how to create a Foolscap Global Story Grid for your manuscript).
  • Genre Positioning Statement (300-500 words outlining the genre you chose for your book — see Part 2 of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know — and three to five masterworks in your genre that inspired your work).


The Story Grid methodology helps ensure that a story works. By going through the process of creating these documents, you are proving to us that your story is ready for publication. This also helps us to judge the manuscript based on the work over any person’s individual preference and taste. It also allows us to keep an open submissions policy since we don’t have to read as many manuscripts.

The manuscript will be automatically rejected.

No. Any author can submit their work based on the above guidelines. If you are unsure of how to create the required documents, we recommend reading the many free blog posts, listening to the podcast episodes that cover each of the documents, and reading Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know.

We will review the documents submitted and get back with you in 45 business days to let you know our feedback and/or decision. 

If we do not accept your manuscript, you are free to resubmit in the future.

You will be assigned a Story Grid Certified Editor who will help you take your current manuscript through to publishing (at no cost to you). If you are already working with a Story Grid Certified Editor, they will have the first right of refusal on working with your manuscript.

We believe that every book benefits from the guidance and input of a good editor so every Story Grid Publishing book will have a Story Grid Certified Editor take the manuscript from accepted to published.

We don’t negotiate on the contract for any author for any reason. We do not pay advances and the revenue split is the same for every author we publish.

Our goal with Story Grid Publishing is to provide an open, transparent and fair meritocracy form of publishing. In order to do this, we can’t negotiate contracts in back-room deals where we give popular/famous authors carte blanche while making new writers jump through all kinds of opaque hoops.

We are fine if you want to work with an agent, but it will not impact our contract, advances, or payment structure.

Again, every author and their manuscripts will be treated the same independent of who is involved in the process.

We will publish in print paperback, digital, and audio formats.

You will have input on cover design but Story Grid Publishing will have the final say. We want you to be happy with your cover but also need to maintain a production schedule.

We are using Ingram Book Distribution to make your book available in as many places as possible. The vast majority of vendors, libraries, retailors, brick-and-mortar stores worldwide will be able to sell and order copies of your book.

Our main focus will be on the distribution channels that sell the most books.

This will vary depending on the state of your manuscript, how quickly it moves through the editing process, our current publishing schedule, etc. We will communicate with you throughout the process. Our goal is always to publish your book in a timely manner.

We will provide 50 print complimentary copies for you. You will be able to purchase unlimited copies of your book at our print/shipping cost (usually $4 to $7 a copy) with no markup from us.

We will market your book directly to our own audience of 30,000+ subscribers. You will also have access to training material from Tim Grahl, author of Your First 1000 Copies and founder of BookLaunch.com. 

Also, your book will become a part of the Story Grid community and training materials that will be available long into the future.

We want you to have as much freedom as possible to market your book. You will have access to the digital files without any DRM of the book to give away as you see fit to help market your book. You will also receive 50 complimentary print copies of your book plus an unlimited number of copies at cost to give away.

We will payout on a monthly basis for the previous month’s closed sales. For instance, you will be paid on March 1st for the January sales.

All payments will be done by direct deposit or Paypal.

All of the revenue made by the book is split by:

  • 50% – Author
  • 10% – Editor
  • 40% – Story Grid publishing

All editions of the book are treated the same. Whether the revenue comes from digital, foreign rights, print, etc – it is all split by the above percentages.

Read the contract to see all of the specifics, but Story Grid Publishing will have worldwide print, digital, and audio distribution rights for your book. You will retain all other rights.


At Story Grid Publishing, our focus is on the quality of the manuscript and the approach the author has taken to the story. While it’s possible that we might publish the second (or subsequent) book in a series, the book would still have to work as a stand-alone novel. We’re looking for authors who have seriously levelled up their craft from book to book.


Yes. We recognize that when a writer is in the flow state, spelling and grammar are automatic. To stop and switch to standardized American spelling would be to interrupt this flow state. Before we publish any book, we have professional copyeditors and proofreaders review the text; that’s when these kinds of issues will be dealt with.

We are currently publishing two types of books.

Craft nonfiction which is focused on leveling up writing skills and is written exclusively by Shawn Coyne, Tim Grahl, or one of the Story Grid Certified Editors.

Narrative-driven fiction and nonfiction.

We’re open to publishing short and long works of fiction. Animal Farm by George Orwell is 29,966 words, Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx is 10,688 words, and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is 26,601 words. We’d be crazy to pass on your story just because of the word count.

We are open to other nonfiction works such as memoir and self-help but we require it meets all of the same standards of other Story Grid narrative-driven works. If you would like to submit a nonfiction work, you must go through the same process as outlined on this page for fiction works.

Have a question we didn’t answer here? Send an email to [email protected].