How do I get published?

Christopher Matthews Publishing is a hybrid imprint of First Steps Publishing. We look forward to serving you.

RJ McRoberts
First Steps Publishing | CM Publishing

Christopher Matthews Publishing and Soul Fire Press (imprints of First Steps Publishing). Because we work extensively with our authors, we are highly selective with our acquisitions. This ensures the proper amount of time and attention is given to foster the growth of each project. 

We provide comprehensive publishing services including editorial, design, distribution and ebook conversion. We are a small press with a reputation for quality and cannot select every manuscript. If we decide to publish your work we will contact you and discuss personally how we can work together to see your book published and loved.

If we turn down your project it could be for a number of reasons, some or none of which may have anything to do with the quality of your writing—we may have too many books currently in the pipeline given our capacity and personal approach; it is not the right genre or right for our list at this time; it lacks proper editing. It could be for a number of reasons, and you shouldn’t give up on trying to get published. 

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
—Richard Bach, author, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

We are currently seeking the following:

  • Thriller or suspense novels
  • Mystery
  • Historical fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Young Adult fiction
  • New Adult fiction


  • Know what we expect in a Query Letter
  • An enticing query letter is what will get us to say, “Love your story. Send me the full manuscript.”
  • All submissions must be CAREFULLY and PROFESSIONALLY edited
  • We strongly suggest you use an editing program like (a free program) to check your manuscript
  • Double-check all punctuation and spelling
  • Only one space after a sentence, not two
  • No “head-hopping;” make sure you stay in one character’s point of view per section
  • Read and follow these Writers Digest guidelines


  • All manuscripts should be complete and carefully edited
  • Novels should be within 65,000 to 120,000 words in length
  • NO ATTACHMENTS, add content directly in the body of an email ONLY.
  • Please read our Services page

To submit a manuscript for consideration, include the following in the BODY of an email:

  • one-page query letter containing your title, genre, market, word count, a brief description of your book and any pertinent writing credentials
  • The first ten double-spaced pages of your manuscript
  • Where we can find you on the web (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.)
  • A brief synopsis (no more than 1 page) that describes the plot and tells us how it ends 
  • AGAIN; Absolutely NO attachments.
  • Send Submission to us at

All work must be original, and not have appeared or published elsewhere.We do not guarantee a response to every submission. Replies are commonly within 8-12 weeks, depending on the number of submissions received, so your patience is appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you!


Please understand that writing is a business, and you should be willing to spend a significant amount of time actively promoting your work. We don’t believe that authors should have to shoulder all of the responsibility of publicizing their work. We are committed to bringing as much exposure to our authors’ books as we can. Social media; brick and mortar bookstore and library as well as online distribution; and book shows are a few of the ways in which we promote our authors’ books. We also provide ongoing marketing advice and assistance to our author team.

Copyright—Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form—digital, handwritten or printed. CMP will retain copyright to your work once we agree to publish it. If for any reason we should part ways, CMP will revert the copyright back to you. However, if you wish to keep the copyright yourself you will need to obtain a copyright for your work from the US Copyright Office. This will not preclude the publication of the work, but publication prior to confirmation of the copyright may make enforcement more difficult if there is any need for that.

You will find working with us to be a pleasant and educational experience. We understand you will have questions about the business and that you are putting your “baby” in our care and we are happy to provide you with professional and personal attention every step of the way.