September 2014


“You could compile the worst book in the world entirely out of selected passages from the best writers in the world.” ~G.K. Chesterton

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This week I’m continuing my look at the publisher spotlights from the RWA National Convention with a look at Sourcebooks. The Spotlight on Sourcebooks was presented by Editorial Director Deb Werksman, Editor Mary Altman, Assistant Editor Kat Clyne and publisher Dominique Racca. Sourcebooks is a general trade publishing house. They publish 350 new titles a year, about half of that is fiction. They publish 8 to 10 romances a month. They are the largest woman-owned, independent publishing house in the country. They are based in Napierville, Illinois, with satellite offices in New York and in Milford, CT. Sourcebooks Casablanca is their fiction and non-fiction romance imprint.  Sourcebooks Fire is their YA list, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky is for children’s books and Sourcebooks Landmark is general fiction.

Both women sent some time talking about how Sourcebooks targets different markets, from mass-retailers such as WalMart and Target, to schools and libraries. Marketing is determined on a book-by-book basis. They produce books as both paperbacks and e-books. They send ARCs to reviewers.

The editors are looking for heroines the reader can relate to, a hero the reader could fall in love with, a world the reader can escape into, and a compelling hook that makes readers immediately want to read books. They love it if the author has ideas for a series. Manuscripts should be 90,000 to 120,000 words. They publish single-title romance in all sub-genres. The editor and author work together to plan future books and a career trajectory.

They talked about some of what they are looking for. In paranormal: shape shifters are popular. Vampires remain popular, but it is very difficult for a new author to break out with a new vampire story. In paranormal, world-building is of utmost important. The reader wants to visit that new world. They also like romance suspense/paranormal mixes.

In erotic romance, the love story and the sex really needs to balance out. The love story must be really engaging, as well as the sex being really hot. Deb thinks BDSM is a “bit overdone” right now. She also likes very sexy romances that aren’t necessarily erotica.  Mary said that when she acquires erotic romance, she looks for a very strong hook that will make the story stand out in a crowded field. Every sexual encounter needs to be vital to the story.

Sourcebooks is eager to acquire more YA. Sales are very strong in YA for them. They do well with contemporary YA thrillers and YA paranormal. They also like YA non-fiction.

In historical, the eras that sell best for them are Regency, Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian England. Anything Scottish sells. Time travel does well for them. They’re also publishing medieval. They also have a strong historical western romance program. They don’t publish stories set in the American revolution, Civil War, or anything after 1900.

They publish women’s fiction, both with and without romantic elements. Deb wants women’s fiction with a strong romantic element; Editor Shana Drehs prefers darker, more issue-driven women’s fiction.

The next section of the Spotlight was a bit unusual – several authors took the microphone to give testimonials about how much they love working with Sourcebooks.

You can learn about everything Sourcebooks is looking for, all the editors at Sourcebooks, their likes and dislikes here. You can find their romance submission guidelines here.Sourcebooks’ romance editors do accept both agented and unagented manuscripts.

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For a limited time, the ebook version of my Harlequin Intrigue, Rocky Mountain Rescue, is

9780373697496

on sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99) Pick up a copy for Kindle here, for Nook here, or check your favorite ebook dealer.

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Bundoran Press is seeking science fiction stories for a new anthology, Second Contacts. All stories should be set fifty years after humans’ first contact with aliens. Stories should be between 3,500 and 6,500 words. Payment is 2 cents a word, up to $130 Canadian dollars. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2015. Find all the submission details here. 

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Crimson Romance is seeking novellas (10,000 to 20,000 words) for a Valentine anthology to  be released in February 2015. Stories may be sweet to spicy, though the editors cite a preference for  more sensual stories. The deadline for submissions is Octoer 15, 2014. See the guidelines here.

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Want to learn all the latest book news from me? Like my Facebook author page here.  Or visit one of my websites, here or here. 

As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others. Please give me credit as the source, and includ ea link to this blog. Thanks!

 

 

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Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.

Paulo Coelho

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This week I’m continuing my summary of the publisher spotlights from the RWA National Convention with a look at Grand Central Publishing.

The Spotlight on Grand Central Publishing was presented by Leah Hultenschmidt, Editorial Director of Forever and Senior Editor Michelle Bidelspach.

The Hachette Book Group is the parent company of Grand Central. Forever is the romance arm of Grand Central. Hachette is a very large company with many different imprints. Leah presented this as an advantage, because they have the clout of a large company behind them. Hachette has many best-selling authors in its ranks.

Forever publishes six to eight mass market romances a month. Forever Yours, its digital-first romance imprint, releases four to eight titles each month. “The growth of romance is a company-wide initiative,” said Hultenschmidt, who came to Grand Central after stints with Dorchester and Sourcebooks.

Michelle talked about what the editors are looking for and how to submit. Forever is single-title – both print and e-books. They are looking for “everything” – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, new adult, erotic romance, paranormal romance. They publish some of their authors e-first and follow with print later.

The editors are looking for 85,000 to 95,000 words, agented manuscripts only. But there are some exceptions to the agented-only rule: if a Grand Central editor judges a contest and asks to see your work or if you pitch at a conference and the editor asks for your manuscript, you don’t have to be agented. In these cases, send your complete manuscript. They will also consider query letters from unagented authors.

