January Call for #Submissions

Hi Everyone,

As one of my New Year’s Resolutions of blogging more, I thought I’d start off simple, by passing information on. Here is some news regarding what publishing houses are asking for. If you have a manuscript completed and ready for submission, then these might just be the right opportunities for you!

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Compiled by Louis Bacio used in the January 2012 Issue of Orange Blossom, newsletter for Orange County Romance Writers

JANUARY SUBMISSIONS

Western Witches … Calls for Submission

Want to start the new year off with some creative inspiration? Why not kick it off with a short story? Here are the latest Calls for Submissions … perfect for helping meet those resolutions.

Hex Appeal

Ellora’s Cave is casting a magical spell for all things Wiccan. Charm readers with stories about wanton witches, lusty warlocks and sizzling spells! 18K – 70K words Deadline for internal submissions: June 15, 2012. Deadline for external submissions: May 15, 2012. Stories will release in October 2012. For more information, http://www.jasminejade.com/t-writerscircle.aspx

Western Escape

Decadent Publishing is accepting pitches for their new series, Western Escape.
If you have a tale of a hot cowboy, or a cowgirl who can hold her own in a man’s world, we want to hear about it. Give us lariats to tie up desire, a beautiful sunset over an open prairie to weaken inhibitions, or even the slow rocking of a horse to spark things off. Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape follows the lives of Freewill’s residents and visitors. Heroes and heroines can be locals or tourists, but they must all pass through or connect to Freewill in some way whether interacting with the town ghost or locals, attending a conference at the Misbegotten Gaines Ranch and Resort, or something only you have thought of.

All submissions must have a Western theme. Tell us of the city boy roped by the hottest cowgirl in the West. Show us the wild or simple joys of a trip to the rodeo. Offer a plea to the ghost of Pierre Dauville and demonstrate the power of believing in what you cannot not see. For more information about Freewill look around the blog and make yourself at home or contact us.

Due to the somewhat conservative nature of the setting, all stories should focus on heterosexual relationships with a satisfying HFN or HEA ending. If you have a wilder cowboy in mind, please send it through general submissions.

Genre: A Western connection is a must, but we are open to any sub-genre including but not limited to Historical, Time Travel, or BDSM, as well as some paranormal elements such as psychics or reincarnation themes. No sci-fi or extreme fantasy please. Although a little implied magic is acceptable, we would prefer our cowboys on horses rather than riding dragons or space ships. 12K -50K (We will consider longer works on an individual basis.) Sensual to Hot (2-4) See submissions link below for taboo subjects. Remember this is romance so no straight erotica please. For more information, visit http://westernescapedecadentpublishing.blogspot.com/p/submission-guidelines-for-decadent.html

Coming Out Stories

Loose Id wants Coming Out stories — Thoughtful, authentic erotic romances featuring men and women who come out. The coming out theme must be integral to the story. All stories must follow Loose Id submission guidelines. Final deadline for full submissions will be June 15, 2012 but the earlier, the better. Those accepted may be included for release in conjunction with Coming Out Day.

Coming out refers to the expression “coming out of the closet” meaning to tell others about your sexual orientation.
http://www.lasionline.org/the-issues/coming-out.html Note: Coming Out Day is observed in many countries, usually on October 11. In the UK it is celebrated on October 12. For more information, visit http://www.loose-id.com/submissions.aspx

Faery Rose

The Faery Tales at Wild Rose Press are not for children. The Faery line is a fantasy world where you can allow your imagination free rein, a place to enjoy romance with mystical or mythical characters. We are looking for a sensual hero who knows what he wants and who goes after his leading lady. The heroine should always be a female we can identify with—someone we want to see achieve her dreams with strength she draws from inside.

Here are some possible scenarios:
– Dragons in the mist that turn into mortal men and women while overcoming obstacles to their love may have a little lust on their minds as well.
– Elves with challenges to their emotions could be looking for love with a bit of mischief thrown in.
– Ghosts may come back for the love of their life—or serve as the conflict keeping hero and heroine apart
– Wizards, warlocks, and witches crank up the romance like they spit out a spell.
– Futuristic worlds reveal heroes and heroines capable of wielding a sword or a laser, who fearlessly go after what their hearts desire.
– Time travels moving through centuries with the hero and heroine seeking not the secrets of the ages but of love.

And because our line is limited only by your imagination, if you have any other mystical creatures you think might be a fit, we will certainly look at those also. For believable romantic interaction, the hero and heroine must be of the same species or both humanoid. Your work should be a Romance above all, and every story should have clear goal, motivation, and conflict no matter how long or short. “Show” us the trials and tribulations of your hero and heroine—make them suffer. We want to “see” their emotions, don’t tell us; put the reader in the story rather than telling a “bedtime story” to a friend. For more information, http://wildrosepress.us

Editor Leis Pederson – Notes on the Publishing Industry and Marketplace

Hi Folks,

This is my last round of notes from our May RWASD Chapter meeting with Leis Pederson. She gave us a lot of great information. This next section relates to the Publishing Industry and market information about it. Again, these were from my own handwritten notes and I did my best to take them accurately. Hope they are useful to you. 

