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State of the Union Report:
Traditional Regencies and Sweet Historicals

As it says in the article, the material was assembled in 2006. Since then, there has been a major revolution in the publishing world! There are many more publishers, publishing electronically, the number of e-reading devices has increased phenomenally, and some of the publishers listed here are no more. I don’t have the enormous amount of time it would take to update the information but have left the article up because some of it may still be useful. If anyone wishes to send me more up-to-date information, I’ll post it here.

People who love the Regency period have reason to celebrate. While major publishers are no longer putting out traditional Regencies—a lot of smaller publishers are.

In a time when romances in general are getting hotter—with more sex and much more explicitly described—there is a growing demand by readers for sweeter historicals in other time periods as well as the Regency. I have compiled a list of publishers that have responded to that demand.

The below information is adapted from the handout for my workshop presented at the Beau Monde conference in Atlanta, July 26, 2006. The workshop, entitled "The Traditional Regency - Is It Really Dead?" was specifically aimed at authors of traditional Regency romances.

From questions and comments I heard during the RWA conference which followed, I concluded that authors and readers of not only Regencies but also sweet historicals set in other time periods would be interested in the publishers I've listed.

The following list is arranged alphabetically by publisher, and includes one additional publisher added since the conference. Whether you're a writer or reader, Regency or non-Regency, completely sweet or accepting some mild sensuality, you can easily find what you're seeking on this list.


DEFINITIONS:

Traditional Regencies: the term has different meanings to different people, but covers a shorter Historical romance set in the extended Regency period, usually sweet, containing attention to historical accuracy, often witty dialogue and/or "comedy of manners."

Sweet Historicals: a designation for a book with no graphic sex scenes (if sex occurs, it's behind a closed door), and no pre- or extra-marital sex.


FOR WRITERS:

It would take too much space to include all the information I've found on the various publishers, but I can't emphasize enough the importance of checking out the guidelines and submission requirements listed on the individual websites before you submit to any of these publishers. Read books published by the house you are targeting and study them for tone, level of sensuality, and so on. We are professionals, and sending exactly what the publisher wants is the mark of a professional!

In some cases, the editors reported that their advance and royalty payments are confidential. I suggest you check Brenda Hiatt's "Show Me the Money" page on her website at http://www.brendahiatt.com/id2.html. Brenda gives a workshop at National every year and has updated financial information on many publishers. Not all of the publishers here are on her list--she depends on the information she gets from other writers.

You won't get rich writing Regencies or writing any other historical period for a smaller house. We write them because we love them. If you publish with most of the companies on the list, you'll probably work even harder to promote and market your work than has been necessary before. Some of these publishers ask for your marketing plan along with your proposal. They don't have big budgets—or any budget—for marketing. They are depending on you for their success.

Having worked with small presses in the past, I can tell you that you'll probably have a closer working relationship with your editor and your publishing house than you can have with one of the giant corporations.

The publishing industry is especially known for being marginally profitable, and changes happen regularly. In addition, new business startups in any industry have a fairly high rate of failure. I mention this so that everyone is warned to be cautious in dealing with a publisher. None of these will ask you for upfront money to publish your book. You should never be required to pay to have a book published. However, there is always a risk, so do investigate as thoroughly as possible before giving rights for your book to someone else to publish.


FOR READERS:

Books published by the listed publishers may be harder to find. They won't necessarily be at your local bookstore, Walmart, or grocery store. Some are in hardcover only and therefore more expensive than paperbacks. I suggest you either form cooperatives with other readers to buy and pass the books around, or ask your library to purchase a copy. Most libraries are only too happy to respond to readers' requests, budgets permitting.

Ebooks are unfamiliar to many readers. One advantage is that they are often cheaper than even paperbacks books. But you will have to read them online, print a copy to read, or get one of the readers made for electronic books. Again, get together with friends and explore the possibilities for the different formats.

Some of the small presses listed here publish print books, usually the larger format paperbacks called "trade" editions. These will be more expensive than the smaller "mass market" paperbacks. This can be a factor in how many books you are able to purchase. As with the hardcover and electronic books mentioned above, you may wish to join together in book clubs to buy, read, and discuss the books.

