Writing for Mills and Boon
Mills & Boon is the UK market leader in the romantic fiction paperback market, there are 3.2 million regular readers in the UK and the company sells 13 million books per annum in the UK. Romantic fiction accounts for over 20% of all books sold and over 3 million women in the UK regularly read a Harlequin Mills & Boon book. So, its a really fantastic market to write for - if you have talent, an original voice and new ideas! Detailed below are tips from Mills & Boon (www.millsandboon.co.uk) including guidelines for writing and how to submit your work for consideration.
Tips for writing
- Mills & Boon expect you to enjoy reading romance fiction. If you are already a fan, your appreciation for this type of book will be apparent in your writing. If you have not done so already, you are encouraged to read many, many books from each series. There are several different series published - Modern Romance, Tender Romance, Medical Romance, Historical Romance, Blaze and the Silhouette series. The series that emerges as your favorite is probably where you should submit your manuscript.
The editors for each of the series have written guidelines that reflect their requirements. As a result, each set of guidelines "reads" differently as some are more specific than others, depending on the degree of focus the editors would like submissions to have - view them at www.millsandboon.co.uk - under information for Aspiring Authors.
- What can you can do to help sell your manuscript? Remember reading is an emotional experience. Mills & Boon hope you will write from the heart and they will feel touched by what you have to say. When you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), do so because you have something to share with other readers.
How to submit your work for consideration
- Generally Mills & Boon do not accept unsolicited complete manuscripts, but ask instead that you submit a query letter. The query letter should include a word count and pertinent facts about yourself as a writer including your familiarity with the romance genre and also an outline of your story. Please indicate what series you think your project is appropriate for, if it is completed, what you think makes it special and previous publishing experience (if any). Also include the first three chapters and a synopsis of your story that gives a clear idea of both your plot and character development and is no more than two single-spaced pages. A self-addressed envelope and return international postage coupons will ensure a reply.
- Authors often forget to state which series or which editor the manuscript is meant for. In some cases an editor is in charge of more than one series. Therefore, it is very important to state this information clearly in the cover letter or on the front of the manuscript. Authors also send manuscripts to the wrong office. Please make sure to check for the proper address information.
- A full list of editorial offices can be found on the Mills & Boon website
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