5 Things To Remember Not To Do When Publishing A Romance Novel

5 Things To Remember Not To Do When Publishing A Romance Novel

In this post, we look at five things to remember not to do when publishing a romance novel.

Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that you have decided to take the plunge into romantic ink.

You walk in the footsteps of the great. I speak, of course, of Jane Austen. Do not, I pray, let that thought discourage you. Many have walked this path and not a few have found success.

While success is always possible, I feel that you may, as I once did, benefit from a few sage words of advice. You may choose to disregard said advice. That is, naturally, your decision. Allow me though to impress upon you that it has been tested over many novels, by many authors. Depart from it at your own peril.

And don’t say we didn’t warn you!

To begin with, let me elucidate the five most important things any author must not do when wishing to publish a novel. These apply equally to novels seeking traditional publishing representation, and to those whose author’s courage leads them into the realm of self-publishing.

5 Things Not To Do When Publishing A Romance Novel

  1. Be Unoriginal Or Lazy
    Books are like stones. They either skim lightly over the surface from pen to publication, and potential fame, or they sink like the proverbial rock. The best way to prevent this is to be original. Books such as Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, or anything by Georgette Heyer, the Queen of Regency romantic fiction, reached the heights they did because of their originality. If such sweeps of originality are beyond your pen, then at least write well!
  2. Assume The First Draft Is Perfect
    No, dear reader, your first draft is not perfect. Once the novel has been written, place it in a dark cupboard seldom gone into and leave it there for a good month. Preferably three. Do not, I beg you, touch it again. Rather, begin a new novel. Let the story fade a little in your mind. When you do take it out to begin the first edit, you will approach it with a fresh, uncluttered mind.
  3. Assume That A ‘Quick Once Over’ Constitutes An Edit
    Each author naturally has their own philosophy concerning, and method of editing. I have a minimum of 20 edits through which I put all my manuscripts. By the end, if any errors remain, they are minor. However, they are, nonetheless, still errors! I shudder to think of them. Which is why I then send the manuscript to a proof reader.
  4. Assume You Can ‘Do It All Yourself’.
    There may be mythical beings who can do everything required to ensure swift acceptance and publication by the largest of the traditional publishing houses, accompanied by large advances. It would be rash to assume that you are one of these creatures. Yes, the house will have an editor assigned to your novel. However, if your novel appears to have not benefitted from a previous professional edit, they may not read beyond the first page.Both traditional and self-publication requires a team of talented professionals through whose hands the manuscript should pass. Use them, I implore you.
    These include:
  • Alpha and beta readers
  • Editors and proof readers

If you are self-publishing the team will also include:

  • Book cover designers
  • Formatters
  1. Disregard The Publisher’s Requirements
    When searching for a publisher, do not assume they are eagerly awaiting your manuscript. They are not, nor will they tolerate infractions of their submission rules. Search these rules out and adhere to them as if your future writing career depends upon them, for it does.

For now, dear reader, I leave you to mull over the above thoughts. In my next letter, I will endeavour to bring you another aspect of this topic – 5 Things To Remember When Publishing A Romance Novel.

Yours in ink

P.S. Do you want to learn how to write romance? Sign up for our romance writing course: This Kiss

Suggested Posts On Romance Writing:

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  3. The Almost Moment Is The Secret To Successful Romance Writing
  4. 5 Ways To Write A Modern Romance With A Classic Twist
  5. Why I Write Romance
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TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a romance, sign up for our online course, This Kiss.

Elaine Dodge

by Elaine Dodge. Elaine is the author of The Harcourts of Canada series. Elaine trained as a graphic designer, then worked in design, advertising, and broadcast television. She now creates content, mostly in written form, for clients across the globe, but would much rather be drafting her books and short stories.

More Posts From Elaine

  1. What Is The Meet-Cute And How Important Is It?
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Top Tip: Find out more about our workbooks and online courses in our shop.

Posted on: 29th June 2022