“You could compile the worst book in the world entirely out of selected passages from the best writers in the world.” ~G.K. Chesterton

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This week I’m continuing my look at the publisher spotlights from the RWA National Convention with a look at Sourcebooks. The Spotlight on Sourcebooks was presented by Editorial Director Deb Werksman, Editor Mary Altman, Assistant Editor Kat Clyne and publisher Dominique Racca. Sourcebooks is a general trade publishing house. They publish 350 new titles a year, about half of that is fiction. They publish 8 to 10 romances a month. They are the largest woman-owned, independent publishing house in the country. They are based in Napierville, Illinois, with satellite offices in New York and in Milford, CT. Sourcebooks Casablanca is their fiction and non-fiction romance imprint.  Sourcebooks Fire is their YA list, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky is for children’s books and Sourcebooks Landmark is general fiction.

Both women sent some time talking about how Sourcebooks targets different markets, from mass-retailers such as WalMart and Target, to schools and libraries. Marketing is determined on a book-by-book basis. They produce books as both paperbacks and e-books. They send ARCs to reviewers.

The editors are looking for heroines the reader can relate to, a hero the reader could fall in love with, a world the reader can escape into, and a compelling hook that makes readers immediately want to read books. They love it if the author has ideas for a series. Manuscripts should be 90,000 to 120,000 words. They publish single-title romance in all sub-genres. The editor and author work together to plan future books and a career trajectory.

They talked about some of what they are looking for. In paranormal: shape shifters are popular. Vampires remain popular, but it is very difficult for a new author to break out with a new vampire story. In paranormal, world-building is of utmost important. The reader wants to visit that new world. They also like romance suspense/paranormal mixes.

In erotic romance, the love story and the sex really needs to balance out. The love story must be really engaging, as well as the sex being really hot. Deb thinks BDSM is a “bit overdone” right now. She also likes very sexy romances that aren’t necessarily erotica.  Mary said that when she acquires erotic romance, she looks for a very strong hook that will make the story stand out in a crowded field. Every sexual encounter needs to be vital to the story.

Sourcebooks is eager to acquire more YA. Sales are very strong in YA for them. They do well with contemporary YA thrillers and YA paranormal. They also like YA non-fiction.

In historical, the eras that sell best for them are Regency, Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian England. Anything Scottish sells. Time travel does well for them. They’re also publishing medieval. They also have a strong historical western romance program. They don’t publish stories set in the American revolution, Civil War, or anything after 1900.

They publish women’s fiction, both with and without romantic elements. Deb wants women’s fiction with a strong romantic element; Editor Shana Drehs prefers darker, more issue-driven women’s fiction.

The next section of the Spotlight was a bit unusual – several authors took the microphone to give testimonials about how much they love working with Sourcebooks.

You can learn about everything Sourcebooks is looking for, all the editors at Sourcebooks, their likes and dislikes here. You can find their romance submission guidelines here.Sourcebooks’ romance editors do accept both agented and unagented manuscripts.

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For a limited time, the ebook version of my Harlequin Intrigue, Rocky Mountain Rescue, is

9780373697496

on sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99) Pick up a copy for Kindle here, for Nook here, or check your favorite ebook dealer.

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Bundoran Press is seeking science fiction stories for a new anthology, Second Contacts. All stories should be set fifty years after humans’ first contact with aliens. Stories should be between 3,500 and 6,500 words. Payment is 2 cents a word, up to $130 Canadian dollars. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2015. Find all the submission details here. 

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Crimson Romance is seeking novellas (10,000 to 20,000 words) for a Valentine anthology to  be released in February 2015. Stories may be sweet to spicy, though the editors cite a preference for  more sensual stories. The deadline for submissions is Octoer 15, 2014. See the guidelines here.

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Want to learn all the latest book news from me? Like my Facebook author page here.  Or visit one of my websites, here or here. 

As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others. Please give me credit as the source, and includ ea link to this blog. Thanks!

 

 

Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.

