“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block


The Printer’s Ink blog is hosting a short story competition. Submit your story of no more than 3,000 words on the theme of “Fall” by December 1, 2012. There is no fee to enter and first prize is publication and 10 bound copies of your story. The runner-up wins an Amazon gift certificate. Find all the details here.


Prism Romance is looking for romance novellas, 10,000 to 30,000 words, for two new imprints. Diamond Facet stories feature all-subgenres of romance in deeply emotional stories with a happily-ever-after ending, while Inspired Cameosfeature uplifting, sweet Christian romance stories. Prism Books publishes digital romance, inspirational romance and inspirational fiction under its Diamond, Inspired and Illuminate imprints. For submission details go here.

As the company expands, they’ve added two new editors:

Marcy Dyerwill accept submissions in any genre but prefers those that fit within Prism’s Christian fiction Illuminate imprint: Amish, Angels, Apocalyptic/Futuristic, Comedy, Contemporary, Historical, Holiday, Suspense, Western and Women’s Fiction. If you would like to submit to Marcy, please email her at mdyer@prismbookgroup.com.

Kerri Nelson enjoys anything in the romance and/or mystery genres and is seriously drawn to stories containing a surprise ending.  She enjoys humorous heroines, heart-of-gold heroes, and books with the potential for a continuing series of interwoven storylines and characters.  Preferred sub-genres include:  Contemporary and Historical (Regency and Victorian England era or Civil War American era) Romance; coming of age Young Adult Christian fiction (where teens learn lessons in fun and unexpected ways); and Romantic Suspense or Cozy Mysteries (with a nail biting dose of danger included). In addition to full-length novels, Kerri is the self-proclaimed “Queen of Novellas” so if you have a short story between 15K and 30K, please send it her way. To submit a manuscript to Kerri, please email her at: knelson@prismbookgroup.com.


And We Were Hungry is sponsoring the Flying Elephants Short Story Prize, open to writers who are previously unpublished in novel form or in a short story collection. The preferred length for stories is between 2,000 and 8,000 words, though shorter or longer stories that are “exceptional” will be considered. There is no fee to enter and prize money of $5,000 will be split among the top four winners. Write on the theme of “And We Were Hungry For Nature.” The deadline for entries is November 30, 2012. Find all the details here.


Speaking of short stories, I have a new one out this week from Musa Books. Amy’s World kicks off Musa’s new “Finally Ever After” series of stories about lovers who reunite after an abscence. You can get your copy here.


In other cool Musa Publishing news, if you have an iPhone or iPad, download the free Musa Publishing ap at the iTunes store. Download the ap and set up a new account at Musa published and you’ll get a $5.99 credit to buy a Musa Book of your choice. Free ap and a free book. Check it out here.


The Poisoned Pencil is a new imprint from Poisoned Pen Press, focused on mysteries for young adult readers. They looking for manuscripts, 45,000 to 90,000 words, featuring a protagonist between 12 and 18. They’re open to traditional and cross-genre mysteries, but avoid serial killers, vampires or an over-emphasis on paranormal elements, excessive gore or horror.  Get all the details here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog post and pass it alone to others. Please give me credit as the source and include a link to the blog. Thank you.


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You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”  ―  Saul Bellow


Musa Publishing’s Aurora Regency imprint is actively looking for submissions. If you have a sweet, traditional Regency romance, the editors would like to hear from you. They publish stories from 5,000 words to 120,000 words in ebook format. They are interested in all types of stories, but would especially like to see some Christmas and New Year’s themed books for release this holiday season. Submit these holiday stories by July 31, 2012. Find out all the details on how to submit here.


Angry Robot Books, a publisher of science fiction in both the U.S. and the U.K. has plans to launch a new imprint, Exhibit A, which will focus on crime fiction. Editor Emlyn Rees is interested in all kinds of crime fiction for the line– mysteries, suspense, police procedurals, detective novels. Exhibit A is set to launch in Spring 2013 with two books each month for the first two months, and one book a month thereafter. All titles will be released in both paper and ebook format, in the U.S. and U.K. Right now, they accept only agented manuscripts, however, they periodically have Open Door calls where they’ll look at unagented work. Follow them on Twitter to find out when the next Open Door call will be. Find out the scoop on Exhibit A here. And be sure to check the writer’s guidelines here.


