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TerriLynn
08-17-2004, 07:47 PM
I guess I've become an advocate for romance since so many seem to catagorize romance as fluff or bodice rippers. However, there are so many ways to write romance that people often wonder, "why is this considered romance?"

If you want to learn anything about the romance market Go to: www.rwanational.org (http://www.rwanational.org)
I believe you can access the boards without having to be a member.


Terri

veingloree
08-17-2004, 08:00 PM
To be honest I think genre romance is fairly fluffy -- but what is wrong with that? It is a genre designed to entertain just like sword and sorcery, westerns or thrillers.

TerriLynn
08-18-2004, 08:00 PM
To be honest I think genre romance is fairly fluffy -- but what is wrong with that?

What's wrong is people also mistake it for very poor writing. Granted the overuse of adverbs in dialogue tags doesn't help matters. There is such a large selection of sub-genres getting a bad rap because of the lack of "education" about what a romance is.

Personally, I take offense at anyone thinking I'm a lazy, untalented writer because I write romance. And lets face it....most of the books out there have a form of romance in them but because of the stereotype, chose to name their books under a different genre...contemporary, thriller, literary...

okay....off my soapbox now.... :soap

veingloree
08-18-2004, 08:42 PM
I think westerns were definitele 'men's romance' and thrillers are now in that niche. Most of the guys I say this too absolutely agree. I think people can be very condescending about any popular genre because they like to think of themselves as part of some uber-tasteful elite. Well :hail them them, eh? As long as it's the top selling genre they can bitch all they want :grin

alinasandor
08-21-2004, 08:55 AM
I feel the same way. If they don't like it, who cares?:ssh

Writing Again
09-18-2004, 03:56 AM
Every genre I have ever written in has suffered from the attacks of more elite "literature."

Stephen King is looked down upon by some as "just another hack and slash" writer.

Every genre is looked down upon by some "literary" types, and is often looked down upon by writers of other genres.

Seems to me the more popular a genre is the more it is "looked down upon" by people with "good taste." In other words success breeds contempt.

I think living with this attitude is just part of being a writer.

MelindaNicole
09-23-2004, 08:12 AM
The negative attitude towards romance genre writing bothers me, because people that say things like that have clearly never tried to get published by one of the NY publishing houses.

As a 'new' writer, it's not simply a case of knocking something up in a week, sending it off without even proofing it, and then receiving a cheque in the mail, the story accepted as it. I don't know what they think we're doing, but there are agents, rewriting, rejections, and craft issues to contend with.

Besides, I don't pretend that what I write ISN'T escapist fiction - just like sci fi, fantasy, western, and pretty much every genre bar literary. You want the real world, go watch the news.

:soap It's nice to meet another soapbox-carrying member of the romance fraternity. Thank you for letting me join the rant!

Stace001
12-06-2004, 12:02 PM
I agree wholeheartedly! I've recently finished my first romance novel, and to be honest, it's a bloody good read!!!! (have to blow my own horn, cos i'm sitting in a room by myself:\ )
I've read sci-fi and comedy that has been absolutely attrocious. no plot, terrible sentence structure, and no concept of punctuation.
A writer is a writer no matter what genre they chose, and anyone who has the determination and courage to write an entire novel deserves the respect of her/his peers, whether it be romance or anything else.

Writing Again
12-07-2004, 06:37 PM
Music and stories: So many people fall into the "If I don't like it it is trash," mindset. Then there is the "If most people like it it must be trash" group who believes they have better taste and judgment than "the public."

I have always written commercial fiction for entertainment: I use to get it bad from the "literary" writers.

I personally consider "literary" writing just another genre that happens to choose non commercial themes.

It is kind of sad so many people have nothing to give them a feeling of self worth except a pejorative opinion about what someone else is doing.

maestrowork
12-07-2004, 08:28 PM
I think part of the problems with any genre (romance, mystery, etc.) is the formularic nature of it. There are actually "guidelines and rule books" for some of these genres. And that gives the impression (at least among the writing community) that these writers are lazy and unimaginative, that all they have to do is follow the guides, like "all you need to do is change the characters and put them in a different settings and voila, you have a new romance novel!) and that's why Nora Roberts can pump out 10 books a year. And the fact that some genre writers are making $millions further makes people think the writers have sold their souls.

