Well, yes, but my dh works too. Because of the way the system works it takes a few years to reach your max earning potential (you write book, you get advance, you wait a year until book appears on shelves, when advance is out-earned you get royalties, as book is released in other countries you get more royalites) But in the meantime you've written 3 more books (they like 3 or 4 a year). So it's all a big cycle, and most HMB authors do earn a very nice living from it.
I read squillions of romances over the summer ("it's research honey, honest!") but did not think to note titles/publishers/genres. Which would now be very darned helpful in thinking through "mine's like... and I should send it ...". Sigh. Anyway don't suppose it matters for now!
Hmmh, maybe dh should try his luck at romance novels. Would be quite a change from the fantasy and sci-fi books he's written so far. Or maybe I should pick up my pen again..in the vast amounts of spare time I have in my life
It varies HUGELY between the various lines. The bestselling one is Presents, which sells all over the world and the royalties for each book reflect that. Some of the other imprints-- medicals for example-- are pretty much confined to a UK market and so have much lower royalty rates.
No, HMB don't mind direct approaches-- 3 chapters and synopsis with brief covering letter. The only thing you do need to do is target one of their 'lines' very specifically -- which means reading plenty first. There's soooooo much out there on the internet to help aspiring HMB authors; sites like eharlequin.com, the pink heart society and squillions of author blogs. It's all very supportive and welcoming.
hello Orlando! Congratulations! And I think yours is better than mine - when I say I'm a published author I'd have to qualify "but only in academic books and journals with international readership of... 126."
I heard that for any new fiction, you need an agent to approach publisher - would that be fair to see for HM&B?
Hilary Mantel is a UK author. When she was v young she went to South Africa and wrote a ginormous novel about the French Revolution. everyone told her not to be daft - such things being hardly in vogue in the 70s - but after her... 4th? 5th? successful novel, someone asked if she had anything hidden under the bed; she said yes, and 15? 19? years later, there it was!
Okay the romance was meant to be very straightforward, but has become kind of chick-lit-y: I guess it has some amusing moments, but as I've been writing a second narrative has unfolded, where the heroine has to figure out what she wants from career/life balance. Um. Not saying it very well. Head is in NF mode today.
Just dropping in to say hello-- I thought the Creative Writing topic had been scrapped too, so am pathetically excited to see it back. I'm a published writer (which I always have to qualify with...) writing for Harlequin Mills&Boon. Aside from the stigma of writing for M&B which is somewhat trying at times, I can thoroughly recommend anyone who's interested in writing romance to think about them. Comparatively they pay very well, and the work is enormously enjoyable. They're also hugely welcoming to new writers, which is a nice change from lots of publishers, who actively seem quite hostile to unsolicited ms.
Kerry's mum..time might pass but opportunities remain! Hasten to add that it was I who persuaded dh to dust off the book and pick up the pen again, to scour the internet for self publishing if need be, to contact other writers..and it worked. He's go the agent, he's onto his 5th book...am quite good at kicking, me