Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Welcome Harlequin's Lara Hyde
Good morning! I'm just finishing up my first cuppa, pushing hubby and children out the door for the day! (Yippee for mopeds!) They say its going to get warmer here today-a whopping 55! Not exactly beach weather, but for early spring in Iowa, not too bad. The bright side is that next week I head south to Orlando!! Now to figure out how not to scare the Florida natives with my extreme, white skin!
But today, we set our minds on the northland, eh? And the mecca of quality reading, Harlequin Enterprises! Joining us for a second day, is Spice/Mira editor, Lara Hyde!
Woohoo <><>clapping<><> Oops, Lord CM is still asleep! Sssh!
Hi Lara, hope your baby girl is doing better! Today I would like to focus a bit on the mechanics side of the industry. First, I'd like to ask, what advice would you give to an aspiring author who wants to get published with Harlequin/Silhouette?
Lara: Do your homework--check out the writing guidelines for the various series and imprints on the www.e-harlequin.com and follow them! Read other books published in that genre. Also, get your manuscript proofread and, ideally, "edited" by a trusted critique partner or even a paid freelancer before sending it in. There is nothing more distracting than a submission that comes in full of errors. Besides that, just send us an exceptionally written, original story that we can't say no to!
Amanda:I heard an editor once state that he's waiting for that book about "Scottish Ninja Warriors" to land on his desk. That unique book that is going to blow him away. Do you have any "wishes" of what you would love to see come across your desk?
Lara: Hmm...that's a dangerous question! LOL Actually, I've never really thought about it. Authors are always surprising me with their originality...someone will suggest an idea for their next proposal or I'll come across a Spice Brief in my in-box, and I'll be like "Wow! I really want to read that!" but it's not necessarily something I would ever have thought of. But the premise is really second to the characters. If the characters are rendered realistically and the emotions between them can heat up the page or get me to cry--that's what I wish for.
Amanda: That's what is so amazing about Spice to me. You keep a pretty open mind when it comes to unique story lines. It really gives the author the giant box of crayons to choose from;) That said-in the current economy, what can authors do to help promote their books?
Lara: Authors should take advantage of any self-promotion opportunities there may be, including offering to do readings/signings at local libraries and bookstores, maintaining web sites and doing book giveaways, etc., mass e-mailing fans about their new book, entering contests and contacting reviewers and local media.
Amanda: Most authors now spend equal amount of time promoting and writing. It makes sense to partner with the publisher in this endeavor, after all. That , to a certain extent is something I have seen more and more authors take hand in and I think that's a good thing! In your opinion, what is the greatest change in the writing end of the industry in the last ten years? What do you see as being the biggest change in the next ten?
Lara: Wow. Seeing as how I've only been in the industry for seven years, I'm hard-pressed to say, but I do believe that we've seen a relatively recent explosion of new venues for writers to be heard. With the economic downturn of late, some traditional publishers may be cutting back on the number of new books they acquire, but now there are also e-publishers, print-on-demand publishers and blogs. All kinds of ways for authors to get their stories out there and potentially develop fan bases before they are ever traditionally published. I see this phenomenon as something that is going to continue to grow.
Amanda: It boggles the mind to see the changes in even the last seven years! The education and market awareness of e-books, a resurgence in audiobooks,the creation of multiple handheld readers and iphones that download books, places that offer the classics for download. Personally I have always thought an untapped market of readers were the college students. With nearly every one of them having computers or easy access to them, the potential is endless!
Lara, thank you so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to be here. We appreciate you allowing us to pick your brain a bit and here more about one of Harlequin Spice/Spice Briefs lines. Viva la' Spice! Viva la' Harlequin!