Paulo Coelho

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This week I’m continuing my summary of the publisher spotlights from the RWA National Convention with a look at Grand Central Publishing.

The Spotlight on Grand Central Publishing was presented by Leah Hultenschmidt, Editorial Director of Forever and Senior Editor Michelle Bidelspach.

The Hachette Book Group is the parent company of Grand Central. Forever is the romance arm of Grand Central. Hachette is a very large company with many different imprints. Leah presented this as an advantage, because they have the clout of a large company behind them. Hachette has many best-selling authors in its ranks.

Forever publishes six to eight mass market romances a month. Forever Yours, its digital-first romance imprint, releases four to eight titles each month. “The growth of romance is a company-wide initiative,” said Hultenschmidt, who came to Grand Central after stints with Dorchester and Sourcebooks.

Michelle talked about what the editors are looking for and how to submit. Forever is single-title – both print and e-books. They are looking for “everything” – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, new adult, erotic romance, paranormal romance. They publish some of their authors e-first and follow with print later.

The editors are looking for 85,000 to 95,000 words, agented manuscripts only. But there are some exceptions to the agented-only rule: if a Grand Central editor judges a contest and asks to see your work or if you pitch at a conference and the editor asks for your manuscript, you don’t have to be agented. In these cases, send your complete manuscript. They will also consider query letters from unagented authors.

Only submit to one editor. If the project isn’t right for that editor, she will pass it on if she feels another Grand Central editor would be interested in it.

All Forever authors receive an advance against royalties.

The Forever Yours imprint is digital first. Authors published in Forever Yours do not receive an advance, but have escalating royalties. They publish novellas, 8,000 to 35,000 words and novels, 35,000 to 100,000 words. They also publish all kinds of romance – sassy, sweet, sexy. The only things they don’t publish are young adult, straight mystery, general fiction or non-fiction or poetry. They accept both unagented and agented manuscripts.

To submit to Forever Yours, send a query that includes your genre, your word count and a brief pitch, a synopsis, and the full manuscript.

Leah then took the mike again to talk about things a publisher can do for you as opposed to self-publishing. Editors provide guidance about market trends. They help guide careers. They do title and cover brainstorming. They discuss pricing strategies and author branding. They partner with retailers to do special promotions for titles. They coordinate all aspects of your book’s publication.

The publicity team at Grand Central arranges blog tours for authors and sends out galleys – both print and e – for review. They send out newsletters to promote their authors. They collaborate with editorial to plan promo for titles. They do social media promotion and try to help authors do their own social media promotion, in addition to Grand Central’s efforts.

Finally, the editors talked a little about what they’re particularly looking for:

Michelle says she’s always looking for a rock star hero. She’d love a great highlander romance, a western. She does a lot of historicals and a lot of contemporary romance. She looks for a strong voice and arresting characters.

Leah answered for some of the other editors : Alex Logan loves romantic suspense and small-town contemporary romance.

Associate Editor Lauren Plude loves history. Give her historical romances, especially Scottish. She also really likes single title contemporary romance.

Associate Editor Megha Parekh specializes in New Adult. She also works on a lot of erotic romance.

Leah is looking for “band of brothers” type stories – sports teams, military or cops. She loves the ‘behind the scenes banter’ among the men.

You can find the Forever Yours submission guidelines here.

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I have a new author page on Facebook. Like it to keep up with the latest on my writing.

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East of the Web is looking for short stories for children ages 5-12. East of the Web publishes the stories online, as well as making them available through their Short Story e-reader ap. They accept both new and previously published submissions and pay five cents a word, up to $200. The editors have not set a word length for stories, though they stress they want short stories, not book manuscripts. They’re open to all genres of stories for children. Find their guidelines here.

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As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others — repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to the blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, visit my websites Here or Here.

 

 

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space” ~Orson Scott Card

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This week I’m continuing my look at the publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America 2014 conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Spotlight on Samhain Books was presented by publisher Christina Brashear and Editor Tera Kleinfelter.

