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This week I’m continuing my recaps of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual conference in New York City with a look at Pocket and Gallery Books.

The Spotlight on Pocket and Gallery Books featured videos, podcasts snippets, games and giveaways. Editorial Director Lauren McKenna, Executive Editor Adam Wilson, Executive Editor Miki Nuding and Editor Abby Ziedel presented the workshop.  Pocket and Gallery are divisions of Simon and Schuster.

Adam Wilson spoke about Gallery Books. Gallery publishes a number of best-selling authors. He spoke about these authors and their upcoming books. Gallery publishes a lot of pop-culture and celebrity non-fiction, but they also do a lot of romance, both historical and contemporary.

Lauren McKenna talked about Pocket Star, Pocket Gallery’s digital first division. They publish four to five titles a month. Each book has its own publicist and marketing plan. They do originals and reprints. They publish romance, erotica, urban fantasy, new adult and some mystery and thrillers.

Abby Ziedel talked about XOXO After Dark, Pocket’s romance website.  This includes a showroom for Pocket Star. The website encourages reader engagement with free reads and excerpts, contests, and author blogs. They also do a weekly podcast in which the editors talk romance, pop culture and anything that captures their attention. Sometimes they interview authors.

Miki Nuding talked about Pocket Books, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. Pocket publishes all different genres of romance. She, like the other editors, reviewed a list of Pocket authors and their new releases.

The editors spoke briefly about their wish lists.

Abby doesn’t like kids in books, but she loves dogs, cats and horses. She would love to see a story about a virus in a submarine.

Lauren loves “hot, dark, screwed-up heroes” in any genre. She likes paranormal, though it’s a hard sell these days. She loves contemporary romance.

Miki loves a really good, emotional story – especially if you can make her laugh.

Adam also loves humor. He would like to see more stories out of geek culture.

Pocket Gallery accepts agented submissions only.

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My free online read, Black Canyon Betrayal, continues this week with Chapter Two. You can read all the chapters posted to date at any time here. Black Canyon Betrayal is part of my Ranger Brigade miniseries for Harlequin Intrigue. bookbanner

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Lee and Low Books is sponsoring a New Visions Award for middle grade and young adult writers of color. First prize is $1000 and a publishing contract with Tu Books, Lee and Low’s YA and MG imprint. There is no fee to enter. Manuscripts should be appropriate for children 8 to 12 or young adults 12 to 18. The work may be in any fiction genre, but the editors are particularly interested in science fiction and fantasy. Each author may submit up to two entries. For detailed how-tos and more about Lee and Low Books, go here. The deadline for entries is October 31, 2015.

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Anderbo.com is sponsoring the RRofihe Trophy short story contest. Submit your previously unpublished short story of between 3,500 and 5,000 words by the deadline of October 15, 2015 for a chance at the $500 prize and the Rrofihe Trophy. There is no fee to enter the contest, which will be judged by multi-published short story author Rick Rofihe. For all the details go here. .

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. For more about me, visit my websites here and here, or check me out on Facebook. 

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I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”  Harper Lee

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Fiery Seas Publishing publishes a variety of fiction for adults and young adults, including romance, mystery and science fiction/fantasy. They publish both ebook and paperback editions of their titles.  Right now, the editors are particularly interested in holiday stories — Beach Reads (deadline March 1, 2015), Halloween (deadline May 1, 2015), Christmas (deadline August 1, 2015) and Valentine’s stories (deadline October 1, 2015). These stories may be romance, or any other genre Fiery Seas publishes, and should be between 15,000 and 45,000 words. Read the details for these Special Calls here, or fFind their submission guidelines here.

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Canadian romance ebook publisher Morning Rain Publishers is temporarily closed to submissions.

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Diversion Books publishes contemporary and historical romance, thrillers, mystery, young adult, new adult, science fiction/fantasy and women’s fiction in both digital and print. Their slogan is “Great reads to distract the mind.” The editors accept submissions from both agented and unagented authors. Their catalog includes both new material and previously published work. They pay quarterly royalties and do a lot of online marketing. Find out more here.

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ToLoveALadyOTHERSITES

The first volume in my Titled Texans trilogy, To Love a Lady, written under my historical pen name, Cynthia Sterling, is currently free at Amazon, B&N and most e-book retailers. Check it out, along with the two other titles in the trilogy,

Educating Abbie and The Runaway.