Only submit to one editor. If the project isn’t right for that editor, she will pass it on if she feels another Grand Central editor would be interested in it.

All Forever authors receive an advance against royalties.

The Forever Yours imprint is digital first. Authors published in Forever Yours do not receive an advance, but have escalating royalties. They publish novellas, 8,000 to 35,000 words and novels, 35,000 to 100,000 words. They also publish all kinds of romance – sassy, sweet, sexy. The only things they don’t publish are young adult, straight mystery, general fiction or non-fiction or poetry. They accept both unagented and agented manuscripts.

To submit to Forever Yours, send a query that includes your genre, your word count and a brief pitch, a synopsis, and the full manuscript.

Leah then took the mike again to talk about things a publisher can do for you as opposed to self-publishing. Editors provide guidance about market trends. They help guide careers. They do title and cover brainstorming. They discuss pricing strategies and author branding. They partner with retailers to do special promotions for titles. They coordinate all aspects of your book’s publication.

The publicity team at Grand Central arranges blog tours for authors and sends out galleys – both print and e – for review. They send out newsletters to promote their authors. They collaborate with editorial to plan promo for titles. They do social media promotion and try to help authors do their own social media promotion, in addition to Grand Central’s efforts.

Finally, the editors talked a little about what they’re particularly looking for:

Michelle says she’s always looking for a rock star hero. She’d love a great highlander romance, a western. She does a lot of historicals and a lot of contemporary romance. She looks for a strong voice and arresting characters.

Leah answered for some of the other editors : Alex Logan loves romantic suspense and small-town contemporary romance.

Associate Editor Lauren Plude loves history. Give her historical romances, especially Scottish. She also really likes single title contemporary romance.

Associate Editor Megha Parekh specializes in New Adult. She also works on a lot of erotic romance.

Leah is looking for “band of brothers” type stories – sports teams, military or cops. She loves the ‘behind the scenes banter’ among the men.

You can find the Forever Yours submission guidelines here.

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I have a new author page on Facebook. Like it to keep up with the latest on my writing.

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East of the Web is looking for short stories for children ages 5-12. East of the Web publishes the stories online, as well as making them available through their Short Story e-reader ap. They accept both new and previously published submissions and pay five cents a word, up to $200. The editors have not set a word length for stories, though they stress they want short stories, not book manuscripts. They’re open to all genres of stories for children. Find their guidelines here.

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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.

 

 

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space” ~Orson Scott Card

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This week I’m continuing my look at the publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America 2014 conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Spotlight on Samhain Books was presented by publisher Christina Brashear and Editor Tera Kleinfelter.

Christina kicked off the presentation by announcing that Samhain has hired LaToya Smith, formerly an editor with Kensingtron Books and with Grand Central Publishing, to oversee Samhain’s romance line. Her goal is to be innovative, find new voices and promote Samhain authors and their books.

Samhain will be creating a new GLBT line to include male/male romances and all GLBT romances. They will also be creating a new African American line. They will be launching a new website soon, which will be cover driven, showing off the book covers to entice people to look further into Samhain’s offerings. Browsers can make a wish list, read reviews, find books in a series, search by author or series and buy directly from Samhain.  

Samhain publishes romance, including erotica, GLBT romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, new adult, and science fiction/fantasy with strong romantic elements. They also publish horror, which does not have to have a romance in it. They do not publish young adult books.

Tera answered a question about trends she has seen as far as what is selling well. Samhain’s top sellers are “anything with BDSM” and contemporary romance. Romantic suspense is not selling all that well, and paranormal romance sales are down. In paranormal, shape shifters sell better than vampires. That said, she cautioned authors not to write to market, but to write what they love to write.

Samhain does a variety of types of promotion – online ads on a variety of sites, print ads in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Clare, even ads in airports. They will split costs with the author if the author has some marketing they want to do. They also try to get lots of reviews for their books.

The minimum word count for Samhain is 12,000 and they will consider anything up to 120,000 words. Turnaround time is normally 12 to 16 weeks, but that is improving. Their goal is a six to eight week turnaround. You can find all their submission guidelines here.

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HarperCollins has a new digital first imprint devoted to thrillers and crime fiction. KillerReads will publish two or three titles per month — crime stories, detective fiction, psychological thrillers, legal thrillers, and almost anything that fits under the umbrella of crime fiction. To celebrate their launch, KillerReads is opening for a limited time to submissions of complete manuscripts from unagented authors. You’ll need to submit a complete manuscript, a 500-word summary of the story, a one-paragraph recap of the story, a list of the characters and an author profile. This reading period will close on September 14, 2014, so get your submissions in now. Find all the details here

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Penumbra Magazine is looking for speculative fiction stories on the theme of Arthurian Legends for its December 2014 issue. They’re open to stories up to 3500 words and pay five cents a word. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014. Find all the submission guidelines here. 

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Digital publisher Untreed Books is looking for crime fiction short stories for an upcoming anthology: Haystacks and Homicides — Short Tales of Farmland Crime. Submit your 1500 to 5000 word story by the deadline of December 31, 2014. Stories must take place on a farm or be farm related, and the editors prefer the crime of murder. Authors selected for inclusion in the anthology, slated to be published in March 2015, will receive a share of the royalties from sales. Find all the details here

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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.