Christina kicked off the presentation by announcing that Samhain has hired LaToya Smith, formerly an editor with Kensingtron Books and with Grand Central Publishing, to oversee Samhain’s romance line. Her goal is to be innovative, find new voices and promote Samhain authors and their books.

Samhain will be creating a new GLBT line to include male/male romances and all GLBT romances. They will also be creating a new African American line. They will be launching a new website soon, which will be cover driven, showing off the book covers to entice people to look further into Samhain’s offerings. Browsers can make a wish list, read reviews, find books in a series, search by author or series and buy directly from Samhain.  

Samhain publishes romance, including erotica, GLBT romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, new adult, and science fiction/fantasy with strong romantic elements. They also publish horror, which does not have to have a romance in it. They do not publish young adult books.

Tera answered a question about trends she has seen as far as what is selling well. Samhain’s top sellers are “anything with BDSM” and contemporary romance. Romantic suspense is not selling all that well, and paranormal romance sales are down. In paranormal, shape shifters sell better than vampires. That said, she cautioned authors not to write to market, but to write what they love to write.

Samhain does a variety of types of promotion – online ads on a variety of sites, print ads in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Clare, even ads in airports. They will split costs with the author if the author has some marketing they want to do. They also try to get lots of reviews for their books.

The minimum word count for Samhain is 12,000 and they will consider anything up to 120,000 words. Turnaround time is normally 12 to 16 weeks, but that is improving. Their goal is a six to eight week turnaround. You can find all their submission guidelines here.

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HarperCollins has a new digital first imprint devoted to thrillers and crime fiction. KillerReads will publish two or three titles per month — crime stories, detective fiction, psychological thrillers, legal thrillers, and almost anything that fits under the umbrella of crime fiction. To celebrate their launch, KillerReads is opening for a limited time to submissions of complete manuscripts from unagented authors. You’ll need to submit a complete manuscript, a 500-word summary of the story, a one-paragraph recap of the story, a list of the characters and an author profile. This reading period will close on September 14, 2014, so get your submissions in now. Find all the details here

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Penumbra Magazine is looking for speculative fiction stories on the theme of Arthurian Legends for its December 2014 issue. They’re open to stories up to 3500 words and pay five cents a word. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014. Find all the submission guidelines here. 

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Digital publisher Untreed Books is looking for crime fiction short stories for an upcoming anthology: Haystacks and Homicides — Short Tales of Farmland Crime. Submit your 1500 to 5000 word story by the deadline of December 31, 2014. Stories must take place on a farm or be farm related, and the editors prefer the crime of murder. Authors selected for inclusion in the anthology, slated to be published in March 2015, will receive a share of the royalties from sales. Find all the details here

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As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others — repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to the blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, visit my websites Here or Here.

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?” George Orwell

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This week I continue my look at the publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, with a look at the Spotlight on Ballantine Bantam Dell

Editor Sue Grimshaw and Executive Editor Shauna Summers presented the Spotlight on Ballatine Bantam Dell. Ballantine Bantam Dell is a divison of Random House Group, which is a division of Penguin Random House – the larger publisher in the world. They publish all types of fiction in all formats – hard cover, trade paper, mass market paper and electronic editions.

The majority of their workshop was spent showing covers of the books they published and talking about the authors and stories. Reading these books will give writers an idea of the types of storylines and writing Ballantine Bantam Dell is interested in.

“Our sweet spot is franchise authors and one of the things we do well is build an author’s brand,” Shauna said. “We see ourselves as a full service publisher in that way.” They publish authors such as Janet Evanovich, Diana Gabaldon, Debbie Macomber. Danielle Steele, Jude Devereaux, Stephanie Bond, Karen Marie Moning, and Julie Kenner.