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Only a short time left to enter the Denver Women’s Press Club Unknown WritersContest. Previously unpublished Colorado residents 18 and older may enter a short story or nonfiction article up to 2,000 words or a poem of up to 40 lines. The deadline to enter is February 17, 2015. First prize is $125. The entry fee is $25 for fiction and nonfiction and $15 for poetry. For more info, go here.

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A heads-up for my UK readers — Author Christopher Fielden maintains a comprehensive list of short story and novel writing competitions for UK writers or all sorts. Many of these competitions are free to enter and some offer prestigious prizes. Check him out here.

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The Next Novelist hosts an online writing competition for aspiring thriller, mystery and crime novel writers. Submit your novel of between 50,000 and 150,000 words to be read and voted on by the online public in elimination rounds each week. The winner receives a publishing contract and $5000. The book will be published as an ebook and you will receive royalties. Get the details here.

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Thuglit ezine accepts original crime fiction stories between 3,000 and 5,000 words. Payment is $25 plus 50 percent of digital sales. Check out the detailed (and profane — just warning if you’re sensitive to foul language) guidelines here.

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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. To find out more about me and my books, visit my websites here and here. Or find me on Facebook.

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my US Readers. I hope you have a peacful, rewarding holiday. This is a slow time of year for market news, but I do have a few items to share:

 

For writers of horror fiction, Blumhouse Books is a new imprint of Doubleday books, set to publish dark fiction and horror from both new and established writers. They plan to launch in the summer of 2015 with an anthology, The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City. Right now they’re sponsoring a short story contest — the winner will be published in the anthology. Submit your urban horror story of less than 2,000 words by December 1, 2014. Six finalists will be posted online for the public to vote on, with the winner announced in early January. Get all the details here.

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Month9Books, a published of speculative fiction for teens and tweens, is accepting unagented submissions for its Month9 and Tantrum imprints. Month9 focuses on YA fiction,while Tantrum publishes for middle grade readers. The editors are interested in ” fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal, steampunk, dystopian, etc.” Submit your query via Facebook. Find all the details here. 

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I’ve reissued all of my historical romances in new ebook editions, under my pseudonym, Cynthia ToLoveALadyOTHERSITESSterling. If you enjoy historical western romance, check out my titles on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other e-tailers. One title you might start with is To Love A Lady, the first in my Titled Texans trilogy, about three British brothers who establish a cattle ranch on the Texas plains, and the women who love them. Combining humor, emotion and rich historical detail, these books have long been fan favorites. To Love a Lady is only 99 cents, or you can purchase all three titles in a boxed set for $5.99. I also have a number of other Cynthia Sterling titles available, so check them out. And thanks!

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Do you have a romantic, post-apocolyptic story? Good Mourning Media is assembling a collection of post-apocolyptic romantic short stories for an upcoming anthology “No Place For Us.” Submit your story of up to 15,000 words by the deadline of January 31, 2015. Payment is $30 per story. Get the details here. 

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“Love in the Time of Coffee” is another anthology looking for romance short stories. Send your romantic story of 2,000 to 4,000 words that involves coffee — a coffee shop, brewing coffee, a coffee plantation — whereever you imagination takes you, to Frisky Feminist Press. Stories may have erotic elements, but it’s not required, and the editors want romance, not erotica. The deadline is December 1, 2014. Payment is $25 plus royalties from the anthology. Find out how to submit here.

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As always, feel free to share the items in this newsletter with others — reprint, repost, reblog. All I ask is that you credit me as the source, and include a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me, check out my websites here and here, or find me on FacebookT. Thanks!

 

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

Octavia Butler

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The podcast Selected Shorts is sponsoring the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize for 2015. Submit your short story of 750 words or less on any theme by March 15, 2015. There is a $25 fee to enter. I usually don’t include contests that charge fees in this blog, but since this is a fundraiser for Public Radio (and since Selected Shorts is one of my favorite podcasts) I’m making an exception here. The winner receives $1000, publication of their story on ElectricLiterature.com, a 10-week Gotham Writer’s course of their choice, and a performance of their story to be recorded and broadcast nationally on Public Radio. Find all the information you need to enter here. 

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Chicago-area writers may enter the Chicago Reader’s competition for inclusion in their 15th annual fiction reader. Submit your short story (preferred length, up to 3,000 words) in any genre. Use the online form and submit by November 15. The Chicago Reader pays for the stories it publishes and there is no submission fee. Find all the details here. 

