The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair“- Mary Heaton Vorse


More from the publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta. This week I’m looking at the Spotlight on Ballatine, Bantam and Dell. 

Ballantine, Bantam and Dell is part of the Random House Publishing Group. They publish Janet Evanovich, Debbie Macomber, Karen Marie Moning, Danielle Steele, Sophie Kinsella, Diana Gabaldon, George R. R. Martin, Dean Koontz and many other best-selling authors.

Shauna Summers, Junessa Viloria and Sue Grimshaw presented the workshop. They spent most of the workshop reviewing upcoming books from their authors.

Shauna Summers started things with an overview of the company. Ballantine, Bantam, Dell publishes trade and mass market paperback, hardcover and digital editions. Their romance list is “focused and select.” They don’t have a certain number of slots to fill and can afford to be picky. They accept only agented submissions. They have signed authors who found success through self-publishing, such as Monica Murphy. They have also taken authors who’ve done well with other publishers and built them into best-sellers. They publish all types of romance, including erotica, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, historicals, young adult, new adult, and women’s fiction.

Sue Grimshaw talked about Loveswept,  BBD’s digital-first imprint. They publish a wide variety of romance, from sweet to hot, contemporary and all kinds of historical. She invited workshop participants to become part of the online Street Team for Loveswept. Go here for more information.

Flirt is the digital first imprint for new adult books.

Loveswept and Flirt DO accept unagented submissions. Submit a query for your completed manuscript between 15,000 and 60,000 words. This includes previously published work to which you own the rights. Get all the information here. 


I’m happy to report that Secret Santa, an anthology in which my novella “Room at the Inn” appears, along with stories by Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick and Laura Levine, debuted at #25 on the USA Today Bestsellers List, and #15 on the New York Times Bestsellers List!



Cedar Fort Publishing is sponsoring a Christmas Writing Contest.  The editors are looking for 500 to 5,000 word short stories, to be published in pamphlets and 10,000 to 25,000 word novellas to be produced as small gift books for Christmas 2014.  Winners will receive a $100 advance for short stories and $400 or novellas, plus royalties. Cedar Fort publishes both fiction and nonfiction for an LDS (Mormon) audience. Fiction shouldn’t contain profanity, violence or the use of alcohol and should be uplifting. The deadline for entries is midnight, January 20, 2014. Find all the details here. 


Ebook publisher Carina Press has updated its Editor Wish List.

For 2014, Carina Press as a whole is especially interested in acquiring romantic suspense manuscripts of 70,000 + words; Scottish set and Regency historical romance; Erotic romance of 70,000 + words, with series potential; and more male-male, new adult and mystery fiction.

Editor Kerri Buckley would like to see some “contemporary romance with atypical heroines, snappy dialogue and significant external conflict; gritty New Adult; erotic romance of 70,000 words and up;  cozy or hardboiled mystery with dry wit; and contemporaries, historicals and alternate history set in Eastern Europe.

Editor Rhonda Helms would like LGBTQ in any genre Carina publishes; super-hot romance; stories with mythological elements; funny romantic comedies; a fresh take on an “Upstairs/Downstairs” story; a “regency or western featuring people of color”; a super-sexy gothic romance;  genre-blending stories; and stories featuring people of color.

Deborah Nemeth wants some “high-octane romantic suspense”; stories with political or palace intrigue, in any genre; mysteries and crime fiction with a strong hook, as well as caper and heist stories; and more science-fiction/fantasy.

Mallory Braus would “love, love, love” a contemporary romance or romantic suspense set among the Amish; stories with psychics; gothic stories; stories with nerdy/quirky characters; historical mysteries; and cross-genre stories.

Alissa Davis craves erotic with heroes and heroines who “rock at talking dirty.” She’d also like to see a male/male mystery; a foodie romance; medical romances; sports romances; and a teacher-student story.

Jeff Seymour is looking for speculative LGBTQ fiction; a male/male steampunk story; and a mystery series that plays with the conventions.

Melissa Johnson wants contemporary and historical romance series with connected characters.

Tina Burns enjoys New Adult fiction and would love to work on a Dystopian or post-Apocalyptic romance series.

Elizabeth Bass loves historical romance, especially Gothics, Regencies and Westerns. She also likes humorous contemporary romance.

Meredith Giordan would like an “angsty contemporary New Adult story; she’s interested in a Tudor or Colonial American historical; new retellings of old fables/legends/myths; and urban fantasy with superhuman characters.

Bryon Quertermous would like a romantic heist story, or a pulpy erotic story, pulpy space opera and “cozy mystery novels that break the rules.”

For more details, check out the blog post here. 


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