Please help me welcome Kathleen Jones with a helpful article about publishing romance…
Want to Establish Yourself as a Romance Novelist? Start Here
By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist. Please sign up for free updates at http://eepurl.com/ceSobT
Want to become a published romance novelist, but have no idea of how to start? Feel overwhelmed by the competition in this overcrowded genre? Fear not! There are a few tips you can follow that might help make your dreams come true.
First, write the story you want to write rather than writing “for the market.” While it’s fine to familiarize yourself with the conventions of the romance genre, it’s also smart to ignore them! The market is flooded with so many romance books that your novel needs to stand out in order to catch a publisher’s (and a reader’s) eye. Quirky stories and characters are memorable.
Once you’ve written that novel and rewritten it to the best of your ability, it’s time to enlist the help of a substantive and line editor. Try to hire an editor from a professional association, such as the New York Book Editors in the U.S. (https://nybookeditors.com), Editors Canada (http://www.editors.ca), and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders in the U.K. (https://www.sfep.org.uk/directory/). Look for an editor who specializes in romance novels, and interview (online) a couple of published romance novelists who have worked with her or him. It’s also a smart idea to hire a copy editor and proof reader. It’s not cheap to hire these pros, but they can help you polish your manuscript, and they might increase your chances of selling your book to a publisher.
Start to follow romance novel blogs to find out what’s going on in the genre. Some good ones are Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, (http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com)
Romance Junkies, (http://romancejunkies.com) and All About Romance (https://allaboutromance.com). There are a number of groups on Facebook, too. Make connections with other writers and with readers on Facebook and Twitter, and participate in online discussions to increase your visibility.
The one thing that sells books is reviews, so long before your novel is published, or even submitted to agents and publishers, start doing review swaps with other romance novelists. You can find free advanced review copies (“ARCs”) on the Some Like It Hot group on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com) under the heading “Reviewers Wanted”. You can also find free ARCs through instafreebie (https://instafreebie.com), which has a large selection of romance novels. Write your review, post it on Amazon and Goodreads, then email the author and ask her or him to review your novel once it becomes available. Try to review one romance novel per month.
Finally, once your novel is ready for submission, look for agents that specialize in romance (https://darlagdenton.com/2014/09/15/54-literary-agents-accepting-romance-erotica-submissions/). If you can’t get an agent, consider sending your manuscript to romance publishers that accept submissions without an agent (http://www.authorspublish.com/31-romance-publishers-that-accept-submissions-without-an-agent/).
What are your ideas for establishing a career as a romance novelist? Please share them with us.
Photo credit: To the Cuckoo via photopin (license)
Kathleen Jones’ first novel, Love Is the Punch Line, a midlife comic romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, will be published in April 2018 by Moonshine Cove Publishing. Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/
Author site: https://kathleenjones.org/