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


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.


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.


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. 


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


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