They also gives off the impression that the readers of these genres are somehow "unsophisticated," meaning if someone would read the same "boy meets girl; girl hates boy; boy woos girl; boy loses girl; boy gets girl..." type stories over and over again, then somehow she's not very smart...

All of this is just stereotypes. They ghetorize a group of people (writers, readers) They fail to realize that these books are products, part of a business, and people buy them because they're entertaining. They're never meant to be high art. And the writers who write them not necessarily are bad writers. Actually many of them are very good. You still need to have good characters, good plot, good dialogue to pull it off. To make a story entertaining is not an easy task. And sometimes you have someone who venture into the "literary" side and you have something truly unique within the genre (for example, "Mystic River").

preyer
12-08-2004, 04:43 PM
well, the 'this is crap' attitude doesn't necessarily always mean it's coming from a failed entertainer or some elitist swine. i think modern country music is crap. i'm neither a failed musician or elitist. the difference is i can back my opinion up. not that does or should change anyone's opinion, lol.

popular genres invite stagnation by sheer volume of works *and* artists. and there tends to be a repetitious nature of mystery and romance, in particular. i think fantasy had widened up a bit, but mostly due to perhaps the market demanding new avenues as opposed to the schlocky trilogy. i haven't read sci-fi in a long time, so i can't say what's going on there, but that tended to always be a more plot-driven story that had more avenues it could explore than just about any other genre, and the one you could combine elements of other genres in more easily, in theory, than any other.

romance seems to be the most formula driven genre, i'd say. one heroine doesn't seem to typically be especially different than the next. young and beautiful are the requisites, at least for the bodice-rippers, and generally it seems that any of them handle situations in pretty much the same way.

when i think of the term 'literature,' i think of books who have something to say. naturally, someone who thinks they have something to say is going to be elitist over pure escapist entertainment. there are simply not a lot of romance writers who aspire to 'literature.' the difference is romance writers understand that and are pretty cool with it, while some people think everything written has to be on parr with 'moby dick' or 'paradise lost.'

how can nora roberts bang out so many books? good question. she apparently sells enough to keep getting that check in the mail. though i've never read her, i know there are a few of her books on my wife's part of the big built-in bookshelf. you'd be right to question whether she writes to a formula. personally, i don't see how it's possible to write good novels that fast without help.

still, there can be as more if not more research involved in a romance than, say, a modern mystery.

the ability to write a novel never did impress me. someone writes a novel... big deal? who cares? all i care about is if it's any good or not. you know, i've known dozens of guitarists that could play anything you wanted to hear note for note. then ask them to play something original and they'd be like, 'huh?' same thing. so you write a novel because you like the genre, or worse, because it's your favourite type of movie and you think you can do that because you can 'see' the formula repeated endlessly. the 'i can do that' mentality sets in, but that doesn't mean you can compose a readable book. why would i be impressed that someone wasted a lot of their time writing a crappy book anymore than if someone rebuilt a space shuttle engine that doesn't run?

i'm just hard to please, lol. but, after you see the same thing over and over again, and being one for plots and such to begin with i pay attention to those things, why be impressed with yet another version of it? i'm impressed with quality, not in someone who's able to do the same thing i can do and recognize elements which seem to be continually bought. i think this is why romance has branched out in the last decade, offering more 'bridget jones' diaries'-type books and niche market fare. like fantasy, it has to.

maestrowork
12-09-2004, 01:36 AM
You see more "romance" for men, too, such as Nicholas Sparks -- his publisher claims a high percentage of his readership is straight male.

champagnebooks
12-24-2004, 04:17 AM
Romance is more formulaic because it is controlled by a few of the 'biggest' houses. They've found what works, what brings in the money, and dammit they aren't going to change it for anything!

If an author can find a publishing house that will let them be themselves, let their voices shine and their stories be told the way they want to tell them (within reason of course), you'd see far less formula and far more good quality reading. So what if it's a romance? There's more to a story than just the romantic end of it. There's drama, suspense and comedy. The romance is simply a common thread throughout the piece.

I too am sick of formulaic writing. I am tired of other people telling me what I want to read, and I'm tired of knowing the plot before I start to read the story. But there are millions of readers who enjoy those types of stories every day. It isn't difficult to see why romance is the top selling genre in North America.

Fluff? Sure. It's escapism. And damn good escapism, but then... I'm biased.

Ellen

Solatium
02-08-2005, 07:37 PM
The glory of genre fiction is that it's written to be read. Some (I emphasize some) literary fiction either is over the head of the average educated reader, or tries very hard to be.

Recently my mother, a very learned woman, tried to read something by a "serious" writer whom she'd heard a great deal about. The next day she told me she couldn't get past the first chapter. "It's like the author never learned how to communicate."

She then picked up the Regency I'd just finished, and came back saying how refreshing it was to read something with likeable characters and nice clear prose.

Not to bash literary fiction, which boasts as many true geniuses as all the genres combined -- but there does seem to be a pretentious strain that feels threatened by the popularity and accessibility of genre fiction.

Susan Gable
02-13-2005, 04:50 AM
Not all romance novels are just fluffy. I write for a line called Superromance, and we have books that have very realistic characters, often dealing with some heavy issues.

I had one book that featured a hero whose daughter had had a heart transplant, and I paired him with a heroine whose only child had died, and she'd donated his organs. (No, they didn't find out that her kid had donated to his. <G>) Talk about a lot of conflict that they had to work out before they could actually have their HEA. (Happily Ever After.)

Last spring's book dealt with the question of what makes a parent a parent - DNA or love? I had a runaway surrogate mom who raised the child for 4 years before the father found them both again.

My next book features a hero who's having great difficulty relating to his teenage daughter - and just to make his life really interesting (he says miserable :eek: ) I knocked up his teenage daughter and the heroine at the same time. He finds out about his kid first, so when the heroine's pregnancy comes out, the teen gets to toss Dad's words back at him.

But what makes a romance a romance is that it focuses on the developing relationship between one man and one woman, and there is an up-lifting, positive - emotionally satisfying - ending. (That's the RWA definition.) That is really *all* there is to the romance "formula." (And actually, there are Gay romances, too.) Romances today come in all sorts of shapes/sizes, and that's something that many people don't know.

Romances tap into one of the deepest human needs, one we all share: the need to be loved. :LilLove:

Looking forward to some interesting discussions with all of you!

Susan G. :Fairydust:
---------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)

lindylou45
02-13-2005, 05:17 PM
[QUOTE=Personally, I take offense at anyone thinking I'm a lazy, untalented writer because I write romance. And lets face it....most of the books out there have a form of romance in them but because of the stereotype, chose to name their books under a different genre...contemporary, thriller, literary.
[/QUOTE]

It is aggrevating to have people think that simply because I have written a romance I'm probably not going to make it as a writer. I write romantic suspense/thrillers. Even though there is danger and the story line is different in some ways than a "true romance", the main theme is still romance.

That doesn't make me an untalented or lazy writer -- it makes me a romance writer.

Susan Gable
02-13-2005, 06:42 PM
>>>>It is aggrevating to have people think that simply because I have written a romance I'm probably not going to make it as a writer.

Ummm...do these people think elves write all the romance novels, in their various forms, that are on the market now? Not writers? :rolleyes:

Dazzle them with statistics: About 53% of all mass-market paperbacks sold are romance novels. More than HALF! I'd say that as a writer, that gives more publishing "chances" if you are writing romance.

It's also fact that the income the publishers make off of romance novels helps to support (or subsidize <G>) the publishing of some of the other books, the literary stuff, that don't have as wide a commercial appeal.

Romantic suspense is really hot right now, Lindy. Loads of publishers are looking for it. Good luck!

Susan G.
----------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)

JanaLanier
02-13-2005, 07:20 PM
I think that having a romantic element in the story makes it much more emotionally satisfying to the reader. So I find that I put romance into all my stories, and my most recent project was a straight out contemporary romance novel. And I loved writing it!!! (I just hope I can sell it :D ).

lindylou45
02-13-2005, 10:58 PM
>>>>It is aggrevating to have people think that simply because I have written a romance I'm probably not going to make it as a writer.

