“Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”  ~Francis Bacon


This week I’m recapping the Spotlight on Sourcebooks from the RWA National Convention in Atlanta.

Leah Hultenschmidt, editorial manager and Dominic Racca, publisher and CEO, presented this spotlight. Sourcebooks has grown 200 percent over the last five years. They started as a nonfiction publisher in Dominic’s upstairs bedroom, but have expanded into fiction, including romance and young adult. They have been publishing ebooks for 14 years. They also publish in mass market and trade paper.

They have an online romance portal, Discover New Love. For $9.99 a month, subscribers get access to up to six featured selections per month for the one price.

Deb Werksman heads up the romance list at Sourcebooks. She was unable to attend the conference, but is acquiring authors.

Leah also acquires for romance and heads up the young adult imprint at Sourcebooks.

Sourcebook romance authors have been New York Times bestsellers, USA Today bestsellers, and have received many starred PW reviews. Leah and Dominic talked about how they have built new authors into bestsellers.

Sourcebooks also publishes women’s fiction.

Sourcebook publishes a lot of debut authors. They like working with new authors.

Leah is looking for a heroine the reader can relate to, a hero the reader can fall in love with, a world that’s created – whether that’s a historical or contemporary setting or a paranormal world, and a hook that allows them to sell the book. The hook should be one to three sentences that capture the flavor of the reader and differentiates it from other books on the market. The hook also helps them sell the book to retailers. They are also looking for an author who has a career arc. They want to buy more than one book at a time. You should have a plan to build yourself in a sub-genre.

They’re interested in historical and contemporary romance, erotica and romantic suspense. They also publish paranormal, but it’s very hard to break in here. They are interested in a wide variety of historical – Americana, westerns, Regency, etc. She’d love to see a contemporary cowboy story. They love contemporary military romance. She prefers romantic suspense based on a group of guys, ala Suzanne Brockman. They have a partnership with Excite, a UK publisher of erotic romance. They’re publishing these books in digital and trade paperback. Their Young Adult list is growing. They like contemporary romance and strong female protagonist. They’ve done some fantasy elements in YA also. They also like YA thrillers.

Leah is open to manuscripts from about 75,000 to 110,000 words. They accept both agented and unagented submissions and prefer to see the complete manuscript. Submit to Romance@Sourcebooks.com


Calliope, a history magazine for children ages 9 to 14, is seeking history/adventure stories around the theme of “Birth of Democracy and Citizenship.” Submit your story of up to 800 words. Payment is 20 to 25 cents a word. The deadline for submissions is October 25. Follow their writing guidelines here. 


Harmony Ink Press has issued a call for submissions of novel-length YA manuscripts that feature a memorable LGBT hero or heroine.  Stories should appeal to readers 14 to 18. They are open to lengths from  15,000 to 90,000 words. Stories under 45,000 words will be published in digital format only, while works over 45,000 words will be issued in both digital and print formats. Harmony Ink pays a $500 to $1000 advance against royalties of 30 to 40 percent.  See their guidelines here.


Crossed Genres magazine is seeking science fiction and fantasy short stories of 1,000 to 6,000 words on the theme of “Unresolved Sexual Tension”.  The editors are especially interested in hearing from LGBT writers, women writers and writers of color. Payment is 5 cents a word. The deadline for submissions is October 31. See their guidelines here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source and include a link to the blog. Thank you!  Cindi