“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman
My last blog post looked at the Spotlight on Harlequin Series Romance from the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta. This week, I’m focusing on Harlequin Single Title. Margaret Marbury, VP Single Title Editorial, opened the Spotlight. Harlequin Single Title has a number of new editors, as well as maintaining some of the long-time editorial staff.
In 2013 so far, 15 Harlequin Single Title releases have hit the New York Times bestseller list. They have had 13 starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. She talked about the Harlequin Single Title “boutique” approach to publishing, with an individualized promotion plan for each book, career planning for authors and editorial involvement. Harlequin has global distribution in 110 markets in 34 languages.
HQN, Mira and Harlequin Teen are expanding into digital first programs. Both existing and new single title authors will be eligible for this program. HQN, Mira and Teen digital first programs are looking for books that align with the types of books they are already publishing in the lines in print.
Tara Parsons, Executive Editor of Mira, spoke next. Mira publishes “big, mainstream fiction.” They focus on commercial fiction, women’s fiction, thrillers and paranormal fiction. They publish in hardcover, mass market and trade paperback. She introduced some of the Mira editors: Paula Eykelhof, Nicole Brebner, Erika Imranyi, Emily Ohanjanians, Leslie Wainger, Michelle Mead and Leanna Waldrip.
Whether for traditional or digital publications, the editors at Mira are looking for mainstream books that appeal primarily to women. They may be contemporary or historical. Books should be commercial fiction , with universal themes that appeal to a broad audience. They’re looking for fresh voices, unforgettable characters and great stories. “The kind of book you would pass along to your neighbor or your mom.” Mira publishes about 110 titles a year in all formats. Right now they are particularly looking for new authors for their Trade program.
Susan Swinwood, executive editor for HQN and Luna, spoke next. She first addressed the difference between Mira and HQN. Mira is focused on mainstream fiction that may or may not have romantic elements, but HQN focuses on romance – all sub-genres – contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, etc. They publish primarily mass market, but also trade and hardcover. The romances may be sweet or scorching. They love small communities and cowboys. On the historical side, they love everything from medieval Scotland to Regency London to China’s Tang dynasty. With paranormal, they’re publishing a variety of series, as they are with romantic suspense. HQN does between 80 and 90 books a year, a combination of new books and re-releases. She particularly interested in emotional, layered stories, as well as more historical for the line.
In HQN Digital, they’re publishing New Adult titles.
Susan also oversees Luna, which publishes female-focused fantasy, including urban fantasy. She introduced Margo Lipshultz, Kate Dresser, and Kate Studer as part of the editorial team.
Executive Editor Natasha Wilson spoke about Harlequin Teen. They publish commercial young adult fiction aimed at girls 13 to 18. They publish thrillers, horror, steampunk, contemporary and historical fiction. They look for an authentic teen character and a strong voice. “I want a story that is one I feel like I haven’t read before.” They are looking for themes that resonate with teens. They are a small program, with about 36 titles a year. They have long published digital first novellas and prequels, but this fall will add digital-first original novels. She introduced some of the Teen editorial staff on site: T.S. Ferguson and Annie Stone. Margo Lipshultz and Mary Theresa Hussey also acquire for the line.
The Harlequin Single Title lines usually take agented material only. The exception to that is that if you meet an editor at a conference and that editor requests your work, you can go directly to the editor without an agent.
My upcoming book, The Mountain Between Us, received a nice review from Publisher’s Weekly:
“Myers’s follow-up to The View from Here revisits the sleepy mountain town of Eureka, Colo., and presents its inhabitants with a new set of conflicts and obstacles. Maggie Stevens landed in Eureka after fleeing a bitter divorce, but now that it’s finally starting to feel like home, she’s been thrown another curveball: she’s pregnant and not sure her baby’s ski bum/bartender father, Jameso, is ready to settle down. Single mother Olivia Theriot is another relatively recent arrival: her boyfriend, D.J., has followed her to Colorado after returning from serving in Iraq. He’s ready to reconcile, but Olivia is finding it hard to let him back into her life. Meanwhile, Eureka’s mayor (and Olivia’s mother), Lucille, has fallen for a good-looking con man who empties the town’s coffers and flees. With the holidays approaching and a hard winter taking hold, everyone in Eureka bands together—and some unlikely alliances form—to deploy a crafty plan to replenish their treasury. New readers might find it hard to jump into the middle of the action, but Myers has found enough fresh escapades for her characters to satisfy fans of their first outing. A gratifying, if inevitable, happy ending leaves plenty of room for further adventures.”
The book goes on sale October 29.
Colorado Review, the literary magazine published by Colorado State University, is accepting short stories for its next issue. They are looking for literary fiction (no genre fiction) between 15 and 25 manuscript pages. They pay $5 per printed page, up to $25. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2014. Find out more here.
Entangled Publishing is seeking more manuscripts for two of its imprints. For the Covet line of paranormal romance, the editors want 50,000 to 70,000 word manuscripts with alpha heroes, tough heroines and spicy romance. Specific things they’d like to see include: ghost stories, gargoyles, a contemporary gothic romance, witches, and mythologies from other cultures. Find all the details here.
Brazen is Entangled’s line of sexy contemporary romance. This is Entantled’s best-selling line. The editors here would like sexy stories set in small towns; darker, edgier stories; wrong-bed stories; friends to lovers; enemies to lovers; cowboys and alpha blue collar heroes. Brazen is also offering an interesting opportunity. If you’d be interested in working with them to write books for which they already have ideas, submit an “audition” which includes your best sex scene between the hero and heroine, as well as some sexy banter between these two characters. If the editors like what they see, they’ll give you a basic plot and characters and ask you to develop them. For information on auditions and for general Brazen submissions, go here.
As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — reprint it, repost it and pass it on. Please give me credit at the source, and include a link to this blog. Thanks. Cindi Myers