Ummm...do these people think elves write all the romance novels, in their various forms, that are on the market now? Not writers? :rolleyes:

Dazzle them with statistics: About 53% of all mass-market paperbacks sold are romance novels. More than HALF! I'd say that as a writer, that gives more publishing "chances" if you are writing romance.

It's also fact that the income the publishers make off of romance novels helps to support (or subsidize <G>) the publishing of some of the other books, the literary stuff, that don't have as wide a commercial appeal.

Romantic suspense is really hot right now, Lindy. Loads of publishers are looking for it. Good luck!

Susan G.
----------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)

Thanks for the statistics, Susan. I will be sure and use them in the future.

Thanks for the good luck too. I've submitted my first novel to Harlequin, but haven't heard back yet. :Thumbs:

Do the rest of you have agents or do you submit your work yourself?

Susan Gable
02-14-2005, 12:19 AM
Lindy, I don't have an agent. Writing for H/S, I really don't think *at this point* I need one. As you already know, H/S will look at unagented stuff. I don't want to pay someone 15% for what I can basically do myself. But I do know some category writers who have agents, and swear by having one, even for category romance. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. :Shrug:

I will say that the oft-repeated advice: "No agent is better than a bad agent" is true. I've heard some horror stories. So be very careful in an agent search.

Susan G.
--------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com)

lindylou45
02-14-2005, 05:10 PM
Lindy, I don't have an agent. Writing for H/S, I really don't think *at this point* I need one. As you already know, H/S will look at unagented stuff. I don't want to pay someone 15% for what I can basically do myself.

Susan,

I was thinking along the same lines. As long as I'm submitting to publishers who accept unagented mss, why pay out the money. Thanks for letting me know.

I looked at your website -- it's great. I've read Whose Child? and loved it. Congrats on a great career in writing. :Clap:

Linda

Susan Gable
02-14-2005, 06:41 PM
Linda, just make sure that you really education yourself about contracts and such. I educated myself thoroughly before I got The Call from HQ, and I had pubbed contacts that I could ask questions. I was also "brave" enough to ask for contract concessions myself, and even though I didn't get everything I asked for (who does when you're negotiating? <G>) I still managed to get a most important one involving the options clause.

So, you need to know all about options clauses, and all the other clauses, what would be most beneficial to YOU (because this is business, after all, the publisher wants what's most beneficial to them, which makes sense).

Thanks for the kind words about the website and especially Whose Child? I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

Jana, good luck with your ms! Is it a single title? Who are you targeting with it?

Susan G.
---------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com)
The Pregnancy Test - Harlequin Superromance - July 2005

Coco82
02-14-2005, 07:37 PM
I'm writing a piece of Hollywood fiction that has romance involved, quite a bit in fact. Could this be considered romance?

Susan Gable
02-14-2005, 07:42 PM
What do you mean by "Hollywood fiction?" Razzle Dazzle like...oh, goodness, what's the author's name? - Jackie...something or other - writes? (I'm sorry, I'm horrible with names!)

If the romance is the main focus of the book, then it's a romance. Otherwise, it might be a mainstream with romantic elements or a romance subplot.

Susan G.
--------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)
The Pregnancy Test - Harlequin Superromance - July 2005

Coco82
02-14-2005, 07:55 PM
Jackie Collins. I'm don't read her books, so I'm not sure if yu could compare them. It's about a director who among other habits is a ladies man /womanizer and the women he is with. other things happen too, but that's a large part.

lindylou45
02-14-2005, 08:34 PM
Linda, just make sure that you really education yourself about contracts and such.

So, you need to know all about options clauses, and all the other clauses, what would be most beneficial to YOU (because this is business, after all, the publisher wants what's most beneficial to them, which makes sense).


I'm definitely working on getting that education. I also have a cousin who is an attorney who is willing to help any way he can.

"Thanks for the kind words about the website and especially Whose Child? I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D"

You're welcome. I can't wait to read more of your work. The Pregnancy Test sounds like it's going to be great as well.


"Jana, good luck with your ms! Is it a single title? Who are you targeting with it?"

Same here, Jana. Best of luck. :o

Linda

JanaLanier
02-15-2005, 02:08 AM
Thanks everyone!

My romance novel is a Notting-Hill-set-in-Montana story. I'm not exactly sure where to target it, I thought I might send it to agents first (but maybe I don't need to)? I also was thinking about one of the Harlequin lines.

