Thursday, February 05, 2009

Do You Read Harlequin?

"The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along." ~Jalal ad-Din Rumi

The other day, I was perusing the boards at Absolute Write (if you're a writer and don't visit occasionally, well, you should). And one author in the Romance/Women's Fiction section was writing about the fact that she's a category romance author for the Harlequin Superromance Line. She cited sales numbers of $16-20K on each book she's written for them...which naturally made me hop over to the Harlequin Writers' Guidelines page to find out more.

Turns out the Superromance line runs 60 - 65K words and is pretty similar to contemporary romance, which made me think maybe I could pitch Summer's Song to them. (Hey, those numbers aren't small ones.) I even went to Borders and bought 2 so I could do a little research.

And there's the problem.

No offense to anyone, and someone or something is probably going to strike me down for saying this, but -- I didn't think the quality of writing was good. At all. Maybe I just picked 2 mediocre authors.

But that leaves me thinking, if it's a line that holds potential for something I write, for that kind of money, should I explore more? Should I query them? Should I change the story structure of SS so it fits what seems to be their formula?

Hmm...don't know...still trying to figure it out. Has anyone read a certain Harlequin line they really liked?


MJFredrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

I think you should give it a try, but I wouldn't change much. I read Presents and Blaze. I used to like the Desire line but for awhile they've been sticky to high powered, rich executives and I'm more of a blue-collar gal.

Devon Gray said...

Hi Allie! I am a huge Harlequin fan. I am currently waiting to hear back on a partial they requested for their Blaze line. Blaze is my favorite line by far, but I also enjoy their American Romance and have just purchased a couple of Silhouette Nocturnes. As far as not enjoying the two you picked up...I've found some I haven't enjoyed as much as others, and I believe it all comes down to personal preference. One of my all time favorite Blaze authors is Sarah Mayberry. Not only are her books hot, but funny as hell as well.
Just looking at the ratings of my own books on fictionwise has been an eye opener. I have just as many "okay" ratings as I do "great". I think you should absolutely submit to Harlequin. The authors I know who work with them do nothing but sing their praises. Best of luck!

Marianne Arkins said...

The Blaze lines are HOT but typically well written. I don't like the romance line much, or presents. I read American -- which is hit or miss, though I have a couple authors I love who write in that line, and I love their Intrigue line. I do NOT like Superromance. I haven't read any in that line that I've cared for at all. Nocturnes are usually quite good, but dark. And I don't like that they are frequently part of a series as I'm anal and won't read series out of order!

If you want, I have some I can either suggest or send to you. Email me.

Diane Craver said...

You should submit your Summer's S. to HQ. You'd see your books in all the major stores and would make more money. They have a short shelf space but the HQ authors do well.

Some of my friends write for HQ and are happy with them.

I have liked some of the Superromances but others I didn't. The same with the other lines - some are good and some the quality isn't that great IMO.

I was disappointed that I received a rejection from the Steeple Hill editor about my inspirational romance. She rejected it based on my query letter. Of course, I think my IR is better than some of the ones they publish. LOL

Good luck!

Rita Oberlies said...

Hi Allie! Love your's on my must read list every morning.

Just an FYI. Right now they are conducting an editor pitch — this time for Silhouette Special Edition! To enter you need to send a 1 page synopsis of your manuscript by March 4th. As a former participant/winner of a SuperRomance pitch I can tell you it’s an awesome opportunity to get your work in front of an acquiring editor at Harlequin without worrying about getting stuck in the slush pile. If you’re interested here’s the link:

Liz said...

Devon: I love Sarah Mayberry! She is also a great person - I won a critique from her 2 years ago and she helped me alot and doesn't mind if I pick her brain every now and then.

Alli: be prepared to wait to hear on your submission

Allie Boniface said...

Liz, I knew I knew Sarah Mayberry's name - 'cause you sing her praises :)