Plenary session: Publishers and Editors round table

What publishers are looking for.

This is where all the ‘literary’ publishers had to admit they are chasing after the Romance dollars.  Except they didn’t really want to admit they were after anything so unliterary as money, and most could still barely bring themselves to use the word ‘romance’ even on the final day of the ‘Romance Writers of Australia’ conference.  It was ‘Women’s Fiction’ all the way.

Random House – Beverly Cousins

  • was previously a crime and thriller specialist
  • looking to expand into women’s fiction

Penguin – Belinda Byrne

  • expanding commercial fiction range
  • interested in Women’s fiction / romance
  • moving into eBooks (longer titles)

Curtis Brown Australia (Agents) – Clare Forster

  • spoke a bit about the state of the industry and using an agent

Avon – Erica Tsang

  • new digital line called Impulse
  • currently taking submissions

Harlequin Mills and Boon (UK and US)  – Lucy Gilmour

  • do research
  • read what you want to write
  • knowning category romance is good but not required
  • editors can help

Allen & Unwin – Anette Barlow

  • Expanding into women’s fiction
  • looking at eBooks

Hatchette – Bernadette Foley

  • publishes fiction, non-fiction and children’s books
  • expanding into women’s fiction
  • also moving into eBooks


  • quite a few publishers are starting to move into this area in Australia
  • requires a lot of reediting and reformatting
  • requires new author contracts for new rights
  • very slow process, but starting to happen
  • Dymocks is setting up an eBook program
  • current distributors available in Australia are Apple, Kobo and Kindle

Literary Board Grants program

  • funding for Literary Board grants has recently changed
  • genre fiction ha not been deemed ‘literature’ in the past
  • this may change with the new rules, so keep an eye on submission guidelines if you are interested

Harlequin Single Titles:

  • HQN – romance single title *
  • Mira – commercial literary finction *
  • Harelquin Teen – young adult fiction *
  • Luna – fantasy / sci fi / high concept paranormal (100,000 words – 120,000)
  • Nocturne Cravings – erotic paranormal ebook fiction (15,000 – 25,000 words)
  • Harlequin Historical Undone – sensual historical romance ebooks (10,000 – 15,000 words)
  • Carina press – digital imprint for all genres of romance

* Agented submissions only

All in all, a very interesting discussion, and one with plenty of new opportunities for Australian writers.

One thought on “Plenary session: Publishers and Editors round table

Your thoughts and stuff

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: