I am thrilled to offer RU readers a chance to get your pitch in front of an acquiring editor. Today Heather Howland, Managing Editor for Entangled Publishing, is here to give you all the details for the pitch event scheduled for Thursday, May 31st.
Thank you so much for having me at Romance University this week! Entangled Publishing is a fresh and innovative new publisher of YA and adult romance. From our NY-style print lines (Entangled Select and Entangled Teen) to our digital-only novella and category romance imprints, there’s something for every reader on our list.
And as of this summer, that list will be four imprints larger.
Indulgence, our first category romance imprint, has been so wildly successful (we hit the NYT and USA bestseller lists within two months of launching!) that we’re branching out even further. This summer, we’re unveiling four new category romance lines: Brazen (sexy contemporary), Bliss (sweet contemporary), Dead Sexy (romantic suspense), and Covet (paranormal).
I’d like to introduce you to one of those lines. Brazen, which we like to call the naughty little sister of our Indulgence imprint, is my pet project. As the name suggests, Brazen is our steamiest line yet, so releasing your inner vixen is a must.
As this is a contemporary category line, I’m currently looking for novels in the 45k-60k range that are centered around proven category tropes and alpha heroes. Think one night stands, revenge plots, falling for the best friend’s older brother, marriages of convenience, mistaken identity, stranded strangers who become intimate, and bait & switch stories. If you’ve got a great voice and a fresh premise, I’d love to read it. Secondary characters who demand their own stories are a plus because I have a weakness for linked books, but the primary story should always be about the hero and heroine.
Entangled doesn’t publish erotica, but a high heat level is a must for this line.
If you think you have a manuscript that fits these requirements, or might be a good fit for one of Entangled’s many imprints (see the guidelines for all the lines here), I’ll be taking pitches until 12pm EST on Friday. Bring on your romance and young adult pitches!
Each pitch should include:
- Title and word count
- 3 to 5 sentence description of the story
- The first 100 words of your manuscript
- For category romance, list the trope(s) and heat level
When pitching, be sure to include all the pertinent details. Show the main characters, conflict, the obstacles the couple must overcome, and the stakes. We need to see the gist of what the main characters want, what stands in their way, and what would happen if these goals aren’t met. For category, make sure that you note what line you’re aiming it for, mention the hero’s profession, and clarify the trope!
If you want specific examples, a great place to find pitches is to read the blurbs of published books. Most address all of these elements – after all, the blurb is a pitch for readers. Let’s look at two that we’ve shortened into 3-5 sentence pitches to give you an idea of what we’d like to see:
Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend’s little sister, but her return home changes that…and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco’s not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he’s not about to let her see the mess he’s become. When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings, because how can he protect her when he can’t stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa’s not looking for protection–not anymore. Now that she’s back in his life, she’s determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time…
- Laura Kaye, HER FORBIDDEN HERO (Indulgence)
While trying to save her brother four years ago, Greta was thrown into the witch’s fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon. To survive, seventeen-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter, but her skills caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die, but if she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back.
- Chloe Jacob, GRETA AND THE GOBLIN KING (Entangled Teen)
Here are some common questions regarding Brazen submissions, and our category lines in general:
Q: Does it have to have a trope and an alpha hero?
Yes. As these are category romances, readers will be looking for a strong, identifiable trope immediately, and will want to read about a hero in a high-powered or heroic profession. Does this mean your novel will be cliché? Not at all! A wickedly crisp voice, swoon-worthy alpha hero (think CEOs, soldiers, business tycoons, firemen, etc.) and creative plotting makes your book stand out – and readers love it.
Q: Does it have to be finished?
No, but ideally it would be completed within a month – please note if your manuscript is not finished in your pitch. It would be best if you only pitched projects that you are at least halfway done with. If this pitch contest sparks an idea for a Brazen (or anything else, for that matter!) you’re always welcome query me later on!
Q: What about M/M or F/F novels?
While we currently do not accept M/M or F/F novels for our category lines, I’m more than happy to read pitches for books that may fit our Entangled Select, Entangled Teen, and Flirt/Ever After imprints. It’s important to note that Entangled believes in love stories. If the sexuality of your couple is treated as an “issue” in the book, it’s not for us. But if you’ve written a paranormal romance about two vampire slayers attempting to take down the biggest vampire threat in the history of mankind while falling in love—and they just so happen to be two men—we’d love to see it. Check out THE FALLEN QUEEN and HUSHED, two books with same-sex couples that we’ve published.
In addition to requesting manuscripts, I’ll give feedback on every pitch received during the event, so even if you’re unsure about pitching, give it a shot! Need more incentive? There’s an excellent chance that several other Entangled editors will be dropping by to request manuscripts as well!
See you all on Thursday…
Editorial Director, Brazen
Managing Editor, Entangled Select and Teen
Get your pitches ready for Thursday! We will see you then!
Tomorrow J.K. Coi discusses the lure of steampunk.
- Special Event – Pitch to Heather Howland, Managing Editor, Entangled Publishing
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for May 28 – June 1, 2012
- Update -Special Event – Pitch to Heather Howland, Managing Editor, Entangled Publishing
- Update -Special Pitch Event w/ Heather Howland – Results Are In!
- Congratulations to RU’s Robin Covington on Her Sale!!