We Are Accepting Submissions

With or Without an Agent

Detectives Wanted!

You may be a former detective with a story to tell.

You may be a victim or a relative of a victim of a horrendous crime and you also have a story to tell which currently no one is hearing or reading.

Undercover tales and serial killers are my strength, but I am willing to consider any great story in the true crime genre.

We will also consider crime fiction submissions as long as they are fast-paced thrillers and preferably either the start of a series or you intend writing a series.

Your true crime story is ideally set in the United Kingdom, or possibly the United States, Canada or Australia.

Those are the areas of interest for me and Hendry Publishing Ltd.  I, Stephen Bentley, can bring your story to life by writing and publishing your story through Hendry Publishing Ltd – Registered in England and Wales; Company Registration Number 13486229; Registered Office: 20-22 Wenlock Road London N1 7GU. I am a director of that company.

More to the point, I have had a true crime book published by Penguin Random House UK. In addition, I have also written many crime fiction books. You can see all of my books and my full bio on my author website. 

Books Written by Stephen Bentley and You

What’s in it for you?

  • A generous 50% of all royalty income from eBook and print editions (net receipts)
  • 50% of any income from TV/film rights
  • 50% of any audiobook royalty income (net receipts)
  • Your name as a co-author on the book if applicable
  • Copyrighted in your name and that of Stephen Bentley if applicable
  • The satisfaction of having your story told

What We Do and Don’t Do

  • We do not charge any fees
  • We take 50% of all royalty income and 50% of any income from TV/film rights
  • The book is written by Stephen Bentley with you as co-author if applicable
  • Copyright is you and Stephen Bentley if applicable
  • We arrange a UK ISBN for all editions
  • We arrange the book cover design
  • We have the final manuscript professionally edited
  • After editing, we will format the book for digital and print editions
  • The finished book will be distributed by Hendry Publishing Ltd to sales outlets including Amazon and will be available for order by other major book retailers
  • We market the book utilising our mailing list of thousands of subscribers; via social media; through book bloggers; and a press release to targeted journalists
  • We may at our discretion run paid advertising campaigns

Books Written Solely by You

All the above but copyright is in your name only.

What We Need from You

For true crime collaborations with Stephen Bentley,  in the first instance and in strict confidence, use the contact form below and in about 2000 words tell us something about you, your story in outline, and why you think it would make a great book.

For crime fiction, please send a synopsis and the first three chapters and tell us a bit about you and we will get back to you if we need a full manuscript of your book.

Following that and if the story is of interest, a publishing contract will be sent to you for your signature before any work is undertaken. If you hear nothing from us after 3 months, I’m sorry but your proposal has not been successful.

For books written together with Stephen Bentley, and once the contract is signed, you will be expected to forward your story in instalments by way of secure email. It’s best if you can dictate your story and have it transcribed using an app or software into a Word document. Do not fret or worry about grammar and punctuation. I have your back and that’s what I do – turn your story into a book.

The Alternatives

  • Write it yourself
  • Pay at least £2000 for a ghost-writer for a book of about 70,000 words
  • Try to have it published

All of those are potentially fraught with difficulties because writing the book is only the first step. You need to have it published. To become published you almost certainly will need a literary agent and that is not easy. If you are lucky enough to find one who will accept you as a client, s/he will take 15-20% of your income. Then if your agent lands you a traditional publishing deal, and it’s a big IF, the publisher will take far more than 50% of your royalty income. Typically, you will get around 10% of the price of every book sold. With a traditional publishing deal, you may or may not receive an advance on royalties. That advance is unlikely to be much for an unknown author.

The Traditional Publishing Industry

It’s no wonder the traditional publishing industry is seen by many as a relic of a bygone age. There are more and more traditionally published authors, including me, who have had enough of the antiquated ways and methods of an industry with its roots in the master/slave mentality of centuries long gone.

The following excerpts illustrate that point.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I recently heard a comment that the big publishers are trying to hold onto an old model of publishing that doesn’t work so well anymore. Is this true? Why doesn’t it work, and how could the model be changed?

