Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome to the world of romance!

I carefully read the agreement my new agent mailed me, showed it to my husband Bob for his opinion, then signed and sent it back to her. It was short and appeared to be fairly standard, stating that she was to receive 10% of any book earnings I received. She also wanted to be paid for postage, copying the manuscript, phone fees, and other incidentals, but I crossed these fees off and signed my initials to every change I made to the document. (I did this upon my husband's advice, since he regularly dealt with contracts at work. I have to admit I was a bit nervous that this might scotch the deal, but agreed with Bob that over the long run this might result in significant savings).

To my surprise, my new agent never even mentioned the changes I'd made to the contract. She just called me about a week later and said she was submitting the first proposal to Simon and Schuster's Silhouette romance division. She knew that they were launching a new contemporary romance genre to be called the "Desire" line, and thought my book might be what they were looking for.

Then the waiting once again began. Oh, how I hated counting the days and wondering if my book would be accepted, or if I needed to start reading the Employment pages in the newspaper. One way or the other, it was clear that we would have to bring in more money with so many children approaching high school and college age.

Thankfully, the wait was much shorter than I expected, and in less than a month I was informed that Silhouette Books had bought my first proprosal, and that SECOND HARVEST was to be one of the first books in the Desire series. These books, they told me, were to be more mature and sexually explicit than any other romance novels that Silhouette had published up to this point. I found this a bit surprising, not to mention a little daunting, but oh well...

My new editor promised to mail me a set of guidelines that I would be expected to follow while finishing my book. I was also told that they expected me to complete the book within the next six months, since they operated on a tight time-line, and that SECOND HARVEST would have to be added as soon as possible to the publishing schedule.

(Next: Guidelines for writing a Silhouette Desire!)


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