We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


I have lots of market news this week, so let’s get to it

First up, the Spotlight on Pocket Booksfrom the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City last month.

Pocket brought a variety of publishing personnel to this Spotlight. Among the speakers were Lauren McKenna, executive editor at Pocket/Gallery; Abbie Zidell, senior editor at Pocket; Meagan McKeever, editor at Pocket; and Micki Nuding, senior editor at Pocket. Pocket is the mass market imprint of Simon and Schuster. Gallery is the hard cover and trade paper imprint. 

Pocket publishes all sub-genres of romance. The editors spoke about some of their preferences: 

In paranormal, they prefer dark, sensual stories featuring vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters. Romantic Suspense does better for them if it is dark, gritty, steamy and sexy.  For historicals, they love Regencies, Medievals and Scottish settings. Sexy stories sell well in historical, but humor is also welcome. In contemporaries, they want small town appeal and big emotional drama  — “heart-warming and heart-breaking.’ These stories should be heart-tugging, with a powerful sense of community. 

Pocket publishes urban fantasy, which should feature a strong heroine, dramatic world-building and sexy action-adventure. These stories may be told in first person and may feature a character who continues across many books. They also publish paranormal romance, in which the focus is more on the romance.

 Gallery publishes both trade and hardcover women’s fiction that appeals to book club readers. They are looking for a special voice in these books.

 Pocket does not accept any unagented manuscripts or queries.


A new e-publisher will be opening its doors soon and is accepting submissions now. Musa Publishing is open to submissions of contemporary and historical romance, erotic romance, horror, historical fiction, mystery, all kinds of speculative fiction including fantasy, science fiction and paranormal and YA. They’re open to all lengths of stories. Check out their detailed submission guidelines here.

The team behind Musa have worked for other epublishers and some of them are authors also.  They pay royalties of 50 percent of the cover price for books sold on the Musa store and 50 percent of net for sales to third-party retailers such as Amazon, Diesel e-books, etc. They plan to release as ebooks first, then trade paper for some titles. Royalty on print copies is 15 percent. Find an explanation of their terms here.

Musa plans to release its first titles in October


The folks behind the movie The Help and Take Part.com have joined forces to host a Children’s Story Contest. Submit your children’s story of no more that 400 words that teaches positive values. Judge for the contest is Sesame Street writer Lou Berger. The winner’s story will be illustrated and published online.
But hurry — the deadline to enter is August 15. Find all the details here.


I received a couple of good reviews this week from Night Owl Reviews for San Antonio Rogue and A Willing Spirit. 

San Antonio Rogue by Cindi Myers is a sweet and energetic romance set in the American Southwest at the beginning of the Mexican-American War. The story is full of likeable characters and colorful dialogue. It’s a well paced tale with some light military action, and while there aren’t any “cowboys” we do get a battalion of “dragoons” (light infantry) and some Texas Rangers. ” Read the full review here.

And for A Willing Spirit: ” This historical romance is definitely worth reading. This book contains great elements of love, marriage, and tolerance.” Read the full review here.


Next week I’ll cover the Spotlight on Bantam, Doubleday, Dell, including their new ebook-only imprint, the reincarnation of Loveswept; as well as a new pro-paying speculative fiction e-zine and more!


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