How do you decide whether to query agents or go straight to publishers?

Susan Gable
02-15-2005, 02:28 AM
Jana, if you're looking at Harlequin, then I'd say it's just as easy to go ahead and submit yourself. Since they WILL take unagented submissions, you've got as good a shot at selling to them without an agent. And believe it or not, sometimes it's easier to get an agent's attention once you've made a sale like that (to Harlequin or another "big" publisher like that) yourself. You can even sometimes "grab" one once you get The Call before you accept the terms. (They love that because it's easy money for them. You've already made the sale, all they have to do is "negotiate" the contract, and they get money. <G>)

If you're more interested in pursuing a single title career (which pretty much at this point means anything but Harlequin/Sil) I'd say you'd be best served to go ahead and do the agent search first. A few of the single title house still accept unagented submissions, but the wait can be FOREVER without an agent prodding them a bit.

If you're considering a Har/Sil line, then you need to do a lot of homework about which line it's most suited for. Each line is different, and has different word length requirements.

I'm really enjoying myself, chatting with all of you. Feel free to ask me questions. When I got started (5 years ago) I asked a gazillion questions. So it's nice to be able to turn around and answer them for someone else. :)

Susan G.
--------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)
The Pregnancy Test - Harlequin Superromance - July 2005

Kate StAmour
02-15-2005, 08:02 AM
I'm really enjoying myself, chatting with all of you. Feel free to ask me questions. When I got started (5 years ago) I asked a gazillion questions. So it's nice to be able to turn around and answer them for someone else. :)

Susan G.
--------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)
The Pregnancy Test - Harlequin Superromance - July 2005

I have really appreciated your posts. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your expertise. Actually, to all of the published pros that help out here: Thank you.

~Kate

lindylou45
02-15-2005, 08:58 PM
I'm really enjoying myself, chatting with all of you. Feel free to ask me questions. When I got started (5 years ago) I asked a gazillion questions. So it's nice to be able to turn around and answer them for someone else. :)


Susan,

Thank you for all the information, it's very helpful. I've submitted to Har Intrique. I have a series that I'm working on. Actually, I have the first two books completed and I'm finishing up the third and last book of the series. I've also gotten started on a fourth book that is separate from the series.

I've heard from some people that the second book is more difficult to get published than the first. Did you find this to be true with Harlequin? Also, are you happy with the treatment you receive from Harlequin -- do they treat you with respect and give you some say in the final product?

Jana,

"How do you decide whether to query agents or go straight to publishers?"

For me, I've decided why should I pay someone 15% for something I can do myself? I'm learning more about the publishing industry every day. I'm going to keep educating myself (as Susan suggested) and keep my fingers crossed that I get good news eventually. :Sun:

JanaLanier
02-15-2005, 11:58 PM
Susan, thanks so much for your input! :) I was so hopeful when you posted on the supercalifragilisticexpealidocious PA thread that two new authors sold books to the Superromance line.

But... may I ask a wee dumb question? What exactly do you mean by "single title career?"

BTW, the Superromance line sounds perfect for my mss... maybe after the rewrites are done I will send it straight in with fingers and toes crossed. (Of course, if I have to wait for awhile, I might get all cramped up! Yowza!)

JanaLanier
02-16-2005, 01:07 AM
Good luck, Linda! Keep us posted!:Thumbs:

Susan Gable
02-16-2005, 01:22 AM
Susan, thanks so much for your input! :) I was so hopeful when you posted on the supercalifragilisticexpealidocious PA thread that two new authors sold books to the Superromance line.

Yes! For those of you not reading the other thread where I'm active, for encouragement, I said that Harlequin Superromance has, in the last few days, bought 2 new authors! Both of them have been submitting to Super for a while, and have received some rejections from the line - but they took those rejections, learned from them, improved their craft while writing new mss, and now, TADA, they are published authors!

So it DOES happen! :partyguy:



But... may I ask a wee dumb question? What exactly do you mean by "single title career?"

There are no dumb questions - only ones you really wish you had asked.

