Her Latest Book: Promise Me
56% of all books sold are romance, it’s a HUGE market
Sub-genres: where is your story going to fit?
Understand reader and editor expectations
Understand there is NO FORMULA
Research your options
Read! Especially what you want to write!
Don’t write a shape shifter & market as a Regency
Series Romance: most popular, multiple books romance
Historical Romance: set in a time period
Mainstream: Contemporary or historical story not just about relationship, story is about something else and relationship is second
Erotic Romance: about a couple, nothing is left to the imagination, not just about sex
Erotica: just about sex, no rape or chocking though!
Inspirational (opposite side of Erotica) no sex at all. Amish romance Ex: Plain Jayne
Urban Fantasy: “Saving the world,” the focus is on the world, not the relationship between Hero and heroine, magical and fantasy, demons. (Usually tough women cover)
Paranormal Romance: Relationship is first and they are trying to solve a problem. (buff, headless man cover)
Romantic Suspense: crime or mystery, guys are typically very powerful and smart, less aggressive fantasy
Young Adult: vampires, zombies, and many passing fads Ex: Twilight
Contemporary Romance: current day, usually about a woman that has typically just gotten out a bad romance Ex: My sisters
Steampunk, Fantasy & Sci-Fi: Historical and fantasy together, often Victorian and romance but also zeppelins together, magic, manipulating the world, new rules
Love story: One of the couple often dies
Walmart sells most books, especially Inspirational
Ask librarians for references! Ask hard and specific questions!
After 9/11: people are more afraid now so they read paranormal more
WHEN PROPOSING A BOOK
In synopsis: only name Hero, heroine and villain
Why? Make sure you know what motivates your characters
CONFLICT: you must do mean things to your characters
Where does it take place?
The question is usually: Will they succeed?
What does your main character want and why can’t she/he have it
Agents like: have blurb at beginning, word count and genre at top. Don’t leave them hanging. Make the query interesting!!! Make them care about the characters: we love stories and characters. You rarely sell first book.
CRITICAL ELEMENTS OF WRITING
Crisis: the world as they know it must change, may be life or death
Physical/Emotional Ending: happily ever after, must come under control and have a satisfactory ending. ALWAYS ABOUT THE INTENSITY OF EMOTION
Beginning-will include characters, setting and the problem situation
BEWARE OF INFORMATION DUMPING!!! Weave information in!
Middle: action/plot and crisis
End: emotional ending; may not end in marriage
Heroic but with flaws
Goals-What do they want? External and internal?
Why do they want it?
He’s hot and I want him,
The guy we would like to be with
Can be very dark/mysterious
Can be average, but hero loves her
Sympathetic characters: keep banter, funny, comic relief
Misfortune, conflict and action
Make a photo file of your character:
find a group of photos to put together for your character
Virgins, widows, skanks and bitches: the women of romance
Dukes, Rakes, Vampires and Bastards- The men of romance
Keep the Sizzle on high!
Keep sexual tension
Banter is fun
Write twenty things that could happen in beginning
Are you are plotter or a pantser (writing from seat of pants)?
Use scene and sequel format, not always active or always passive
Keep asking yourself “Then what happens?”
“Tell yourself the story in your first draft. Forget about editing.”
To avoid the sagging middle
You can introduce character
Things get worse
The Big Moment!
Everything in the story leads up to it!
You want to instill EMOTION
How does it end?
You really do need to know.
Theme? Can you tell it in one sentence?
Don’t always need agent, here are some publishers that don’t require agents
Avon, Dorchester, Harlequin, Kensington, Medallion press, Tor
*It’s worse to have a bad agent than a no agent
Rejection isn’t fatal!
Do not take it personally
Read letter and highlight all good things!
Understand market dynamics
When you hear same message several times – consider revising
Target your queries
Understand the difference between a bad rejection and a good one
Make sure you keep all receipts, letters, and records, as proof of professional writing, use to write off on taxes
E-books are on the rise. Editors and agents in New York sure don’t like it.
They don’t require shipping. They are becoming more popular
Formats: audio books, e-books, paper
It’s easy to send e-books to agents: everything goes faster
Don’t give up! The only way I can guarantee you will never be published is if you stop writing, stop submitting, and give up!
Book scan: a way of counting book sales, a measurement of what is selling and how fast it is selling
RT book reviews: a good magazine, subscribe to find out the gossip on romance novels and learn about the market. (but you should wait to subscribe once you are ready to market)
Who is publishing your genre?
You can try a Facebook ad: and you pay per click!
Domain name: need a dot-com