If you're reading this on my website you're likely familiar with making Internet purchases. However, you may have friends who don't match your level of comfort with this method of purchase. Share your knowledge with them, perhaps even offer to order books for them. Sooner or later, nearly the whole world will be online!


AVALON BOOKS
http://www.avalonbooks.com/
Erin Cartwright-Niumata (Editorial Director)
Print books (hardcover)

Writers:
RWA recognized? Yes

Submit: Outline and the first three chapters for historical romances of every genre. Partials and manuscript submissions must be hard copy, but you can email them a query letter at avalon@avalonbooks.com

Length: Between 50,000 to 60,000 words.

Advances/royalties: Information is confidential.

Readers:
Where to find: Website — www.avalonbooks.com — has all the information. Avalon sells through amazon.com and bn.com or you can call and order directly from Avalon. Cost: All books are hardcover, priced at $21.95.

Both:
Time period and setting: Author's preference. Period, place and cultural events are vital to creating historical feel. The historical romances will maintain the high level of reading expected by Avalon's readers.

Level of sensuality: The books shall be wholesome fiction, without graphic sex, violence or strong language. No sensuality whatsoever. Avalon only publishes sweet romances.


AWESTRUCK
http://www.awe-struck.net/
Kathryn Struck, Publisher
Ebooks, some print

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: Currently closed for submissions, except for Regencies. E-mail Kathryn Struck at acquisitions@awestruckebooks.net or kdstruck@mchsi.com. Use Word, one large file of entire book, attachment. You may stuff or zip. Formatting? Keep it simple. They format quickly at this end using a macro-type set of formulas. Please PUT EMAIL ADDRESS ON MANUSCRIPT. A synopsis in the cover letter is very helpful!

Length:

Advances/royalties: Do not pay advances — royalty is 21% of retail.

Readers:
Where to find: Some of their print Regencies are in Borders and Barnes and Noble. The print Regencies are on the Baker and Taylor distribution lists and can be ordered through any bookstore, but some are being stocked (usually in the author's home town). You can also buy their print Regencies on www.booksurge.com and on Amazon.

Ebooks are on the awe-struck website. Earthling Press (the imprint for print books) are on the website as well. Not all books are in print.

Cost: Cover/download prices are print price: typically 13.95-4.95 (Trade quality).
E-book price in pdf or html: 4.99. They run sales also.

Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality: Some sensuality is permitted, as the newer Regency writers are using more. The old fashioned type of Regency is fine as well. They love Mary Balogh type Regencies, but she is becoming very sensual--nothing wrong with that--and they usually get Regencies that are far more restrained. That's more mainstream and is more typical of their offerings.


Updated information on
BELGRAVE HOUSE (as of 4/9/14)
www.RegencyReads.com -- ebooks for the "haut ton"
www.BelgraveHouse.com -- romantic. mysterious. magical. e-reads
Neff Rotterneff@belgravehouse.com
Ebooks (all reprints so far)

Writers:
Neff Rotter writes: Belgrave House has prospered and is actively seeking new authors. Many of our Regency authors are making wonderful incomes from their ebooks, especially if they were well-known when they were writing. If you know of any authors who’d like to be published in ebook, who have their rights back to their work, send them to me

Guidelines on the website, but it’s best to contact Neff Rotter by email at address above or ebooks@belgravehouse.com

Advances/Royalties: No advances, Royalty share to the authors has gone from 50% to 60%.

Readers:
Where to find: Belgrave House ebooks are available at www.BelgraveHouse.com, www.RegencyReads.com, or www.Fictionwise.com and at www.ebooks.com. Belgrave doesn't offer paper books.

Cost: Almost all of their Regencies are priced at $5. Sometimes Fictionwise offers specials, book club reduced price, etc. However, authors receive the most in royalties when their ebooks are sold through Belgrave House.