By single title, I mean writing for a romance publisher other than Harlequin/Silhoutte. Harlequin/Sil publishes category or series romance - the books are released in a line. For example, I write for Superromance. Linda is targeting Harlequin Intrigue. Each line has its own distinct flavor, and its own length requirements.


BTW, the Superromance line sounds perfect for my mss... maybe after the rewrites are done I will send it straight in with fingers and toes crossed. (Of course, if I have to wait for awhile, I might get all cramped up! Yowza!)

Super is the only line (that I know of) at Harlequin that will take a partial right off the bat. So let me know when you're ready to submit, and I'll tell you what a submission to Super should look like, and what to expect. :)

Susan G.
--------
www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)

Susan Gable
02-16-2005, 01:33 AM
Susan,
I've heard from some people that the second book is more difficult to get published than the first. Did you find this to be true with Harlequin? Also, are you happy with the treatment you receive from Harlequin -- do they treat you with respect and give you some say in the final product?



Linda, for me, the second book wasn't bad - only because I had a really strong follow-up ms already finished when I sold my first. I will say that I have run into story rejections, and frustration. It doesn't, unfortunately, become one smooth path. (Lordy, I wish! <G>)

Am I happy with the treatment I receive from Harlequin? Yes!!! There are some real benefits to being with Harlequin, #1 being the huge distribution they have. My books are found not only in the brick-and-mortor bookstores, but in places like WalMart (a HUGE market), Target, grocery stores, etc. This is a big plus. A very big plus.

At Harlequin, we do have some input on covers. We fill out sheets with some suggestions to the art department, and I have to say that so far, I have never been disappointed with one of my covers. They've done a fabulous job. They do much better than I can suggest because they know art, and I don't. <G>

We have excellent editors, and believe me, that also makes a difference.

Titles - well, we don't always get to keep our titles. And sometimes that can be a huge disappointment. For example, I called my second book Firefly Wishes. It was published as The Mommy Plan. Big difference there.

But the truth is, we're all after the same thing - to sell as many copies of the book as possible. So editors and marketing departments are not "the enemy" even when they want changes that don't thrill the author. :Shrug: They are the ones with all the marketing research, etc. at their fingertips, and I have to accept that they know more about it than I do, and that they want the same thing - selling those books! :)

Susan G.
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www.susangable.com (http://www.susangable.com/)

lindylou45
02-16-2005, 05:21 PM
Susan,

Thanks so much for the information. It sounds wonderful to be working with a publisher who actually knows the business and does what they say they will.

psm0904
04-18-2005, 03:49 PM
Can somebody please tell me how you go about finding the guidelines for Harlequin or any romance publisher? Thanx!!

veinglory
04-18-2005, 04:00 PM
Google will bring most of them up:

Here is harlequin:
http://www.eharlequin.com/cms/learntowrite/ltwArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=SPV4MTP11DA3DLAUEAKSAO Q?pageID=021101wu00001

FAB
04-19-2005, 12:23 AM
Authoring romance is not as simple as most want to quickly weigh judgement on. With each story, you have to find the means for your hero and heroine to remain true to their own personal values while bringing them to their true love. A formula that, with each book I write, becomes more challenging, yet more and more intriguing.

lindylou45
04-19-2005, 01:27 AM
Good luck, Linda! Keep us posted!:Thumbs:

They weren't interested. :cry: I've sent it to Dorchester after a few changes. I've sent out some agent queries as well. Who knows, maybe an agent will be more beneficial.

Thanks.

Crinklish
04-19-2005, 10:18 PM
Hello, everyone...I'm delurking to add my two cents to Susan's extremely helpful advice, as I'm an editor working exclusively on Harlequin's single title books. Through our Mira, HQN, Red Dress Ink and Steeple Hill lines, we publish lots of "single title" books, both romances and other books that fall loosely under the women's fiction rubric. I've been spying on this thread and can see that Susan is a font of useful information, but if/when I can be of additional help, I'm happy to chime in!

lindylou45
04-20-2005, 01:13 AM
Hello, everyone...I'm delurking to add my two cents to Susan's extremely helpful advice, as I'm an editor working exclusively on Harlequin's single title books. Through our Mira, HQN, Red Dress Ink and Steeple Hill lines, we publish lots of "single title" books, both romances and other books that fall loosely under the women's fiction rubric. I've been spying on this thread and can see that Susan is a font of useful information, but if/when I can be of additional help, I'm happy to chime in!

