“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.

 

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