Sue Grimshaw talked about Loveswept, their digital imprint. They relaunched the Loveswept brand in 2011 to include reprints of original Loveswept titles, as well as original romance novels and novellas. They publish historical, contemporary, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance under the Loveswept imprint. Flirt publishes New Adult stories for college aged readers.  Many of the books have been New York Times bestsellers. They’re looking for books with which readers will forge an emotional connection. They publish six to eight new titles per month.

Loveswept pays quarterly royalties. Most authors earn out their advance in the first two months.  Loveswept and Flirt accept both agented and unagented manuscripts. You can find the guidelines for Loveswept and Flirt here.   Manuscripts can be 15,000 to 30,000 words for novellas and 40,000 to 60,000 words for novels.

In Ballantine Bantam Dell, they publish two to three print romances a month.

Ballantine Bantam Dell wants agented manuscripts.

Shauna mentioned she’s looking for sports books – soccer, football, hockey, baseball, etc. She also loves contemporary western stories with cowboys.

All authors at Bantam Ballantine Dell, whether in print or digital, have a dedicated publicity team and a dedicated promotion team. They do lots of online promotions with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms. They do blog tours, reader events, and are always coming up with new ways to promote titles.

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Less Than Three Press is a small publisher of novels and novellas focusing on LGBTQ characters. They are seeking stories for a Villain anthology to be edited by senior editor Tan-ni Fan. Titled Villains, Inc. the anthology will feature gay, lesbian and trans romance stories in an sub-genre. Stories should be between 10,000 and 20,000 words. Payment is $200. The deadline for submissions is December 31. For more information, go here.

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Cleis Press is seeking submissions for an upcoming erotic romance anthology, Rogue Hearts, to be edited by romance author Delilah Devlin. Delilah is looking for stories that feature “rogues with a heart of gold.” Stories should be between 2500 and 5000 words. Payment is $50 and the deadline for submisssion is September 15, 2014. Find all the details here. 

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Pelican Book Group is seeking submissions of inspirational romance novellas for its Harbourlight Imprint. Pelican will publish three novellas for its Easter Lilies series, to be released at Easter in 2015. Stories should be between 15,000 and 25,000 words, and  may be historical or contemporary romance. The heroes and heroines should be between ages 25 and 35, and Easter Lily symbolism must play a role in the story. In addition, each story must use as its basis the scripture verse Solomon 2:14. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2014. For all the details, go here.

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I have a new Facebook Author Page. If you want to keep up with news about  my books, speaking engagements, workshops, etc. please like the page at https://www.facebook.com/CindyMyersauthor or click here. Thanks!

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As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others — repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to the blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, visit my websites Here or Here.

 

 

“Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I’m writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is.”  Anne Rice

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This week I continue my recap of Publisher Spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual convention with a look at Pocket Books. Executive Editor Lauren McKenna and Senior Editor Micki Nuding presented the spotlight. Pocket publishes romance in all formats — mass market paper, trade paper, hardback and digital. The Pocket Star imprint is their digital first imprint. Pocket Star is open to a wide variety of stories, including cross-genre books and books that don’t fit into an easily defineable niche. This is the place for “books we can take a risk on.” Pocket Star is open to manuscripts from 60,000 to 100,000 words.

The editors spent a little time talking about the types of manuscripts that do best at Pocket. Erotica remains popular and they’re always looking for more erotica and erotic romance. Urban fantasy is not as popular as it once was and the market for historical romance has slowed, although they are still open to Regency, Victorian and Scottish historical romance, and romance set in the American West with cowboys.

Micki Nuding likes historical romance in particular, and she loves books with humor. She gravitates toward “alpha heroes, fierce conflict, strong heroines.”

Lauren McKenna says she likes anything that is “dark, weird, twisted or strange.” She wants books with strong emotion. “If you can make me cry, I’ll back it,” she says. She likes strong heroes and snarky heroines, loves animals, but isn’t so crazy about books with kids. She would love to see “a thriller about a virus in a submarine.”

Pocket also publishes women’s fiction in their Gallery imprint. Here, they like to push the boundaries, with issue-oriented books and bigger, sweeping romances, both historical and contemporary.

