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Crime Book Publisher ADR is Open for Submissions! With ALL DUE RESPECT publisher Chris Rhatigan explains what he's looking for ...

Crime book publisher All Due Respect (ADR) seeks to fill 5 slots on its 2020 calendar and is presently accepting Submissions. An imprint and partner of Florida publisher Down & Out Books, ADR publishes it's own tawdry brand of "Low Life Literature" in the form of novels, novellas, and short story collections.

ADR's publications are typically classified as Noir. Characters you'll meet in ADR books include: criminals, thugs and douchebagsembezzlers and loan sharksadulterers and whores. (Think every kind of creep that your worried mom and pops tried warning you about.)

Noir at ADR does NOT involve "heroes" or "Cinderella happy endings." Even lottery winners are "losers." Any happy ending moments at ADR are likely to involve a hooker, last 60 secondsand result in a case of the clap if one is luckyor a bullet to the brain if one is not.

Like any publisher (whether books or online mags), ADR's coffee-quaffing publisher and freelance editor Chris Rhatigan suggests that writers read some of ADR's current book offerings BEFORE submitting if they haven't already done so. Anyone with an interest can easily find these books by tapping or clicking here. Writers whose stories have appeared here at Flash Fiction Offensive (FFO) and have also seen their books published by ADR are too numerous to mention: but they include Matt Phillips, Tom Leins, Paul D. Brazill and Rob Pierce.

Just as Mr. Rhatigan loves prose that's lean and mean, his Submission Guidelines are short. We're hoping submitting writers will be both personable and "professional" and not idly waste his time. Like anything else in life, we only get One Chance to create a positive First Impression. So if you're interested in submitting to ADR but have never sent a manuscript and a short proposal ("pitch") to a book publisher, we highly recommend doing a bit of research on this topic prior to submitting.

Meanwhile, we used some aromatic magic beans to lure the often-reclusive Mr. Rhatigan (sometimes known as Keyser Soze) into stopping by FFO. And in a bit of quid pro quo, he kindly left our readers-who-also-write some quick but sage advice.


WITH ALL DUE RESPECT by Chris Rhatigan


A manuscript arrives in the All Due Respect inbox. It sits there for some time.

Might be a day, might be a week, might be an hour.

At some point, usually in the morning with a thermos of coffee, I open the manuscript.

There’s one thing I’m looking for from the first sentence.

I’m looking for conflict.

You may have heard this a hundred times, but there’s a reason for that: It’s easy to forget about conflict. You might focus on any number of other things—the details of setting or how to make your protagonist more likable.

But I can tell you that editors are always looking for conflict. So are literary agents, publishers, and just average readers.

You may have a 300-page manuscript with a dynamite ending, but if you don’t establish conflict in the first 20 pages, your manuscript is unlikely to make the cut.

Open any book on the shelves of your local bookstore and you’re likely to see conflict in the first paragraph, if not the first sentence. Take this opening sentence from Lee Child’s The Hard Way:

Jack Reacher ordered espresso, double, no peel, no cube, no china, and before it arrived at his table he saw a man’s life change forever.”

The reader knows from the first moment what this book will be about. The implied question—who is this man whose life has changed forever and how will Reacher become involved?—pushes the reader forward.

The conflict in the first few pages need not be the core of your novel’s plot. For example, one of the first novels our press published was Uncle Dust by Rob Pierce. The novel begins with Dust, a bank robber, discovering he is missing two hundred dollars. Dust goes on a mission to find the money, roughly interrogating his girlfriend and her kid.

The protagonist wants something and other characters are in his way. It doesn’t matter that it’s a small amount; he will not stand losing the money. This is a small conflict setting up a larger conflict that also tells the reader a bit about Dust’s character.

It’s possible an editor or agent will continue reading past page 20 if you have an engaging voice or a fascinating character.

It’s much more likely they will continue reading because you’ve established conflict.

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance crime fiction editor and publisher of All Due Respect Books.