August 2014


“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.

 

 

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“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.