Submission Guidelines for The Overmountain Press

If you are searching for a publisher and are considering The Overmountain Press, you need to know a few things about what we publish. We suggest that you browse our online list of titles so that you may become more familiar with the type of books we publish, some of the authors we work with, and the retail prices of our books.

We are primarily a publisher of Southern Appalachian non-fiction. Some of our titles are reprints of older historical accounts that have gone out-of-print. Below we will list some guidelines for manuscripts from different literary genres. This will list what you should provide when submitting a proposal. In addition to these items, we would like for you to include the following: brief description of the book, your background and qualifications for writing this book, prospective market for selling the book, and any other marketing suggestions you may have.

Categories of Publication


Although we have published a few exceptions, we are now accepting regional (Southern Appalachian) titles ONLY. In reviewing a children’s manuscript for publication, we prefer to have copies of the illustrations at the same time we review the text. Very few publishers review in this way. Most of the larger companies with hundreds of titles prefer to find the illustrator from their database. You can pay the artist a flat fee, or you can choose to split the royalties from book sales. This decision is between you and the illustrator. Again, please do not send the original artwork. Copies are fine, but please include a couple of color copies so we can get a feel for the artist’s use of color.


When accepting cookbook manuscripts, we look for new and interesting ways of cooking or organizing the recipes. A regular cookbook is hard to market without some sort of characteristic to set it apart from the others on the shelves. Your book should have a unique setup that is distinctive and obvious to the consumer.

Ghost Lore

We have published several stories of “true” ghost lore. We have been successful in selling these titles and will consider manuscripts of this type. They must be Southern or Appalachian in nature and be “true” stories. For example, The Infamous Bell Witch of Tennessee is a “true” ghost story passed through generations and put into book form. This is extremely marketable.


We have published a few guide/hiking books, and we are interested in looking at others. It should be Appalachian in nature and include plenty of photographs, maps, drawings, etc. that you provide.

Tall Tales / Folklore

We have published several compilations of Appalachian Tall Tales and Folklore. Some of the works of Charles Edwin Price and Denvil Mullins fit into this category. In submitting, please send a proposal and a couple of sample tales along with any illustrations you may be planning.

Regional History / Nonfiction

We would like to see either a complete manuscript or an outline plus three chapters. If the manuscript is very large, we can look at an outline with sample chapters to determine whether it will fit within our scope of titles. If, at that point, we decide to take a closer look, we will request the complete manuscript. We do not accept titles without looking at the entire work. We like photographs! Illustrations, slides, photos, maps, etc., all enhance nonfiction works. When submitting your proposal, please send samples of illustrations for the book. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS! Photocopies are fine for review. Each photo should include a brief description. You do not need to send every photo that you plan to include in the book — just a few to let us get a feel for your collection.

Silver Dagger Mysteries

At this time we are NOT reviewing submissions for Silver Dagger. Our calendar for publishing with Silver Dagger is full through 2012. We may open for submissions again some time in 2011.

We may have left some other categories off this list. Please do not hesitate to call with questions regarding the types of books we publish.

Categories Not Published by the Overmountain Press

  • Biography
  • Family History
  • General Fiction / Novels
  • Inspirational
  • Poetry
  • Reminiscences


We generally take anywhere from three to six months to review manuscripts. Several people are involved in the decision-making process, and it sometimes takes time to read these manuscripts. Please do not call to inquire about the status of your manuscript. It may take us a few weeks, but we will get back to you! After acceptance we generally plan a production schedule of approximately twelve months to two years. This is a huge variable depending upon what your book needs to be perfect. Following is a list of pointers to take significant amounts of time off the production schedule:

  • Have the manuscript on a computer disk. Call us to see if your program is compatible
  • Have several people offer editorial advice to reduce Overmountain editorial time
  • Place your illustrations, photos, etc., where you want them before you submit
  • Devise some marketing strategies to share with our marketing department
  • Obtain all permissions for using photos, quotes, excerpts, etc.
  • Think of some possible cover ideas to share with our graphic designers
  • Be receptive to changes concerning your manuscript

How To Submit to The Overmountain Press

At this time, we have two methods for submission: Electronic and Paper. Our preference is for an electronic submission, as it saves you time, paper, and postage. However, all electronic submissions MUST follow the instructions below — to the letter. Submissions that do not follow this format will be deleted without reading and will not receive a reply.

Electronic Submissions

We will review electronic submissions that follow these guidelines:

  1. All text must be included within the body of the email. No attachments of any kind. Emails that include attachments will not be read.
  2. All submissions must be included within one email, unless we ask you to submit additional information.
  3. Please introduce the manuscript in your introductory paragraph. Let us know within just a few sentences what is so great about your book and what makes it different and better from everything else on the market. This is NOT a book summary — this is the hook. Make us love it!
  4. In the second paragraph please discuss your qualifications for writing this book and just a couple of sentences about you and your background.
  5. In the third paragraph please include some of your ideas for marketing and promoting the book, including your willingness and availability to promote.
  6. In the fourth paragraph please summarize the book into 5-8 sentences. At the end, mention any photographs or illustrations that you have for the book.
  7. Finally, please include an excerpt of your choosing. This can be the first chapter or a few pages from the middle of the book. We’ll let you pick.
  8. If you have illustrations or photographs, please do not submit them until we ask for them, but do make a note that they exist at the end of your book summary.
  9. Send this email to with the subject line as the working title of your manuscript. This will make it easier for us to refer back to it during the review process.

Should the work be of interest to us, we will request a full manuscript from you via email. If we feel we must pass, you will hear from us via email as well.

Paper Submissions

We will continue to accept paper submissions. Please ensure that your manuscript fits our list and is not of a genre that we do not publish. If you wish to hear a reply from us or receive your manuscript back, you must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Submissions that do not include an SASE will not be returned or replied to. Submissions may be mailed to:

The Overmountain Press
Attn: Submissions
P.O. Box 1261
Johnson City, TN 37605

We do not make office appointments to discuss manuscripts.