The venerable bastion of second-chance Amish SEAL daddies and billionaire rodeo secret-baby doctors will give birth to two new single-title imprints in 2017 and a yet unnamed “explicit and graphic” romance series in early 2018.
A commercial women’s fiction imprint on par with HQN and MIRA, Graydon House is anchored by Dianne Moggy (VP Editorial) and Susan Swinwood (Executive Editor). This select hardcover and trade imprint will release its first title in September 2017 with How to Be Happy by Eva Woods, which was acquired in a six-figure deal and is reputed to be like if Me Before You had a baby with Beaches. Women’s fiction superstar Kristin Higgins will be releasing Now That You Mention It with Graydon House, so this is definitely the place for your highly emotional family and friendship sagas, but darker veins do run through Graydon House.
“We’re seeing a real shift towards bigger, more layered commercial fiction where the characters are dealing with a variety of relationships—with siblings, spouses, friends, lovers—and that’s where Graydon House’s focus will be,” said Swinwood in a press release. “The unconventional love story, modern relationship fiction, with topical issues for book club discussions, women coping with the ups and downs of life, careers, dating, marriage, divorce, even death.”
Among the releases on the docket for 2017 are an intriguing time-slip mystery by Nicola Cornick as well as Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda, which sounds from its description to be riffing on the sinister marriage themes explored by Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster Gone Girl.
Frankly, I’m still not clear on the distinctions between all of Harlequin’s single-title lines, but I know that Graydon House is the place to send your “big” women’s fiction…if you have representation. Like Harlequin’s other single-title imprints, Graydon House only accepts agented submissions.
Sitting in a workshop last week, listening to a panel of Kensington editors, one of them commented (I believe it was Audrey LeFehr, but it might have been Alicia Condon) that she was surprised by how many aspiring authors come to the conferences without doing even the slightest research about publishers. Those bright eyed hopefuls (us) are trying to sell our books (of course!), but they (okay, we) sometimes have NO IDEA who these editors are, or even who Kensington is. There are oodles of publisher spotlights at the National conference designed to inform authors of just this, but we’re talking about the most basic primer. So that’s the goal of today’s post. A VERY basic (and by no means complete) look at the publishing houses that handle romance. This can serve as starting point. A simple frame of reference, so when you’re chatting with Alicia Condon and she says she is a Kensington editor, you don’t give her a blank stare.
And please, if you have corrections or additions (or questions), feel free to add them in the comments.
If you are a member of RWA, you can also refer to their member’s only publisher information. And Brenda Hiatt’s Show Me the Money site is also a good reference point for a ballpark estimate of what romance authors are making at various houses.
DISCLAIMER: None of this is intended as an endorsement or indictment of any publisher. Please do research before submitting to any publisher.