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Susan Gable
11-06-2005, 08:51 PM
This weekend I attended a mini-conference, and I thought I'd share some of the notes I took, especially market stuff.

At Harlequin, there are two new lines (one launched, one to be launched next year) that are actively seeking mss:

EPIC (Real name still to be determined - EPIC is the in-house name for now). There will 2 books published per month beginning in Sept. 2006. It's a story of the HISTORY of a romance and may take place over many years, not just over the courtship portion of a romance. It's dramatic, but not melodramatic. Comedic elements are okay. Sweeping narrative. Characterization is important - they should be complex and sympathetic. Non-linear telling of the story is okay - in fact, this is an interesting element that can be employed. You can use letters, diaries etc. to help tell the story. Non-conventional ending is okay, but it must be uplifting and satisfying to the reader. The story should be framed by the present.

Think THE NOTEBOOK, THE LAST TIME WE MET (without the shock ending), or Barbara Delinsky's books.

For more information, see the eHarlequin website for the Guidelines and submission information. They are accepting unagented submissions, and want a partial to begin with.

NEXT - launched in July 2005 with 4 books per month. These books celebrate ALL the stages of a woman's life, not just courtship or new motherhood. Romance is a PIECE of the pie in NEXT, not the whole dessert. They should be upbeat, brimming with possibility. Multiple POVs okay.

Think SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS. Again, find submission guidelines on the eHarlequin website.

At ELLORA'S CAVE: which is 5 years old this month, they release app. 20-24 ebooks per month. 6 months after a book is released as an ebook, it's released in trade pb. Ellora's Cave is all about erotic romance, and they mean BOTH of those words. Do NOT leave out the ROMANCE! They are actively seeking gay romances. (It's mainly women who buy them according to their research.) What's really big for them: Paranormal, SF, and BDSM stories. You can find their submission guidelines at their website. They have also opened another imprint, Cerriwyn (sp?) Press, and they take just about ANY kind of fiction. (NOt children's or Inspirational) They're looking for just about anything else. NO PAPER SUBMISSIONS. No DISKS. SUBMISSIONS BY EMAIL ONLY. They like to see the first 3 chapters, the last chapter, and a synopsis.

Agent Karen Solem spoke. She said that she must enjoy the first 2 pages of a submission to continue. She likes high emotion. She wants to see a good title. She said in single title romance, right now paranormal and SEXY are what's hot. She said stop getting hung up on rules! Write a great story. Give the reader something more - what else can you add into the story to give the reader more value? Can you add a dash of something else to bring in different readers? Add more levels of conflict. More emotion. Ask WHY, WHY WHY? and invest loads of THINKING TIME on the plot/story - don't rush it. Add an active plot to a character-driven story. Inspirational publishing houses are now requiring agents.

And there you have my notes. :)

Susan G.

Cathy C
11-06-2005, 09:02 PM
Thanks, Susan! One thing I will comment about in the new EPIC line is the strange length. I was recently talking with long-standing H/S author KN Casper about this, who is already signed to put out one of the launch titles, and they're only wanting 75,000 words! :eek: For an epic romance? He says it's been a . . . challenge.


Just something to consider when approaching them! ;)

Susan Gable
11-06-2005, 09:17 PM
Thanks, Susan! One thing I will comment about in the new EPIC line is the strange length. I was recently talking with long-standing H/S author KN Casper about this, who is already signed to put out one of the launch titles, and they're only wanting 75,000 words! :eek: For an epic romance? He says it's been a . . . challenge.


Just something to consider when approaching them! ;)

Yes, good point. I should have mentioned that. <G> That's something that's left many of us scratching our heads. EPIC. 75K words. Those two don't seem to go together. <G>

And since Ken is used to writing 80-85K for Super, I'm sure it really WAS/IS a challenge to fit a story of even larger scope into a smaller word count.

Susan G.