Grand Central Spotlight

The editors were fun about discussing how the editors all have long names. Leah had a bag full of books for people with questions.

Forever team is big. And how they are owned by Hachette. (No, they didn’t mention the Amazon/Hachette contract discussion.) They had 290 books on the NY Times best seller list.) 12 NY times best sellers were from Forever.

Leah then brought it back to the growth of romance. The program expanded the romance mass market and digital lines.

The single title. If there is love, contemporary, historicals, bring the hot highlanders. Young adult. New Adult. Paranormal. Erotic. They listed all the genres and showed gorgeous covers. Forever list. Print has word counts from 85000 to 95000 and agented only. Contests (like the FRW contest) or through a pitch are ways to get around the agent requirement.

The Forever titles all get advanced. Forever Yours, Digital only, get higher royalty rates but no advance. Novellas, novels. Sassy, sweet, and everything in between is on the list. For digital there is no Young Adult. Query letter, synopsis, full manuscripts.

They ran through why publishers help and what they can do beyond the indy market. The editors can answer questions like ‘what should I write next?’ And what’s the career growth we want?

They talked about new marketing ideas they are going through.

To pitch to the digital line the submission requirements are here, http://www.forever-romance.com/submission-guidelines.html

One question was is there room for negotiations in the Forever Yours contracts?

They are pretty boiler plate contracts and no negotiable. She recommends not any lawyers but book lawyers. Regular lawyers ask strange questions that don’t understand the contract.

In Print and Digital they are different with word count. A mass market romance can’t have only have certain pages because they can only charge $8.

Women’s fiction with a happily ever after… if the romance is central to the story.

In Trade Paper, women’s fiction, mother/daughter with a thread of romance, are considered at the moment.

New Adult is acquired. But real young adult is Little Brown and Company, not Grand Central.

A rock star, a billionaire, a highlander, or a cowboy are all loved. But you must have a voice that connects to the editor.

Alex Logan loves romantic suspense and loves contemporaries like small town or a Jill James story.

Lauren Plude loves history and scottish minuta. She also has an eye for single title contemporaries. She helped move people from HQN to single title.

Megan Porat is the New Adult queen and can also do erotic romance.

Leah loves bands of brothers types, sports, navy seals, cops, alpha men with the behind the scenes banter of the men.

They asked about how much social media the author must have. An established platform is awesome but not a requirement. It can be grown, but new authors should get the social media together. The social media must be real and be social far more. Stay positive and upbeat. At acquisitions the book matters far more, but the social media is an added bonus.

Someone then asked the million dollar question on the Amazon versus Hachette ongoing negotiations. Hachette works with the publicity and marketing is shifting gears to weeks one and two of a new release. And other accounts like Google, Barnes and Noble, and Zula have stepped up marketing for Hachette titles, especially romance. Apple has been amazing. And Hachette they are equipping their authors with how to deal with no preorder button. It’s a bump that’s not been resolved.

How many books per year do they want from the author? Strategy, packaging, market plans and they always ask the question how long does it take to write a book.  There is no hard and fast rule. Ideally they would like a book every 6 to 8 months, but it depends on the author.

In Romantic suspense, they are looking for Navy Seal, band of physical brothers, delta force, the camaraderie between the brothers. Action, hot, and it’s not just a race but there is a thread of humanity that holds the suspense.  Strong conflict between hero and heroine.

Are they looking for books with series potentials? They prefer it.

Would they sign an author for one book? They prefer to brand, and you can’t brand someone with one book. So in print, they tend to look for three.

How do you find editors judging contests? Well Florida Romance Writers is holding a contest and Leah’s judging. How funny that they ended talking about contests. I’m posting Sourcebooks, Kensington and this one as soon as I’m able to help my chapter mates out. The editors are coming on our cruise so I feel like it’s important to let those who weren’t at Nationals know what was said. And if others find this useful, even better!!!