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The Wyoming Arts Council is sponsoring a contest for women writers who live in Wyoming. Submit your poetry, prose, or screenplay by November 17, 2014 for a chance at the $1,000 first prize in the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award. Submit up to 10 pages of poetry, 25 pages of prose or 25 pages of a screenplay.The first place winner will also receive money to attend the Casper College Literary Conference to read her work. Find all the details here.

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Darkhouse Books is putting together an anthology of historical mystery and crime stories. Editor Andrew MacRae is seeking stories from 2500 to 7500 words set in a time period “more than a few decades prior to the present.” The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2014. Get the details here. 

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Look for the new mass market paper edition of The Mountain Between Us on sale at a WalMart near you. With a new cover and a special low price, this is a great way to dive into my popular Eureka, Colorado series. (Think Northern Exposure in the Rocky Mountains.

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As always, feel free to share this information with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source and provide a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, check out my websites here or here and like me on Facebook here

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.” ~Samuel Johnson

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This week I’m continuing my summary of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of American convention in San Antonio, with a focus on BelleBooks. The spotlight on BelleBooks was presented by Editor Brenda Chin and marketing director Danielle Childers. BelleBooks is 15 years old this year. The company was founded by Debra Dixon and Deborah Smith with a group of six women who were all established authors. They wanted to create a publishing house “by authors for authors.” BelleBooks began with a focus on Southern books. Now they publish all types of books. They produce about 150 titles a year in both print and digital format.

They offer a 40% royalty rate for ebooks. They offer authors editorial development, full marketing services, they publish print and ebook simultaneously and also sell sub-rights such as audio and foreign rights.

Deborah Smith primarily acquires women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. Deb Dixon acquires fantasy and paranormal. Dixon is the Editor in Chief of BelleBooks and oversees all imprints.

The primary focus of this workshop was on BelleBooks imprint, ImaJinn Books. ImaJinn was developed by Linda Kichline, who passed away last year. Debra Dixon, a friend of Linda’s, acquired ImaJinn as an imprint of Bell Books. Brenda Chin is the new editor of ImaJinn.

ImaJinn was originally known for paranormal romance. Now it is open to all romance – all types of romance except inspirational romance – contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, sexy, and new adult. Brenda talked about what she looks for as an editor: She wants big stories – high concept, well-plotted and compelling. Nothing over 90,000 words (50,000 to 90,000 words) but not category romance, either. “I want books that guarantee that the reader will feel something – and not boredom.”

Your story must have a hook that will help them sell the story. You need to be able to tell what the story is about in one or two sentences. You also must have characters readers can relate to and want to read about. Finally, you need a strong voice. She recommended authors find their trademark – what is unique about your books that readers will identify with. No matter what you write, make sure that trademark is still there.

Think of your book as a movie. What kind of crowd would it draw? Strive to make it a blockbuster movie.

Brenda prefers to receive a partial over a complete manuscript.  You can find the submission guidelines for ImaJinn here.

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Mystery Writers of America and Minotaur Books have teamed up once again to sponsor their 2015 Best First Crime Novel Competition. Writers over the age of 18 who have never had a novel published (in any genre) may enter the contest. Manuscripts must be 65,000 words or longer and must feature murder or another serious crime at the heart of the story.The winner will receive a publishing contract from Minotaur books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) and a $10,000 advance against royalties. The deadline to enter is December 15, 2014. For more details, go here.

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Look for the new mass market paper edition of The Mountain Between Us on sale at a WalMart near you. With a new cover and a special low price, this is a great way to dive into my popular Eureka, Colorado series. (Think Northern Exposure in the Rocky Mountains.

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As always, feel free to share this information with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source and provide a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, check out my websites here or here and like me on Facebook here. 

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
– Edgar Rice Burroughs

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This week I’m continuing my look at publisher spotlights from the RWA National Convention in San Antonio, with Loose Id books. The Spotlight on Loose Id was presented by editor-in-chief Treva Harte and marketing and information officer Allie McKnight. Loose Id (pronounced Lucid) is a digital first company. They have been in business for ten years and have been profitable for all of that time.