Level of sensuality: Most of their Regencies are sweet, but they don't screen out sexy ones. Neff Rotter (as Elizabeth Neff Walker) has written some and made them into ebooks, so has no objection to sexier ones from other authors as well.


CERRIDWEN PRESS
http://www.cerridwenpress.com/
Raelene Gorlinsky raelene@ellorascave.com
Ebooks, some print

Writers:
RWA recognized? Yes

Submit: Electronic submissions only; no paper. Authors must be competent in MSWord, comfortable with email and online discussion loops.

Send an email to Submissions@ellorascave.com:

~ Subject line: "TradReg submission — yourbooktitle"
~ Message: Briefly list title, author, previous publication history, short blurb of story
~ Attached file in doc or rtf format, containing detailed synopsis, first three chapters, last chapter.
Note that Cerridwen also accepts Historical-set Regencies, and Ellora's Cave publishes erotic Regencies.

Length: New Regency line (Cerridwen Cotillion): 50,000-75,000 words (actual word count); includes late Georgian period.

Advances/royalties: Royalties: 37.5% for digital releases; 7.5 % for print books. Includes digital, print, audio, translation, and subsidiary rights. Royalty payments contractually guaranteed quarterly, but in actuality we have always paid monthly! (And plan to continue to do so.)

Readers:
Where to find: Cerridwen is primarily an e-publisher, and all their books are released in digital format. They cannot at this point guarantee print distribution (book chains such as Borders are currently not willing to stock Traditional Regencies), although they hope to provide distribution through their own webstore about six to twelve months after digital release.

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality: For Cerridwen Cotillion: no sex (if you refer to it, close the bedroom door, please); no heavy sexual tension.


FIVE STAR
http://www.gale.com/fivestar/
Tiffany Schofield tiffany.schofield@thomson.com
Print books

Writers:
RWA recognized? Not currently

Submit: All queries and submissions should be directed to the Acquisitions Editor:

John Helfers
Tekno Books
P.O. Box 8296
Green Bay, WI 54308
tekno@new.rr.com

Please send a synopsis, your bio and publishing history, and at least the first three chapters, if not the entire manuscript. Submissions may be sent via regular mail, but they have a strong preference for email submissions. List the subgenre on your cover letter.

Length: Five Star will consider manuscripts from 65,000 to 95,000 words in length.

Advances/royalties:

Readers:
Where to find:

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality:


ROBERT HALE, LTD.
http://www.halebooks.com/
John Hale, Editorial Director
Print books (hardcover)

Writers:
RWA recognized? No (British publisher)

Submit: You can address an email to webmistress@halebooks.com. The website does not describe their books, but you can read about several of their books on www.regencyauthors.co.uk, the website of several British authors of Regencies.

For Regencies, Robert Hale does not offer any guidelines but suggest that potential authors could use books of the line produced by Signet Regency as a guide.

Length:

Advances/royalties: They pay modest advances, approximately $750, publishing only hardcover books published almost entirely for public libraries. Royalties of around 10% of the published price as an initial royalty with a sliding scale.

Readers:
Where to find: All their titles are obtainable from Amazon UK, or any bookstore in the UK would order a copy but few if any of them would stock the titles.

Cost: The published price currently is around $34.

Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality: The level of sensuality in the Signet titles is acceptable to them although rather more would be acceptable provided it does not conflict with the basic idea of a traditional Regency romance.


HARLEQUIN/MILLS & BOON
http://www.millsandboon.co.uk/
Linda Fildew, Senior Editor
Editorial Office: London
Print books

Writers:
RWA recognized? Yes

Submit: Synopsis and the first three chapters. These should be addressed to the Editorial Department and sent via the post; they do not accept email submissions. Regencies are their most popular period in the UK, although Westerns usually outperform other periods in the NA market. Note also that Harlequin's Historical Romances are popular the world over and if you are published by Harlequin your book might be translated into many different languages.

Length: 80,000-95,000

Advances/royalties: They offer advance against royalties

Readers:
Where to find: Harlequin Historicals are available in most bookstores in the US, and through online bookstores. They also publish Regencies through their Reader Service, which are also available as downloads from website www.eharlequin.com.