They closed the session by talking about the importance of self-promotion for authors. They suggest starting even before you are published to develop a relationship with bloggers and online communities. When you are published, tweet quotes from you book, or pictures with quotes attached that other people will share.

Pocket only accepts agented manuscripts. You can read more about other editors at Pocket, and their interests, here.

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Author Cynthia Ward will be editing a Weird Western Anthology, to be published by WolfSinger Publications. She’s looking for stories set on the western frontier that feature people of color, Native Americans, GLBTQ characters, women, other minorities, and all the people who helped settle the west, but who were never the stars of movies and books in the past. She’s looking for stories between 1,000 and 10,000 words. Payment is $5 per story, plus a share of royalties from the anthology. She will open for submissions December 1, 2014 and close on December 31, 2014. Do not submit before December 1. She has detailed guidelines detailing the types of stories she’d like to see — and things she doesn’t want to see, so be sure to check them out here. 

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DAW Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group Publishers devoted to science fiction and fantasy, accepts submissions from both agented and unagented authors. They accept submissions of manuscripts 80,000 words and up. They only accept submissions via snail mail, and request a three-month exclusive period to review your work. Find all the guidelines here. 

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I have a new Facebook Author Page. If you’d like to keep up with my book news, please like my page at http://www.facebook.com/CindyMyersauthor

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Reprint, repost, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to this blog. If you’d like to find out more about me, visit my websites here or here.

 

“Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it’s so hurtful to think about writing.”   Heather Armstrong

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This week I’m continuing my look at Publisher Spotlights from the RWA National Convention with a summary of the Spotlight on Avon Books. The Spotlight was presented by Editorial Director Erika Tsang, Excutive Editor Lucia Macro, Director of Marketing Sean Michaels and Director of Publicity, Pam Jaffe.

Avon publishes romance under the Avon print imprint and as digital first originals under the Avon Impulse bannet. Erico spoke about the Avon Impluse program. All Avon Impulse titles publish first as ebooks, then as print-on-demand trade paperbacks. Impulse authors that show strong sales may be moved into the print program. In addition to publishing new authors, Impulse publishes novellas and other stories from established Avon print authors. Impulse pays 25 percent royalties on the first 10,000 books sold, and 50 percent royalties after that. Thirty-eight percent of Impulse authors sell more than 10,000 copies. They pay royalties once a month and the turnaround for Impulse titles is eight weeks from purchase to published.

Sean talked about how Avon markets both print and ebooks. Each book has its own marketing plan. AvonRomance.com is a full service platform where authors can set up blogs. The site hosts monthly sweepstakes, blog tours, quizzes, posts excerpts and pulls in readers in a variety of ways. Avon participates in ebook merchandising efforts to get their titles featured on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com and Apple. They do Facebook and Twitter marketing and produce a monthly reader newsletter, From the Heart, which you can sign up for at Avonnewsletter.com.

Pam spoke about Publicity. The Avon Addicts street team consists of 100 members, chosen out of 2200 applicants, who get the word out about Avon authors. The Avon/Morrow team employs 20 publicists who arrange author events, interviews, reviews, blog tours, promos, chats, quizzes and magazine features. Avon has a digital learning channel for authors and publishes the Digital Dish newsletter for authors.

Avon takes both agented and unagented submissions. Authors submit on the Avon Website. All submissions are considered for both Avon Romance and Avon Impulse. Each editor takes the inbox for a week. Response time on submissions is usually 6-8 weeks.

Avon publishes storeis from 25,000 to 90,ooo words. The editors each spoke a little about their particular interests. They also handed out ‘trading cards” that spoke about the editors’ interest. Below I’ve summarized their comments at the spotlight and information from these cards:

Executive Editor Lucia Macro: She loves both historical and contemporary romance, though historical romances are harder to sell these days. High concept really helps a manuscript stand out. She loves “smart, sexy dialogue” and strong emotion in her books.  She loves super-sexy contemporaris and would love a “super, sports guy hero.”