The “old” model of publishing boils down to this: writer – agent – publisher – bookseller/library. The writer puts in the months of sweat and tears to create a manuscript; the agent punts that about amongst potential purchasers (traditional publishers); the publisher invests in editing/polishing the manuscript, cover art, printing books, warehousing books, distributing books, promoting books; the bookseller invests in a shop where readers come to buy the book.

This model has been disrupted in several ways. The most obvious way would be the arrival of e-books (negating the requirement for print, physical distribution, bricks-and-mortar stores). Another disruptor was the advent of technology that allowed for books to be printed on demand (ie a few at a time, rather than by the thousand) thus allowing for individual/small order to be placed by authors, Indie publishers, individuals (readers) using an online storefront, or even traditional bookstores. Also, the rise of social media means that we’re well past the days when a publisher could simply advertise a new book via “traditional” media, because readers increasingly find out about what they want to read via media they self-select (usually online sources).

These disrupting factors have given rise to a wide range of ways for readers to get the books they want to read, and for writers to publish the books they write. Nowadays, every single stage of the write, edit, polish, cover art, e-book production, print-production, promotion, and even physical distribution of a book is available either for the writer to do it themselves – by purchasing each service individually from different suppliers, or for the writer to use one of the many companies which offer all those services for a fee, or to try to attract an agent, who will try to sell the book to a traditional publisher; the writer must choose.

The traditional publishing model has been around for a long, long time. These days the “BIG PUBLISHERS” seem to be consolidating into one amorphous mass, with a nod to various imprints along the way; to be perfectly honest, I no longer know which company owns which imprints…but that’s a moot point anyway, as far as I am concerned, as I have walked away from the only two publishers I ever had to become an Indie Author. Actually, I’m what’s called a Hybrid Author, to be exact, since the rights to publish the print version of one series is still held by a traditional publishing company, and my other series has rights still owned by a publishing house which was itself taken over, then sold the e-rights to another publishing house. Arrrggghhh…yes, it’s complicated, which might be why so many authors these days are finding their feet as Indie Authors, like me.

My experience with publishers/agents has been “not necessarily roses all the way”, but my experiences are just that – mine, so I don’t want to generalize, because that’s not useful, or fair. One thing I feel I CAN say, however, is this: every single person I have encountered working in publishing has been a dedicated professional – the business attracts people who love books, so they’ve got that going for them to start with!

No, my disenchantment with the business of publishing isn’t because of the people, but because of the way of working. Every author who’s been published by a traditional house understands what I mean when I say we all have to “hurry up, and wait”: you spend months getting to the point where a manuscript is the best you can make it by your deadline date, you send it off…then wait for months before you get feedback, which you are given nanoseconds to turn around, then you wait months for more feedback, which you are given nanoseconds to turn around…and so it goes on. A writer may or may not have input about their cover art and the back-cover blurb about the book; they certainly have no input in terms of distribution; most of the promotional effort is their own, due to tiny promotional budgets for all but traditional publishers’ biggest-selling star authors and small promotional staffing levels.

Cathy Ace

After my novel ‘Self Help For Serial Killers: Let Your Creativity Bloom’, was longlisted for the Debut Dagger in 2019, I managed to land an agent in Kevin Pocklington of The North Literary Agency. I’d taken another big step in the hurdles to becoming a professional writer. It was a relief to have got so far, and felt like a validation of the time and money I’d spent in developing myself and my writing over the years. Getting an agent had always been one step on a road where I have many goals, but I hadn’t been prepared for what was next, the interminable and excruciating process of querying publishers. As someone who has never been blessed with an abundance of patience, I realised I was going to do some serious damage to my mental health if I didn’t stop hitting the refresh button on my Gmail every half hour.


Excerpt from the Crime Writers’ Association newsletter July 2021


The Choice is Yours

If you want to work with a writer who enjoys writing and a publisher who values your worth, and commitment, plus you’re looking for a great deal with people who will treat you fairly, contact Stephen Bentley at Hendry Publishing.

And ‘by fairly’ did you know Amazon pays authors/publishers royalties of 70% of the eBook price and 60% of the print retail price? Hendry Publishing pays you 50% of those royalties. That’s fair!

Stephen Bentley is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Alliance of Independent Authors.