If you write funny science fiction or fantasy, UFO Publishing wants to see your work. Unidentified Funny Objects has plans to publish an anthology of funny science fiction and fantasy stories. Editor Alex Shvartsman is looking for stories 500 to 4,000 words and will pay 5 cents a word. His reading period is July 1 through August 31, so don’t sent your story before then. Get the scoop here.


Check out the new cover for my historical romance, Patchwork Hearts.

Set immediately after the Civil War on the Texas frontier, Patchwork Hearts is the story of Lucy O’Connor, a young woman who plans to sew quilts and sell them to finance her dream of owning her own cattle ranch. Having witnessed the unhappiness of other married couples, she’s determined to remain independent. Trace Abernathy, a former Union soldier, has come to Texas to make a new start raising cattle. Burned by love to a headstrong woman, he wants nothing to do with independent Lucy. But love has other ideas for these two, and they find out together they are stronger than either is alone. Patchwork Hearts combines three of my loves – romance, history and quilting. I had fun weaving lots of quilting trivia, superstitions and traditions into the story
Get your copy here. or here.
As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source, and include a link to the blog. Thank you!


The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other comes from a strong won’t.” Henry Ward Beecher


Spotlight on Avalon

 Lia Brown, Editor, presented this spotlight. Avalon is a small, family owned business that publishes hardcover editions primarily for the library market. They publish 60 books a year. They release 10 titles every other month —  four contemporary romance, two historical romance, two westerns, and two mysteries. The books are also available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.  The books are “very clean, very family friendly, cute and fun.” 

The company is small – only four people and Lia is the only editor. Avalon is very open to new authors. They do not require an agent. They publish many first-time authors. In 2010, nine of the authors they published were first-timers. They’re open to a wide variety of ideas in romance, as long as they fit within the guidelines for Avalon, which are primarily that there can be no sex or even hint of sex in their romances, but there must be romantic tension. The couple has to have an intellectual connection, and an emotional connection. They allow “hell” and “damn” in mysteries and westerns but never in romance. They do get letters from readers if there is any swearing in romance. Wine with dinner is okay. They like books in series. Check out the writer’s guidelines for more information.   

Their books are reviewed by Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Libraries subscribe to the series, so you’ll find them in many libraries. Thorndike reprints many titles in large print, which is additional money for the author. They are planning to release books as ebooks in the very near future, including backlist. 

Word count between 45,000 and 75,000 words. Most of their contemporary romances are between 50,000 and 60,000 words, while historicals and mysteries usually run 65,000 to 70,000. They publish all kinds of historical periods. She would love something from the turn of the century or the Russian revolution. But nothing past World War I right now.Snail mail submissions only unless she requests you send something to her via email. Submit three chapters and a synopsis. 

If you want to know more about Lia, you can read an interview with her here.


Musa Publishing launches on Saturday, October 1 with its first three releases, one of which is my new western historical romance, West With the Wind. Follow their Twitter feed @musapublishing for prizes and more grand opening fun. And check out their great line up of historical and contemporary romance, fantasy, science fiction, suspense and more.






Spotlight on Ellora’s Cave 

Kelly Collins, Editor in Chief; Raelene Gorlinsky, publisher; and Grace Bradley, Editor presented the Spotlight. Ellora’s Cave  has been in business 11 years. They launched in November 2000 as one of the first e-publishers. Their headquarters is in Akron, Ohio. They have an editorial staff of about 20 freelance editors. They are a digital-first publisher, selling from the Ellora’s Cave website and all third-party e-book venders. Most of the books do eventually go into print, anywhere from six months to two years after the e-release. 

Grace spoke about what Ellora’s Cave is looking for. They publish romantica, a term they have trademarked for erotic romance – romance stories with a lot of erotic scenes, with a happy-for-now or happily-ever-after ending. They also publish exotica – character driven erotica. They also have Blush – a line of mainstream, non-erotic romance. That used to be published under Cerridwen Press, but this has been rolled into Ellora’s Cave. They publish all sub-genres – sci-fi, paranormal, westerns, historical, gay and lesbian, BDSM. Gen-Edge is a new imprint geared toward college-age readers, with college-age characters. Branded is a line of romantica that features married couples and sex after marriage. This could be couples rediscovering their passion.

 They started two new lines in 2011. Shivers is erotic horror. They want “sexy and scary.” They’re open to all kinds of horror – psychological, blood and guts, slasher, paranormal – anything goes as long as it’s scary. Kink is another new line about fetishes. This will be considered on a book by book basis. There are some fetishes they probably don’t want to get into, but they are open to a very wide range of kink. These books have to have an emotionally satisfying ending. 