Editorial Director Erika Tsang: She loves paranormal romance. She especially likes romance with strong heroes she can fall in love with, whether they are bad boys or smart, let’s-save-the-world types.

Executive Editor Carrie Feron: She looks for a distinctive voice in the manuscripts that come to her. She wants “complex heroines, flawed but powerful heroes, and big love stories.”

Assistant Editor Chelsey Emmelhainz: She’s looking for romantic suspence, especially with unconventional heroes and heroines who kick butt. She looks for “writing that takes my breath away.” She also likes hot contemporaries with gritty story-lines and hard-edged heroes (no sweet, small towns for her.)

Editor Amanda Bergeron loves contemporary series, whether they feature small towns, big families or sports teams. She’s also interested in New Adult stories, from sweet to super dark. She’s also like to see some really romantic romantic suspense, and a historical western.

Senior Editor May Chen says send you her weepers. She loves emotional, small-town set stories — if they feature cowboys, that’s a bonus! She likes very sexy stories, too.

Editor Tessa Woodward loves sweeping love storeis and “dark and dirty” heroes. She’s interested in historical romances, too — send her your governness stories. She’d also like to see New Adult manuscripts.

Editorial Assistant Nicole Fischer wants super-sexy bad boys (she loves tattoos) in her sexy contemporary or New Adult romance. She likes romantic suspense with strong female characters and men in uniform and character driven Regency romance (especially if you have a series.)

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SilkWords publishes short, interactive romances that combine romance and elements of gaming. The reader guides the story by choosing different paths for the characters to follow. Each story is written with decisions points at key moments in the story. The decisions should impact the story in a significant way, and take the story in a new direction.  The company is looking for manuscripts of 15,000 to 20,000 words. Payment is $500 plus $3 per subscription generated by your work. Submit your opening, which includes the first decision points, plus a list of all the decision points in the story. Check out detailed guidelines (and read samples) here.

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Carina Press has posted a new Editor Wish List. Carina publishes ebook original fiction, both romance and non-romance books. Some of the highlights of what the editors are looking for:

Editorial Director Angela James: A dark erotic thriller, contempoary crack (her term for highly-dramatic, highly sensual, somewhat over-the-top contemporary romance.) sports romances that break the mold, a cowboy Space Opera (think Firefly), or a super-sexy contemporary romance.

Editor Kerri Buckley: mysteries with humor — dry or sarcastic wit welcome, psychological thrillers, contemporary and historical romance set in Eastern Europe, romantic suspense with kickass heroines, a contemporary series focused on Army wives.

Freelance Editor Rhonda Helms: New Adult, LGBTQ Romance, romantic comedies, genre blends, multicultural romance, sci-fi and/or futuristic romance, a regency or Victorian romance or Western featuring People of Color, a sexy gothic.

Freelance Editor Deborah Nemeth: high stakes conflict and flawed, passionate characters. Antiheroes. Adrenaline fueled romantic suspense; male/male stories, especially New Adult; Regency, Victorian, Edwardian and Tudor historical romance; stories of political and palace intrigue; all kinds of mystery and crime fiction.

Freelance Editor Mallory Braus: three-dimensional, believable characters; New Adult, especially with quirky characters; historical romance — World War II or prior; a romantic suspense set among the Amish;  historical mystery with a gritty, urban, turn of the century setting; quirky, funny characters; cozy mysteries; gritty thrillers.

Freelance Editor Alissa Davis: erotic romance with great dirty dialogue, romances with geeky heroines and heroes, male-male new Adult, sports romance — soccer, football, hockey and baseball, marriage of convenience stories, medical romance.

Freelance Editor Jeff Seymour: Spicy, intense, romantic suspense; a male-male steampunk romance; characters with unusual takes on traditional archetypes.

Freelance Editor Melissa Johnson: contemporary romance with both strong internal and external conflicts, a fantasy/science fiction romance that combines elements of history and futuristic imaginings, and a traditional Regency rake story with devastating misunderstandings.