Printing Machine

How important are titles to selling a book? Not hugely important. If a manuscript is submitted with a bad title, it wouldn’t deter Leis from acquiring it, nor selling it. It’s up to the marketing department to come up with something different.

 How much input does an author have on the title of a book? Leis said that she can only comment on how things are done at Berkley Books. But what she asks the author is, “How attached are you to this title? Can we change it?” If the author thinks that it’s very important, then they go back and forth on the exact element of the title that was proposed to see what they can keep and come up with options for Marketing to choose from. But all in all, she wants the author to be happy with the title and doesn’t want it to be forced on them.

Is there a type of book that you wish someone would send you right now? Nothing at the moment.

How much promotion is done for debut authors? It depends on a lot of factors, how many books are coming out that month, if there are back-to-back releases scheduled, etc. No set dollar amount. Berkley Books has a publicity department that handles the print ads (if any), blog posts and social media in general. But they appreciate it when an author does their own promotion as well. It helps everyone.

I have a friend whose book was only on the shelf for 1 week, is that the industry norm? Leis had never heard that. A book on the shelf for only one week wouldn’t be enough to obtain adequate sales. It could be on a kiosk, perhaps, for a week and then moved to a regular book shelf, but none of the books coming out of Berkley would be on the shelf for only one week.

How do you feel about series? She likes them

How is the market for Historical Romances? Leis publishes historical romances and likes them. There are also other editors at Berkley that also publish historicals. They are becoming more difficult to acquire or sell because the readers are becoming more picky about what they buy.

There’s no special time period that they are requesting more than another. If it’s an amazing book, time period doesn’t matter. World War II is the latest they’ll go and still consider it a historical. After that, it’s considered “Retro.”

How has the trend towards eBooks affected BerkleyBooks? Berkley Books’ new policy is to release the eBook at the same time as the traditionally published book. They have an entire legal department that searches out pirated copies of books regularly, but the piraters are pretty smart and change their websites all the time. Authors can also submit websites where their books are pirated and send them to the legal dept to shut down as well.

 What is a Scheduling Board? At Berkley, they have a giant board where they slot books. There is no Bell Curve saying that they can only buy 3 paranormals in a year. Once a book is acquired, it is usually published one year later. That date can move forward or backward depending on if others meet their deadlines or not. It’s a moving target that’s updated regularly.

Do you have any interest in Gothics? Yes – if it’s well written. A Gothic is one of the first books she’s ever edited. They are hard to do well, but a great book is a great book. They want great books.

Why is Chick Lit out of style? Because the market became over-saturated with them. They were so popular that everyone was doing it, and then supply suddenly overwhelmed demand. They are now referred to as Women’s Fiction.

With the economy as it is right now, are publishers steering clear of hard back books? The industry is definitely taking a hit, but it’s changing daily. It really depends on the author whether or not they’ll put it out in hard back.

 What are Sell-Throughs (Sell-Thrus)? They are the percentage of books sold, gross versus net on a book. So if 60,000 copies of a book were printed, and 30,000 copies were sold, that’s a 50% Sell-Thru rate. Publishers want at least 50%. These numbers are not in the contract. Remaindered books are also counted in the Sell-Thru.

 What is Remaindering? It is when the printed books are overstocked in a warehouse and they want to clear it out. They’ll sell them at a discount to stores like Dollar General.

How do you feel about multi-book pitches, and do all the books have to be completed at pitching time? It depends on the book proposal. If it’s a series or a trilogy that’s fine, but the concept needs to grab her. The rest of the books do not need to be completed, but there would need to be a synopsis on them.

How do you feel about Social Media for unpublished authors? It’s a good thing to social network so that you know the ins and outs of the publishing industry. Get tips and hints for submissions and queries. It’s not a good idea to post samples of your work. Create a fan base that will want to buy your book as soon as it’s published.

What books are hard to publish right now? Romantic Suspense – it’s harder to sell because the readers are very picky.

What are your thoughts on Light Romance or Humorous Romance? It’s very hard to tell someone that you’re funny and have them believe it. What you find funny may not appeal to a wide audience.

 What is the difference between BerkleyHeat and Sensation? Heat contains graphic sex and lots of it throughout the story. They tend to push the envelope in terms of bondage, multiple partners, etc.

Sensation has a small element of the same thing, but considered more “normal” sex. When submissions come in, editors will shuffle between the two lines depending on the story.

I’ve never written a synopsis, do you have any tips for how to write a good one? Find a good chapter contest and read through their score sheet. If you can answer every one of those questions well, then you’ll have a good synopsis.