They have some theme series open to submissions right now. Oh Canada is looking for books set in and featuring Canadians. The deadline for these books is the end of November, but they may extend this if the books remain popular. They’d like novellas, 18,000 to 45,000 words. 

EC for Men is a new line for male readers, focused more on sex than romance. Stories should be between 7,000 and 30,000 words, written from a male POV and exploring male fantasies. 

Their most popular genres are paranormal, male-male, BDSM, menage, science fiction and westerns. Grace would love to see a witch story, as well as series set in small, Southern towns. Raelene loves menage and paranormal, as well as books with external conflict. Kelly would like some female-female stories. See Ellora’s Cave’s writer’s guidelines for more information.


I have a new website for my historical romances. It’s an easy way to find information about all the books in one place, as well as historical research articles I’ve written. Check it out: Romance of the West.


As always, feel free to pass along the information in this blog to others. All I ask is that you give me credit and include a link to this site. Thank you. Cindi Myers



We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


I have lots of market news this week, so let’s get to it

First up, the Spotlight on Pocket Booksfrom the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City last month.

Pocket brought a variety of publishing personnel to this Spotlight. Among the speakers were Lauren McKenna, executive editor at Pocket/Gallery; Abbie Zidell, senior editor at Pocket; Meagan McKeever, editor at Pocket; and Micki Nuding, senior editor at Pocket. Pocket is the mass market imprint of Simon and Schuster. Gallery is the hard cover and trade paper imprint. 

Pocket publishes all sub-genres of romance. The editors spoke about some of their preferences: 

In paranormal, they prefer dark, sensual stories featuring vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters. Romantic Suspense does better for them if it is dark, gritty, steamy and sexy.  For historicals, they love Regencies, Medievals and Scottish settings. Sexy stories sell well in historical, but humor is also welcome. In contemporaries, they want small town appeal and big emotional drama  — “heart-warming and heart-breaking.’ These stories should be heart-tugging, with a powerful sense of community. 

Pocket publishes urban fantasy, which should feature a strong heroine, dramatic world-building and sexy action-adventure. These stories may be told in first person and may feature a character who continues across many books. They also publish paranormal romance, in which the focus is more on the romance.

 Gallery publishes both trade and hardcover women’s fiction that appeals to book club readers. They are looking for a special voice in these books.

 Pocket does not accept any unagented manuscripts or queries.


A new e-publisher will be opening its doors soon and is accepting submissions now. Musa Publishing is open to submissions of contemporary and historical romance, erotic romance, horror, historical fiction, mystery, all kinds of speculative fiction including fantasy, science fiction and paranormal and YA. They’re open to all lengths of stories. Check out their detailed submission guidelines here.

The team behind Musa have worked for other epublishers and some of them are authors also.  They pay royalties of 50 percent of the cover price for books sold on the Musa store and 50 percent of net for sales to third-party retailers such as Amazon, Diesel e-books, etc. They plan to release as ebooks first, then trade paper for some titles. Royalty on print copies is 15 percent. Find an explanation of their terms here.

Musa plans to release its first titles in October


The folks behind the movie The Help and Take Part.com have joined forces to host a Children’s Story Contest. Submit your children’s story of no more that 400 words that teaches positive values. Judge for the contest is Sesame Street writer Lou Berger. The winner’s story will be illustrated and published online.
But hurry — the deadline to enter is August 15. Find all the details here.


I received a couple of good reviews this week from Night Owl Reviews for San Antonio Rogue and A Willing Spirit. 

San Antonio Rogue by Cindi Myers is a sweet and energetic romance set in the American Southwest at the beginning of the Mexican-American War. The story is full of likeable characters and colorful dialogue. It’s a well paced tale with some light military action, and while there aren’t any “cowboys” we do get a battalion of “dragoons” (light infantry) and some Texas Rangers. ” Read the full review here.

And for A Willing Spirit: ” This historical romance is definitely worth reading. This book contains great elements of love, marriage, and tolerance.” Read the full review here.


Next week I’ll cover the Spotlight on Bantam, Doubleday, Dell, including their new ebook-only imprint, the reincarnation of Loveswept; as well as a new pro-paying speculative fiction e-zine and more!


As always, feel free to share the information from this blog with others. Reprint it, forward it and include it in your newsletter — all I ask is that you give me credit and include a link to the blog. Thanks.