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting: They are actively seeking new authors for all periods of history, from ancient civilizations up to and including World War II.

Level of sensuality: There is no limit to the level of sensuality if it seems appropriate to both the characters and the story. Emotional responses are as important as any physical responses. If the story is sexually explicit, the scenes should not be inserted gratuitously but evolve naturally out of the developing relationship.


HIGHLAND PRESS
http://highlandpress.org
Leanne Burroughs (the.highland.press@gmail.com or lburroughs100348@aol.com)
Print books (trade paperbacks), some ebooks

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: Each manuscript query packet must include the following: Cover letter with total word count, brief synopsis, and information about yourself (publishing credits, writing memberships, etc.); first three chapters of your manuscript (in standard manuscript format); your marketing plan should your manuscript be accepted; SASE if you wish your materials returned to you. Mail submissions to:

Highland Press
PO Box 2292
High Springs, FL 32655

Length:

Advances/royalties: Highland Press does not offer advances, but does give royalties

Readers:
Where to find: Books are available through the Highland Press website and online bookstores.

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality:


** NEW PUBLISHER ADDED **
ImaJinn Books
http://www.imajinnbooks.com
Linda Kichline, Senior Editor
Print and Ebooks

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: For new Regency Romance line: Query first. Query letters should include a synopsis no longer than six double-spaced pages. They prefer e-mail queries, but if you don't have access to e-mail you may query by mail. Please make sure you indicate in your query that you wish to submit to the Regency line. Query letters or inquiries should be sent to:

Editorial Department
ImaJinn Books
PO Box 545
Canon City, CO 81215-0545

E-mail: editors@imajinnbooks.com

Length: 50K-90K
Advances/royalties: Small Advance; Royalties on print 6%-8%; Ebooks 50-50 split

Readers:
Where to find: website; Amazon.com; Book stores (distributed through Ingram)

Cost: ~ $11 for print book, $6 for ebook

Both:
Time period and setting: For Regency Romances, during the actual Regency period from 1811-1820, although some with Regency themes such as Napoleonic War may be set between 1800-1811.

Level of sensuality: For Regency Romances, from the traditional Regency's "close the bedroom door" to higher levels of sensuality will be currently considered.

They also have a paranormal romance line, an erotica line, and in 2007 will launch The Keeper Shelf, which will be a reprint line for books that are out of print and that authors have gotten their rights back.


PREMIUM PRESS AMERICA
http://www.premiumpressamerica.com/
Ms. Lanier Brandau, ppawriters@premiumpressamerica.com
Print books

Writers:
RWA recognized? Yes

Submit:

Length:

Advances/royalties: PPA does offer advances and royalties but their contracts are confidential and not discussed until an author is offered a publishing agreement.

Readers:
Where to find: Their books are sold through CVS pharmacy stores, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, borders.com, through premiumpressamerica.com, and are distributed by Ingram Books.

Cost:

Both:

Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality: Their regency titles are traditional but do include sexual encounters, and are most likely spicier than the "traditional" regency read.


SWEETHEART ROMANCES ("Clean Books")
http://www.sweetheartromances.com
Melanie Emry melanieemry@hotmail.com
Ebooks

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit:

Length:

Advances/royalties: Royalties are a straight 25% of the list price, with no advances

Readers:
Where to find:

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality: No explicit sex, and characters must not engage in extra-marital or pre-marital sexual activity, whether explicit or not.


THE DARK CASTLE LORDS (New addition)
http://www.thedarkcastlelords.com/
Pam Seres, co-publisher
Ebooks

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: Send a detailed synopsis with the first three and final chapter of your manuscript to book.submissions@thedarkcastlelords.com.

Length:

Advances/royalties: Royalty rate is 35% of Gross (that's the cover price) for single author titles.

Readers:
Where to find:

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting: Fiction or non-fiction books set in the Medieval, Renaissance, Georgian, Regency or Victorian era or stories taking place in a castle setting (including a contemporary plot)

Level of sensuality: They believe readers still want history based less sensual novels especially from the Regency period.


