Saturday, February 07, 2009

Just a Quick Reminder...

Romance and Chocolate Event at the Borders in Farmington, CT today! Cross your fingers that I sell lots of books (and don't make an idiot of myself while reading excerpts)!

Oh, and I'm blogging at Samhain today. Stop by and leave me a comment if you'd like :)

Happy weekend!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Do You Read Harlequin? Part Two

'ouk imae idenai, ah mae oido' (Translation: "The more I know, the less I know") ~Socrates

Well, I have to say a big Thank You to everyone who chimed in with their opinions yesterday. I really am unfamiliar with most of Harlequin's lines, but it does seem as though probably some authors are simply better (or more appealing) than others, even within a line. And Diane you're right: Harlequin authors definitely enjoy more widespread exposure than those from smaller and lesser-known presses.

And Rita, thanks for the link to the Silhouette Special Edition Editor Pitch -- there might be a blog reader here who'd like to find out more too.

Finally, I do want to mention that the Harlequin website has podcasts for almost every line, where you can listen to the editors talk about what they're looking for -- and what they're not. I spent some time last night and gained a couple of tips.

PS: Christina Phillips is interviewing me today on her blog. Would you drop by and leave a comment so I don't feel so lonely there???

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?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Two Contests for Writers

"At the touch of love everyone become a poet." ~ Plato

No Writers' Wednesday today - but instead, an announcement of two upcoming writing contests that might interest some of you:

The Sandy Contest (I think it's for unpublished authors only) - Deadline is Feb 17th and word of mouth has it that they're light on romance entries. Final judge in that category is an assistant editor at MIRA - no small potatoes!

Share Your Romantic Story Valentine's Contest - open to anyone, and the prize is a $250 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice! Deadline is February 6th, though, so get writing (or dig out those romantic stories if you have them lying around).

Good luck, if you decide to enter!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Agent or Not?

"Don't tell my mother I work in an advertising agency - she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse." ~Jacques Seguela

The conversation about romance writers having an agent is an interesting one. Some want one without question, so they can snag that publishing contract with a big NY house. Others are much more hesitant, because romance is one of the only genres in which you can still get contracts without having to go through an agent (with some, not all, bigger publishing houses). If you don't have an agent, you might miss out on rights opportunities and get sucked into contracts that don't benefit you the way they should. But if you don't have an agent, you also keep all your sales profits yourself.

A new author recently introduced herself on the Samhain Yahoo Author group -- her agent just sold her first book to Samhain. Here's the thing: if I ever have an agent, I want him/her to submit my books to publishers where I can't break in myself. An agent takes 15% of the money you make, right off the top. I love Samhain -- you know I do -- but I'm not sure the profits there warrant an agent. It's still considered a small press, even though it may be up and coming. On the other hand, I guess I'm glad that it has such a great reputation that agents are submitting to it.

What do you think?

Monday, February 02, 2009

A Great Blog Post

"Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man." ~Emily Dickinson

Just a quickie, 'cause it's Monday:

Read this blog post by Lauren Dane (she's a fellow Samhain author, so I feel especially proud) - she discusses what it means to be a "published author" as defined in a few different ways.

And have a great day!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Sunday!

"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that." ~Bill Shankly

Well, it's Super Bowl Sunday - do you have any plans?

We'll be heading to a friend's house for what has turned into an annual party - quite a nice tradition, I must admit. Most of us who will be there work together as well, and we all buy squares in the workplace pool, so whether or not the game or the teams excite us, we're always having a good time. Sometimes we even win some money!

What are your plans? Do you watch the game? Get together with friends? Spend any money on pools and hope for the best?