1. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    Need Some Advice About Publishers

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jewels, Jun 5, 2011.

    Hi,

    I have a friend who has had some success publishing romance novels. As I've always wanted to write but could never get started I decided that a romance novel might be a good place to begin.

    I started out targeting the Harlequin line with a romantic suspense of 60,000 words. The problem is that my story changed as I was writing it and now it doesn't really fit the formula for this type of book. Harlequin are quite strict about what they publish and I have broken one of their rules by having two potential romantic interests instead of one.

    One agent who showed some interest said they only look at manuscripts of 75,000 words or more. My question is does anyone out there know of other publishers who might be interested in a romantic suspense of 60,000? Being so new to this whole game makes it very difficult to know who to query and any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Mist Walker
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    Mist Walker Member

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    My suggestion (with absolutely no credentials whatsoever though) would be to just write what you want, and then look for a publisher afterwards.
     
  3. wallomrslug
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    wallomrslug Member

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    I think writing to attract a particular publisher is a method destined for disappointment. There are hundreds of publishers out there and, no matter how good your work is, the laws of chance suggest that most of them will reject you.

    Like the previous poster suggests, you should write what you want to write and therefore, your work is bound to be of a higher quality, because you have enjoyed working on it.

    After that, the conventional route would be to find an agent, rather than contacting publishers yourself. There are thousands of agents to pitch your work to and then, if you are lucky for one to represent you, they will do the hard work of sourcing a suitable publisher. They will have all the contacts after all!
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, it's better to concentrate on writing a good story than on fitting into a certain publishers demands. If it IS good you will find a publisher without narrowing it down to one specific.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    This is a topic that comes up a lot. Getting published is a lot like becoming famous - it's something that comes about as a by-product of quality work and, if sought directly, will almost never be attained.

    Do you have a quality story to tell? Compelling characters? Something that people will want to read? Write it. Perfect it. Then, start thinking about trying to have it published.

    Is your story 60,000 words because you assumed that was the limit you were shooting for? If so, I'll bet money you curtailed something you could have further developed - a character, a subplot, something - to the detriment of the story. Go back and reread it and see what else you can do with it. Who knows? Released from the constraint of specific word limits and plot expectations, you might be sitting on a decent book. THEN you can worry about publishing.
     
  6. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

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    Echoing what the others have said: write the best book you can write, and when it's done, THEN figure out what market it best fits into. Starting with the market puts the cart before the horse.

    Once you've written a book or two, you'll be in a better position to know whether you can write books you care about that fit into strict guidelines like Harlequin's. But if you start out trying to match a highly prescribed style, it's going to be hard to develop quality work.
     
  7. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it just be or did a lot of people miss the point of this thread. She already wrote the book, and she didn't allow her creativity to adhere to the prescribed rules of that particular publisher. That's why she's in this predicament in the first place. What the OP is asking is which publishers might be interested in a 60,000 word romance suspense. What the OP should have done was used google. Then she might have found this link which has about twenty different publishers she could submit to.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sixty thousand words is probably going to fall short for most, if not all, romance publishers (except perhaps YA romance? But you will be up against other tight constraints there).

    You probably should be aware of the publisher requirements before you write the novel. Romance, in particular, tends toward tightly proscribed storyline constraints.

    The dreamesr will say, "Just write what feels right to you. You will find a publisher who will recognize your brilliance."

    It doesn't work that way, unfortunately. Publishing is a business, and publishers know what they can sell and stand a decent chance of making a profit. Taking on a new writer is always a risk for them, so you either dance to their tune or sit unnoticed on the bench against the wall.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    amen to that!... it's the awful truth, folks...
     
  10. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful advice.

    I know it might not work for everyone but I actually found that writing my first book to a formula (well sort of, as I didn't stick to it) and a length of 60,000 really helped me to get started writing. Any longer than this was just way too daunting and having the romance plot with the guaranteed happy ending also helped me to plot the book and work out the character development within a framework. I would even go so far as the recommend this approach to anyone who wants to write but just can't begin.

    I'm really proud of the book that I've produced but I might just have to accept that I will struggle to find a publisher based on the word length. There's no way I can add another 15,000 words to it so I may just have to chalk this one up to experience, and wait for that day when I'm famous and publishers will be begging to see everything I've ever written (I can dream can't I?)

    Happy writing everyone!
     
  11. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    Thank you very much for directing me to this blog - I have googled publishers of romantic suspense but have not come across several of these publishers before. E-publishers seem to be a lot more flexible with the word counts so I think these are the ones I'll target.
     
  12. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    No problem. And good luck with the hunt.
     
  13. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    I have been offered a contract by one of the e-publishers on the website that I was directed to on this thread. Thanks again Joker, I am so thrilled to be getting published and the publisher appears to be very professional and trustworthy.
     
  14. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Congratulations! That's awesome news.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    congrats!

    which publisher?... for a book, or what?
     
  16. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    The publisher is Breathless Press, for a romantic suspense novel.

    They seem to have a good reputation online although their website is quite raunchy and my book is very tame in comparison, but I guess they know what they're doing.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wish you the best of luck with it... the publisher has an ok rating on p&e, so you seem to be in good hands...
     
  18. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    Thanks for the good wishes. Please excuse my ignorance but what is p&e?
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    preditors & editors

    it's where you should always go first, when checking on the legitimacy of any agent/publisher/etc....

    http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/
     

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