As a romance writer you may find it difficult to locate publishers both large and small that accept romance novels. The search can be even more difficult when you are unagented because it is always harder to get a publisher without an agent. But, having an agent alone is not going to get your romance novel published. Getting the book published is the goal right? Well, if you opt for a smaller publisher you may see more success, even if you have to sell the book yourself. Some benefits of using a smaller romance publisher are customer service is usually better and the author is more involved in the design and layout.
Whether you are trying to publish western, historical, adult, or Christian romance one of the following publishers may be right for you. A lot of big publishers will say that a book is not commercial enough or unconventional, and that it will never sell. So they turn you down one right after the other. Most times, a smaller publisher will look closely at your books quirks and story line and accept it simply for the reason that it isn’t commercial. Sometimes it pays to think small when it comes to publishing romance novels. Here are 4 publishers in the United States that you can send unagented queries to.
Arrow Publications – http://www.arrowpub.com
9112 Paytley Bridge Lane
Potomac, MD 20854
Arrow Publications accepts romance fiction in a graphic novel format and they publish about 50 titles each year. Arrow Publishing is a 21 year old publishing company based out of Washington, D.C. and is also the publisher of www.myromancestory.com. 25% of the yearly titles released are by first time authors, and over 90% is unagented work.
All submissions, if published are paid a flat fee on publication; a writer for hire contract. Scripts should be between 60 and 70 panels, typewritten, and double spaced. Before you just send your text you should send a submission query to the editor. This submission query should be 2-3 typed, single spaced pages set up as an outline. The specifics are available on the website. You can email your final submissions by either attaching a Microsoft Word Document saved as an RTF (Rich Text File) file or include the text in the body of your email.
You can expect to wait anywhere from 3-6 months or more for final publication of your article if it is accepted at all. This company does do a good job of letting you know if you are being considered for a title by sending a return receipt when the receive your text, as well as notifying you by email and standard mail.
Avalon Books – http://www.avalonbooks.com
160 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Avalon Books accepts secular romance that is void of graphic and premarital sex, as well as violence and obscene language. Avalon Books takes pride in producing wholesome adult fiction romance novels. They require that the action in the story takes place during a short period of time; no longer than a year. A finished manuscript should be around 150-200 pages (45,000+ words).
Avalon Books publishes about 60 titles a year, 80% of which are unagented, and 65-75% first time writers. You should send any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a standard request for writer guidelines by mail.
Barbour Publishing, Inc. – http://www.heartsongpresents.com
P.O. Box 719
Uhrichsville, OH 44683
Barbour Publishing specializes in the mass marketing of inspirational romance novels. Like Avalon Books they request that writers refrain from using graphic language and imagery, premarital sex, and cheating. Since 1992 Barbour Publishing has prided itself of producing high quality romance novels that are inspirational and adhere to Christian values. For more information on submission guidelines just go to the website or send a formal request by mail. Queries can also be sent by email to email@example.com
Dorchester Publishing, Co., Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Dorchester Publishing produces more than 200 titles per year in a variety of subjects. Romance novels are accepted in historical, paranormal, western, time travel, contemporary, young adult, and futuristic formats. There are strict word count requirements and because there are over 2,000 submissions each year, those who don’t follow the rules are immediately disqualified. A finished manuscript should be between 70,000 and 100,000 words and should include a return postcard.
Payment is in the form of advances and royalties on publications. Fax and email submission are also not accepted; all manuscripts must be sent by snail mail. Dorchester Publishing is one of the smaller publishers that produced hundreds of titles each year. It may be easier to get your romance novel published with this company than some others.