Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Publisher You Want May Not Be The One For You

I am sure I have brought this up before, but I think it is worth re-stating again. Your story does not fit at every publishing house out there. Genre and word count are not the only factors when we look at where your story best fits. It is all about the voice of your story.

Every writer needs to take a long period of time to assess where their niche is in this world of publishing. In all likelyhood, your story only fits at about three publishers and that is it. I know that is a difficult thing to here since it limits your market, but it is a reality. Your writing voice simply is not suited for all of the publishers out there.

The same goes for determining if your story is a single title or a series romance, and I am not talking about a 3 book series here but the concept of category romance. I don't know how many times I have seen 100,000 word category romances come across my desk.

Before you even think about sending your story out to a publisher, make sure to really study that line. Is your voice (not the plot or the character type) similar to the lines that you are interested in. Look at everything. paragraph structure, dialogue, levels, character development and so forth.

Now, if you aren't happy with the results of your search and you really want to write for another house, you need to start some serious research. Figure out all of the twists and turns of that house and then start studying your writing. You may have a huge amount of re-writes in front of you.

Best of luck everyone!



  1. You're saying VOICE is the KEY. That makes sense; I've always known it plays a part but all those sweet romance authors seem to have different voices. A Love Inspired Marta Perry voice seems really different from a Love Inspired Margaret Daley or Lenora Worth voice.

    As dumb as it sounds, I've focused more on word count for specific lines than voice. This is definitely something to look study.

    BTW, I spent much of the weekend reading your archives. Good stuff! I learned a lot. Thanks.

  2. Jess,
    I am glad you have found some things useful here. Yes, it is all about the voice and I fully agree with the comment about Marta Perry and Margaret Daley and Lenora Worth. The funny thing is that I am currently reading a Martha Perry as we speak.


  3. So, when agents market the book and they are rejected by the publishers that are "supposed to be the one," what is your alternative plan?