Hello Fellow Writers!
Yesterday I wrote a very long love scene for "The Movie Star's Personal Assistant" - so much fun! I also reformatted my manuscript based on something I read on eHarlequin.com, which basically said 1 inch margins all around, double spaced, and Times New Roman. Since I had it in Courier New, when I changed the font my page count went from 206 pages down to 158 pages. Yikes. The new chapter I just wrote added another 15 pages and 4000 words, so it looks like I'm going to have to write another chapter. I plan to work on that today, although my mother-in-law just arrived from Florida this afternoon. At least our bathroom renovation is complete, so that's one less thing to take up my time.
I found a good article on the Nebraska Romance Writers website, although their information applies to all genres. You can read the whole article by clicking above, this is just an excerpt of "How to Submit Your Manuscript" by Kathy Marks. Please note, however, that while the article on their site says that editors are looking at word count as 250 x # of pages, Harlequin is using computer word count as per Kimberly Lang, an author who has recently sold five category romances to Harlequin.
Know the MarketNo piece of advice is more valuable. You may have written the greatest category romantic suspense ever penned, but if you send it to a house that only publishes historical single-titles, you are going to get a rejection letter in the mail. (If you're not sure what some of these terms mean, keep reading; I'll try my best to explain.)
Research the publishers you're thinking about submitting to. Look up their listing in The Literary Market Place, which is updated annually and available in all libraries, and in other market guides (see our chapter on Markets). If the publisher has a web site—and most large ones do—check it for information. Some publishers announce what types of manuscripts they're currently looking for. Many publishers have tip sheets, which they'll send to you if you write and include an SASE. Never call a publisher and ask what they're acquiring these days or if your manuscript is appropriate. Editors are busy people, and they won't appreciate the interruption.
Of course, the very best way to get to know if a publisher is buying the type of book you've written is to read what they're currently publishing. That cannot be emphaSIZEd enough. Before submitting to a publishing house—Read, read, read.
That's key, I think. Read in the line you want to be published in. That's easy for me to do since I always read romance novels anyway!
Today I will work on my extra chapter for "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant", and I will try to get some wrapping up done for the plot of "Snowed in With a Millionaire." It's possible that I may start NaNoWriMo November 1st with most of the book plotted out - but not the ending. We'll see.
Wish me luck and good luck to you too!