View Full Version : Question for Cathy (or anyone else:)) re: Tor

08-11-2006, 07:27 AM
I have a manuscript I would really like to submit to Tor's paranormal romance branch. Problem is, it is either two books each 100,000 words, or one book in two parts that is 200,000 words. The problem with putting it forth as two separate books is that the HEA is at the end of the second book, since it is essentially one story-arc. So my question is, how set are they an either HEA's or word count? In my case one of them has to be sacrificed. Thoughts?
Thanks so much for your time,


08-11-2006, 07:57 AM
If it were me I'd try to trim the word count. There are exceptions of course but a book that long seems to me to be a pretty tough sell for someone not established.

I think the Tor ones tend to run in the 100,000 range.

Susan Gable
08-11-2006, 06:52 PM
I just happen to have submisison guidelines from Tor Paranormal Romance that I got at the recent RWA conference. The word count they're looking for is 70-100K.

I'll give you all the stuff:

Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
Submisison Guidelines

These are the subcategories we are looking for under the general heading of "paranormal romance":

** science fiction/futuristic
** fantasy
** horror/otherworldly beings (vampires, goblins, faeries, ghosts, banshees, zombies, golem, etc.)
** shape-shifters (werewolves, etc.)
** near-future/speculative fiction
** time travel
** possessed objects
** alternate history/alternate timelines
** witches/witchcraft
** psychic abilities (clairvoyance, ESP, psychometrics, telekinesis, etc.)

All submissions will be held to our usual (Susan adds: HIGH) standards for plausibility, world-building, character development, and the various elements that compromise these genres.

We are NOT looking for:
** slapstick
** inspirational religious
** category romance
** reincarnation

Each novel should include at least two main plot elements: one, the romance and the conflict inherent in that; two, another significant conflict. Both storylines should be crucial to the overall novel, and the romantic elements should make up no more than half the entire story.

We are open to non-traditional romances (i.e. multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-spiritual, etc.) as well as traditional ones. We are open to very erotic works as well as less graphic ones; in any work the sex and romance should be believable and well-suited to the story.

Length: between 70,000 and 100,000 words.

We are primarily looking for original novels. While we are not actively seeking backlist at this time, we will look at backlist on a case-by-case basis from authors with whom we are buying new material.

it is suggested that those who wish to write for Tor Romance become familiar with the books already published. (Susan adds: This is ALWAYS good advice, folks. Do your homework!)

How to Submit

If you have an agent...
** Your agent should call Anna Genoese about your project or send the entire work to her attention.

If you are unagented...
** Please submit a proposal of the first three chapters, a 1-2 page synopsis, and a cover letter stating any awards you have won and all previous publications (and your sales history, if you have it).
** Submissions sent via post should be in 12-pt standard serif typeface and double-spaced.
** Please submit only one work per envelope. If you are submitting a series, submit only the first book in the series according to the above guidelines, and include a 1-2 page synopsis for each following book sa well.
**You must include a SASE if you want a reply. If you would like your work returned to you, make sure that your SASE is large enough to fit it. All ms not accepted for publicatin will otherwise be recycled.
** We do not accet query letters, faxes, or phone pitches. Do not call to ask if we want to see your book. We also no not accept simultaneous submissions.
** Our turnaround time is currently approximately three to five months. We assure you that a person well-versed in romance and other genre fiction will examine your work, however, there is not always time to respond personally to every manuscript.
** For previously published fiction authors, we are open to buying on proposal (3 chapters and longer synopsis). Unpublished authors should be prepared to complete the manuscript before we execute a contract for the work. All authors must be amenable to revisions.

Ane Genoese, Editor
Tor Paranormal Romance
Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010

And there you have it. :) Best of luck to anyone sending in submissions.

Susan G.

Cathy C
08-11-2006, 07:05 PM
So my question is, how set are they an either HEA's or word count?

Word count is, as Susan posted, from 70-100K--but from experience, it's as close to 100K as you can get. As for HEA, that sort of depends. For example, our "Thrall" series (Touch of Evil is the first) will probably be a trilogy . . . which is unusual in a romance line, because there isn't a strong HEA in the first book. However, the reader is fairly confident that there WILL be one. The second book brings them closer, but also adds more obstacles, heightening the tension between them. The third book should (hopefully) resolve it. If it doesn't get too long and has to go to a fourth book. So, yes, Anna is somewhat lenient, but that first has to be an AWESOME book to get away with it, because if fans aren't completely confident of the HEA, and sales drop because of it, the book might never make it to the shelf.

It's a risk, but leave it to Anna to make that decision. Make the first book stand alone as much as possible with as strong of an HEA as you can reasonably give it. :)

08-13-2006, 06:28 AM
Thanks so much Cathy, Susan, and Barbara. I appreciate your feedback and you taking the time to answer.


09-05-2006, 08:21 AM
Ah ha! I think I found a possible home for my fantasy romance story. (That is if I can get them to like it. ;) )

12-31-2006, 09:09 AM
Is there anything wrong with a 1st person romance story? I know it's not the norm per se... I was just wondering if publishers would even take it?

Susan Gable
12-31-2006, 06:07 PM
Is there anything wrong with a 1st person romance story? I know it's not the norm per se... I was just wondering if publishers would even take it?

If you do it well enough. :)

There have been more first person POVs of late in the romance world.

The key is to do it so well, and tell a story so compelling, with such an intriguing character telling it, that the editor cannot help but want the story. (LOL - Which is much easier said than done I'm afraid. But it can be done.)

Susan G.

Cathy C
12-31-2006, 06:33 PM
Don't see why not. Five of eight of ours for Tor are first person. Two from male POV, and three from female. :)

12-31-2006, 10:34 PM
Thanks Cathy....I didn't know what the norm was--if there was one per se...

I've ALWAYS been fascinated by Romance novels--just never mustered the courage to do so :) Thanks again.