Thanks for the information.

I submitted my romantic suspense to Harlequin Intrigue, but I think it might be a little strong for Harlequin. I've since sent it to Dorchester.

Susan Gable
04-20-2005, 01:27 AM
Hello, everyone...I'm delurking to add my two cents to Susan's extremely helpful advice, as I'm an editor working exclusively on Harlequin's single title books. Through our Mira, HQN, Red Dress Ink and Steeple Hill lines, we publish lots of "single title" books, both romances and other books that fall loosely under the women's fiction rubric. I've been spying on this thread and can see that Susan is a font of useful information, but if/when I can be of additional help, I'm happy to chime in!

Oh, hey, no fair! <giggle> Editors are only supposed to spy on me when I'm at eHarlequin! LOL!

Actually, folks, let this be a lesson to you. Behave yourself and be professional (professional doesn't mean you can't have fun!) no matter where you are in cyberspace because you just don't know who's out there!

I have tried to tell other people this before, and they never believed me. :) As you can see, it's true.

<whisper> "They're" lurking everywhere. <G> Hmmmm... :idea: I wonder if I need to go back and reread all my old posts to make sure I was behaving myself? LOL.

Okay, well now that we've lured you here, maybe you could share with us the difference between the various single title programs that Harlequin has? Like, what's the difference between Mira and HQN? I know Mira doesn't take unagented submissions, but what about HQN? How many books is HQN now releasing per month?

Did you used to work on any of the category lines? If so, how do you find working on the single titles compares?

Ppssstt, you guys, do you have any questions for a real, live editor? I mean, seriously, we've got her here, why not ask?

Thanks for stopping by, Crinklish. :welcome:

Susan G.

Crinklish
04-21-2005, 02:19 AM
HQN is the single-title romance imprint of Harlequin; we publish contemporary and historical romance like that of other mainstream houses (Avon, Ballantine, etc.), and we're starting to branch into other sorts of love stories that aren't technically considered "romance" (think Nick Sparks). Mira is the oldest ST imprint at Harlequin, and publishes broader women's fiction (Susan Wiggs, Debbie Macomber, etc.), romantic suspense and thrillers, and recently, upmarket commercial fiction. Neither imprint accepts unagented submissions any longer, but we do accept queries.

As for me, I've never worked on series books--I came from a Random House imprint, where I worked for five years on assorted commercial fiction (romance, mystery, thrillers, what-have-you).

Glad to be here! :)

Cathy C
06-06-2005, 08:57 PM
Coming late to the party, but I just joined, so I get a buy! :) I agree with everything that Susan and Crinklish have said. I'm a single title writer, which is quite a bit different than the category lines, but so much of it is the same too!

The difference in writing romance for single title that most people don't understand is that there are MULTIPLE plot arcs. While the romance is and MUST BE the single goal, there are other things happening to the couple as well, hence the larger size. That's not to say that category books are any LESS of a book -- on the contrary, it's difficult to only focus on one thing (the romance) and make it both compelling and satisfying. But having two plot arcs can be a challenge too! :ROFL:

mistri
10-30-2005, 06:50 PM
Hi Crinklish!

I used to be a (UK) editorial assistant on the single titles side, but left about a year and a half ago. If I remember correctly, I think you started just a few months before I left. Or you could be someone completely different, of course :)

Anyway, welcome!

cindybode
10-31-2005, 07:41 AM
I have been lurking for awhile, and have already picked up tons of information that I'll use once this story gets out of my head and onto my computer! :rolleyes: Thanks, everybody.

Susan, I looked at your website and saw you're in Erie . . . I'm over in Crawford county by the Ohio line. We go to church in Fairview. Hi, neighbor!

Cindy

lrs
10-31-2005, 08:27 AM
Wow, I just started reading this thread and there is a wealth of information. I have a couple of quesitons. How do you know if your book should fall under single title or series? Plus, hopefully not sounding too greedy, do authors tend to make more money writing series or single titles? I ask because I always assumed you would make more with single titles but read otherwise some time ago.