THE WILD ROSE PRESS
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
Nicole D'Arienzo, senior editor of the English Tea Rose line-ndarienzo@thewildrosepress.com
Katherine Malayvin, associate editor- kay@thewildrosepress.com
Ebooks and some print books

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: Snail mail is discouraged - email is their preference for queries and submissions.

Length: all lengths from under 5,000 words up to 100,000 and they are willing to look at longer titles as well. All titles are released in digital format, and those over 55,000 will be printed in trade size paperback. (Word count is determined by industry standards - 250 words per page)

Advances/royalties: generally they pay two different percentages, one for digital and one for print both explicitly detailed in their contract. They do not pay advances on any of their titles, but there is most definitely no cost to the author, such as setup fees and the like if a book should go to print.

Readers:
Where to find: currently their print books can be found through their site, but they are in negotiations to have their print books listed with Amazon.com, Alibris.com, Abebooks.com,and BooKSurge.com. All digital titles are available through their site and Fictionwise.com. And those over 5,000 are available through CyberRead,com as well.

Cost: Under 5,000 = Rosette, download for $1.50; between 5,000 - 20,000 = Miniature Rose, download for $3.00; between 20,000 - 55,000 = Rosebud, download for $3.50; over 55,000 = download $5.00 - print range price from $10.99 - $16.99

Both:
Time period and setting: From the windswept moors of Scotland, to the emerald Isle, to the elegant ballrooms of Regency England, the men and women of this time are larger than life and willing to risk it all for the love of a lifetime. More details about their various lines and time periods published are on their website.

Level of sensuality: Although they do accept stories containing explicit sex, it must occur between consenting adults. If your story cannot stand on its own without the love/sex scenes, then there is no story. Most importantly--Love must be an essential element in all of their titles. No depraved or illegal acts; no bestiality; no degradation of women (rape); no sadism or masochism; no bondage (light is okay within the appropriate lines); no pedophilia (no sex involving underage characters); no homosexuality (our romances celebrate heterosexual monogamous relationships).


UNCIAL PRESS
http://www.uncialpress.com
Judith B. Glad, editor
Star Conrad submissions@uncialpress.com
Ebooks

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: They haven't any strict guidelines. They will consider stories set in Georgian, Regency and Victorian times, and will look at both traditional and non-traditional ones. Consult their Submissions page (http://www.uncialpress.com/submissions/html).

Length: Besides traditional length books (as short as 35,000 words), they will look at shorter stories (5,000 to 30,000 words) for their yet-to-be named line of shorter reads for busy people.

Advances/royalties:

Readers:
Where to find: Because they are so new, they haven't established where their books will be for sale other than at their website (http://www.uncialpress.com). They hope to enter into agreements with major Internet ebook distributors. Their first books will be out in October 2006.

Cost:

Both:
Time period and setting: As publishers of Georgian/Regency/Victorian stories they have a deep love of stories set in those periods.

Level of sensuality: They will offer both sweet Regencies (as defined above, comedies of manners and/or witty dialogue) and those with more spice. If there are consummated love scenes, they will occur naturally in the course of the romance and will not be written in the 'sex-for-the-sake-of-sex' manner.


VINTAGE ROMANCE
http://www.vrpublishing.com/
Dawn Carrington editor@vrpublishing.com
Print books

Writers:
RWA recognized? No

Submit: Query first via e-mail to submissions@vrpublishing.com with brief letter of introduction. Include a one paragraph description of your book and you. Please note that no e-mail attachments will be accepted in the initial contact. Along with your initial query, please include any ideas you have for promotion of your novel and how you intend to market it to readers.

Length: At least 35,000 words

Advances/royalties:

Readers:

Where to find:

Cost:


Both:
Time period and setting:

Level of sensuality: They accept tasteful love scenes in any of their novels (except Inspirational, children's or young adult), but want the romance in their intimate relationships. Additionally, no controversial issues, violence against women, sex crimes, or gruesome murders. Certainly, you can include a murder in your romantic suspense, but they don't need all the gory details.