The romance novel you will never read:
I could be wrong, but on the book tour I think the one question we heard the most was, “How do you get your book published?” And it’s a good question, the most fundamental of them all. How the heck do you get a book published? It’s the insurmountable problem, the mountain too high to climb, the dragon at the gate spitting nails and fire and all kinds of nasty things. But we still have mountain climbers and dragonslayers and problem solvers, so there is a way to do it.
1. Just write the darn book.
2. Revise the darn book.
3. Submit the darn book.
4. Dance over your rejection letters.
5. Submit again. And again. And again.
Same advice you’ve read in probably a hundred different places, in a hundred different ways. But that’s because it works. And if you don’t have an agent? Don’t sweat it, people. Not every publishing house requires one. The following are good examples of that:
1. Harlequin – everyone knows Harlequin, right? They publish everything from paranormal to historical.
2. Dorchester – where I started out, fresh from the slush pile.
3. BET Books– Arabesque romances featuring heroes and heroines of non-Caucasian heritage.
4. Avon Romance – historical, contemporary, African-American romance
5. Tor Paranormal – the more unusual, the better.
And for the straight fantasy/sci-fi folks:
1. Tor Books – think Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, etc.
2. DAW books – Tad Williams, etc.
3. Baen Books – Piers Anthony, Catherine Asaro…
There are many other places to submit, but I only spent five minutes on the search for the above list. I recommend taking more time than that. I know I did when I first started out. Actually, I thought it was fun looking for publishers. Like a puzzle, a challenge—and it made me full of hope. So go forth, do your research, be professional, write your book! And don’t give up. Ever.