Susan Gable
10-31-2005, 05:06 PM
I have been lurking for awhile, and have already picked up tons of information that I'll use once this story gets out of my head and onto my computer! :rolleyes: Thanks, everybody.

Susan, I looked at your website and saw you're in Erie . . . I'm over in Crawford county by the Ohio line. We go to church in Fairview. Hi, neighbor!

Cindy

Hi, Cindy! How nice to "meet" you! Did you know that there's a NorthEast Ohio RWA goup? www.neorwa.com (http://www.neorwa.com) - we're having a mini-conference this weekend! If you don't want to come for the whole thing (and even if our website says registration is closed, which I don't know if it is or not, I'm sure we could get you registered if you want) there is a booksigning being held that's open to the public for free. You could stop by for that! :)

Susan G.

Susan Gable
10-31-2005, 05:13 PM
Wow, I just started reading this thread and there is a wealth of information. I have a couple of quesitons. How do you know if your book should fall under single title or series? Plus, hopefully not sounding too greedy, do authors tend to make more money writing series or single titles? I ask because I always assumed you would make more with single titles but read otherwise some time ago.

Well, series books are generally shorter than single title. Series books have very specific word counts, depending on the line. (There are many category lines - Harlequin Intrigue, Blaze, American, Superromance, Silhouette Special Edition, Bombshell, Intimate Moments...) Each line has its own focus and tone.

Series books generally have a narrower focus because of the length constraints. The story is generally focused in on the hero and heroine, and have limited subplots and secondary characters. But you've got to learn about all the lines to know what's what. For example, Superromance, the line I write for, is the most "mainstream" of all the category lines - we definately do subplots and secondary characters, and what to see a wider focus than just the hero and heroine interacting with each other.

As to the money issue, it depends on the line you're writing for, but yes, actually in some cases you can make more money writing category than you can single title. That's because with category you start out with a built-in audience - the readers who like the line.

But the only guarantee in this business is there isn't one. <G>

Susan G.

StoryG27
10-31-2005, 05:25 PM
Wow, I've just spent an hour reading this wonderful thread. Susan, your advice is invaluable as always, thank you!


HQN is the single-title romance imprint of Harlequin; we publish contemporary and historical romance like that of other mainstream houses (Avon, Ballantine, etc.), and we're starting to branch into other sorts of love stories that aren't technically considered "romance" (think Nick Sparks). Mira is the oldest ST imprint at Harlequin, and publishes broader women's fiction (Susan Wiggs, Debbie Macomber, etc.), romantic suspense and thrillers, and recently, upmarket commercial fiction. Neither imprint accepts unagented submissions any longer, but we do accept queries.
:)

Thank you Crinklish!!! I was wondering about this because I write ST, RS. I hope to see you around some more.

Everyone who has posted on this thread, asking or answering questions...Thank you. It's nice to see a new breath of life in the romance genre on AW! Keep it up.

kristie911
10-31-2005, 05:52 PM
I didn't realize MIRA would accept queries, the website doesn't state that. But it does say that HQN accepts queries from unagented writers. I'm really excited now...probably 75% of what I read is published by MIRA and I write what I like to read, so MIRA is kind of my "ultimate dream" publisher! <blushes>

cindybode
11-04-2005, 05:18 AM
we're having a mini-conference this weekend!
Susan G.

Figures. I have to work Saturday. :cry:

Maybe next time. Do you haul out to Brecksville for the monthly meetings? Maybe we could carpool? That would, of course, assume I could get there with my crazy work schedule.

Cindy

Susan Gable
11-04-2005, 04:45 PM
Figures. I have to work Saturday. :cry:

Maybe next time. Do you haul out to Brecksville for the monthly meetings? Maybe we could carpool? That would, of course, assume I could get there with my crazy work schedule.

Cindy

I don't go very often. About twice a year. If I'm speaking then I show up. <G> It also depends on what kind of program the chapter is having. If it seems interesting to me, then I can be tempted. <G>

Susan G.

cindybode
11-05-2005, 06:07 AM
If I'm speaking then I show up. <G>
Susan G.

I guess that would be a good idea, wouldn't it? I work a lot of weekends, so I'm not likely to get there often either, but I'd like to. If you're going to be speaking, let me know and I'll try to manipulate things to get there. It would be nice to really meet you!

Cindy