When I wrote for Harlequin in the eighties, I received super advances, but like I mentioned, once the book was off the shelf, that was it. I could not buy any more. (Something to keep in mind you folks publishing your first books. Be sure and buy plenty of author copies). I also wrote teenage self help books for Rosen Publishing Group. I didn't get any advance for them, but the royalties were great. They were hardbound and targeted for libraries. Those books are still available and I am still receiving royalties. It is really fun to still be able to see my books out there after all this time. And over the years they have ended up making more money for me than the Harlequins. It was just over a period of years instead of a big bunch at once.
The disadvantage of hardbound books is they cost more so it is more difficult for your friends and family to buy them. However, they make excellent gifts. My friend, Annette Mahon's books are really beautiful. Her latest book, SECRET CORRESPONDENCE, has some great reviews.
Avalon Books target libraries so they want wholesome books. Faith Black, Editor, who spoke in San Francisco, said religion was okay as long as it was inherent to the characters and plot. They don't want religion as preachy. The characters can pray and go to church, but they don't want conversion or salvation as the main theme. They allow a glass of wine, but do not want much more alcohol. They do not allow cursing either. So Avalon is a viable possibility for an author who wants to maintain Christian values in the ABA market. They are recognized by RWA.
Their guidelines are listed on their website www.avalonbooks.com. They publish romances, westerns and mysteries. They accept unagented proposals. I'll list a few of the guidelines below.
Their guidelines say: Under its AVALON BOOKS imprint, Thomas Bouregy & Co., Inc., publishes hardcover secular romances, mysteries, and westerns for the library market Our books are wholesome adult fiction, suitable for family reading. There is no graphic or premarital sex or sexual tension in any of the novels; kisses and embraces are as far as our characters go. It is author's responsibility to heighten the romantic atmosphere by developing love scenes with tenderness, emotion, and perception. The heroines of our romances should be looking forward to marriage at the end of the book. There is never any profanity in any of our books.
We publish sixty books a year in bimonthly cycles of ten. A cycle consists of two career romances, two general romances, two historical romances, two mysteries, and two westerns.
You must include with your submission:
- Query letter addressed: The Editors (they say no name required, but I'd use Faith Black, Editor as she gave out cards in SF)
- Synopsis (2-3 pages)
- First three chapters
Ms. Black said they get back between two weeks to a month. That's a great turnaround time. She also said that if you are multiple submitting to be sure and mention that in the query letter.
Well enough from me. You can find out more info on their website. For now, lets sit back and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee, some sliced pears with blackberries sprinkled on top and maybe a yummy cranberry muffin.
PS Since this date is historical I'd like to recommend a super read on 9 11. Has anyone read ONE TUESDAY by Karen Kingsbury? You won't be able to put it down.