Freelance Editor Tina Burns: new adult, romantic comedities, LGBTQ stories, and different historical romances — Gothic, wild west, psychics or alternate history.

Read the entire list here.

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As always, feel free to share this information with others. Please give me credit as the source and if you repost or reprint, include a link to this blog. To learn more about me and the books I write, visit my websites here or here.

 

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” - Robert A. Heinlein

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I’m home from the Romance Writers of America annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. While there, I attended several publisher spotlights, and ordered recordings of others. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing those with readers of this blog. My initial observations about the current market for romances: The demand for paranormal romance is declining, historicals are also a hard sell. Contemporary romance is very big — but connected books, not stand-alone titles. Sports teams, brothers, sisters, military groups, etc. Romantic suspense is also in demand. Erotica, especially if it’s dark, is also still selling strong. Pretty much all the publishers have digital first lines now, which are willing to be more experimental.

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The Spotlight on St. Martin’s Press was presented by Publisher Jennifer Enderlin, Associate Publisher Ann Marie Talberg, Associate Editor Rose Hilyard, Executive Editor Monique Patterson and Associate Editor Eileen Rothschild. St. Martin’s publishes all formats and all kinds of fiction. They produce three to four romances a month in hardcover, trade paperback or mass market formats. In addition to the editorial staff, they have an 11 person marketing team. All the St. Martin’s romance editors will accept queries from unagented authors. 

Jennifer Enderlin began by talking about “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Publishers”:

1. They know their authors are a resource. They want the author’s feedback on covers, marketing, etc. 

2. They are not slaves to trends. Once you identify a trend, it’s over.

3. They do not give up quickly.

4. They know they are working with an author. It is not a case of ‘us vs. them’ but ‘we.’

5. They understand we live in a global world, and take a global approach to marketing and publishing. 

6. They listen to editorial passion. If an editor is passionate about a project, they will take a chance.

7. They have fun. They are readers and book lovers who are excited about their work. 

Ann Marie Talberg is a former bookseller and romance buyer for Waldenbooks. She oversees the Heroes and Heartbreakers website and St. Martin’s ebook original program and welcomes romance submissions of both novels and novellas for the ebook program, and short stories for the website. Find out more details about Heroes and Heartbreakers here. 

Monique Patterson is interested in all kinds of romance, except sweet and inspirational. She’d also like to see some high concept commercial women’s fiction, and she’s open to contemporary fantasy with strong romantic elements. She also edits some literary fiction. She loves paranormal romance and is still buying it. She prefers a snail mail submission of a query, synopsis and first three chapters of the book. 

Ellen Rothschild is actively building her list of authors. She loves Alpha heroes, redemption stories and “quirky, sassy, interesting heroines.” She’d love to see a contemporary trilogy about brothers. She’s open to all sub-genres of romance except historical romance. She prefers an email query.

Rose Hilyard is open to submittions of all kinds of romance, including sweet romance, Young Adult, New Adult, women’s fiction, and erotic romance. Her favorite books are either really sexy or really sweet. She loves historical romance, and she’d love to see more Christmas books in all sub-genres. She accepts both email and snail mail queries. 

The editors did not give out their email addresses at the workshop, however, the standard form for email there seems to be firstname.lastname@stmartins.com.

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Tor.com, the online short story magazine for science fiction stories, is closed to submissions until October 1. The magazine is separate from Tor Books, the publisher, which remains open to both agented and unagented submissions. 

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Eldritch Press is seeking steampunk horror stories for an upcoming anthology, Lost Worlds. Stories may be up to 17,500 words and should focus on post-prophetic or end-times scenarios in which the world has been reconstructed with mechanized curiosities and steam power. Payment is 6 cents a word and the deadline for submissions is December 30, 2014. Find all the details here

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Please give me credit as the source and include a link to this blog. For more about me and my books, check out my websites here and here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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