Loose Id publishes primarily erotic romance. They don’t mean erotica – they want hot and sensual books with explicit sex scenes, but the conflict arises from character and there is a romantic arc to the story. Sex is important to the story, but it doesn’t have to be kink. Kink works in some stories, but what Harte is looking for is sex that’s important to the stories and important to the characters. Every story should have a definite romance hook.

Under the banner of erotic romance, Loose Id publishes a variety of stories – both heterosexual and GLBT romances. They welcome historical and contemporary stories, paranormal, fantasy, mystery and science fiction under that erotic romance umbrella.

They publish stories 20,000 to 120,000 words. Stories 55,000 to 70,000 words receive an advance and are eligible to print as well as e-release.  They pay 40% royalties (on gross sales) and retain electronic rights for three years.

Harte talked about the submission process. They sometimes ask for revisions from authors before they agree to buy the manuscript. They provide an assessment letter, which points out strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of helping authors to improve. They offer talks and online classes to help educate and inform authors. And they have an author development program, where an editor works with an author to improve a promising story.

Right now, they’ve issued some special calls for upcoming anthologies:

Christmas Menage – 20,000 to 30,000 word Christmas-theme manage stories, XXX rated. Deadline – Oct. 15.

Baby, What a Big Surprise! – Holiday novellas – any holiday between December and March, 20,000 to 35,000 words. The deadline for Christmas stories is past, but they’re still open to holidays after the new year.

Find all of Loose Id’s submission guidelines, contract terms, etc. here. 

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Liz McMullen Show Publications is assembling a Valentine’s anthology on the theme of “appetite.” Send your 3,000 to 4,000 word short story on this theme — any genre, although Editor Ila Goyane prefers that all stories have some element of romance or erotica. Payment is $30 plus two copies. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2015. Get all the details here.

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Young adult magazine Cicada has issued a call for stories, poems and comics on the theme of Tricksters and Thieves. Send your stories of pirates, charlatans, illusions, deceptions and trickery to editor Marianne Carus. Stories may be up to 9,000 words. Payment is 25 cents a word.  The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2104. Find more details here.

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New York based small press Black Balloon Publishing offers the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize for an unpublished novel of 50,000 words or more. The novel may be of any genre, and they welcome cross-genre and hard-to-define fiction. First prize is $5,000 and a publication contract. There is no fee to enter. They will accept submissions beginning October 1 to October 31. Find more details here.

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As always, feel free to share this information with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source and provide a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, check out my websites here or here and like me on Facebook here. 

 

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”
– Terry Pratchett

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Harper Voyager Impulse is a new digital-first imprint from science fiction and fantasy publisher Harper Voyager. Executive Editor Jennifer Brehl hopes the imprint will offer more “fan-based, fast-paced, action driven ebooks.” The imprint will launch with 31 titles with a variety of types and styles of books, most acquired through an open call the publisher had last fall. Read the details in the official press release here. 

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Bloomsbury Children’s Books is launching If Only, a new imprint to showcase young adult romance novels. Publishing Director Cindy Loh hopes to offer readers “clean, spirited and down-to-earth,  ‘new love'” stories.  Each novel in the line features a ‘what if’ scenario, includes humor, and is suitable for readers as young as 12, but should appeal to older teens as well. At this time, Bloomsbury accepts submissions only from agented authors.

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In November, Barbour Publishing will debut a new line of Christian fiction for readers ages 3-12. Shiloh Kidz will include a variety of types and styles of fiction. See their writing guidelines here.

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Lee and Low Books is sponsoring a New Voices award for children’s picture book authors of color. Submit your children’s picture book manuscript of up to 1,500 words. The winner receives $1000 and a standard publishing contract with an additional advance and royalties. An honorable mention winner receives $500. There is no fee to enter and you may enter up to two manuscripts. The deadline for entries is September 30, 2014. Find all the details here. 

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Minotaur Books and Malice Domestic are once again sponsoring a Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition.  Submit your mystery novel manuscript of over 65,000 words for a chance to win $10,000 and a standard publishing contract from Minotaur Books. The story should center around a murder/mystery/ or crime. The deadline for entries is October 15, 2014. Find all the details here. (Scroll down to the contest info.)

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There will be no market news update next Wednesday. I’ll be in San Antonio, attending the Romance Writers of America convention. If you’re there,  I hope you’ll look me up and say hello. I’m giving a workshop Thursday morning at 8:30 on “Writing Faster, Writing Better” and I’ll be participating in the Kensington authors’ signing on Friday.

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