Monday, August 13, 2012

1st SPOTLIGHT - Pitch Your Dreams to Zumaya Publications

Marketing for Romance Writers.Org is excited to announce our annual “Write-place, Write-time” Submissions event scheduled for September 8th and 9th, 2012.

We have an amazing panel of Publishers and Editors ready to give YOU, aspiring authors or seasoned authors, an opportunity to “pitch your dreams” to a listening audience.

BUT…that ever tricky timing can be a slippery little rascal. So, for you - MFRW is providing a platform of:

“Write-place, Write-time”

Let's say you are on an elevator when...

...the publisher/editor of your dreams steps through the door. Your heart is pumping, your hands are clammy and you know you have a limited amount of time to tell this person about the next New York Times Best Seller for which you have just assigned those coveted words "the end".

MFRW brings you that elevator moment. 


Bad news first: we don’t pay advances. Your book begins earning you money the moment it goes on sale. How much will depend on your willingness to market it and promote yourself. We help as much as we can, given limited staff and a tight budget. On the other hand, we contract only for the rights we’re going to use, leaving you free to sell or use the others as you see fit.

We do not accept queries or submissions other than electronically. Queries and manuscripts sent by surface mail will be neither read nor returned. We will not go to your website or one of those collective sites where authors are encouraged to post their queries and samples. We have rules for a reason.

In addition to the above, all aspects of our production process are handled electronically, using email, Google Drive and Google Calendar, among other services. If you aren’t at least reasonably knowledgeable about your word processor, browser and other computer programs, or willing to become so, please don’t waste your time and ours. All genres are welcome; a list of our imprints and what we want for each is provided at the end of this document.

This isn’t to say we wouldn’t consider a beautifully written manuscript that doesn’t meet those requirements. We just know from experience those are rare. We publish one short story collection a year; the stories need to have a unifying theme of place: geographical, emotional, psychological. Factual accuracy is important. While we understand that fiction is fictional, that doesn’t apply to verifiable and/or historical facts. Using TV, films or even other novels as resources for action scenes or cultural elements, for example, isn’t a good idea. We look for multi-dimensional, believable characters, good pacing and solid plotting.

For this event we handle non-erotic romance, including LGBT, and women’s fiction. Here is a list of our imprints:


The best way to get a handle on what Zumaya is looking for is to sample what we’ve already published. Trying to explain what is a very subjective election process is all but impossible, but a skilled writer should be able to determine what sparks our interest by analyzing what already has. The following may help a little, if only to make it clear what we aren’t interested in.


Although Zumaya Embraces publishes romance, what we look for might more properly be referred to as women’s fiction. We look for quality stories about women, which may take the form of the traditional romance but aren’t limited to the standard requirements. We don’t want category ro-mance, and we aren’t interested in stories riddled with the standard category clich├ęs or shortcuts.


Our Otherworlds schedule is over-full through 2012, so we aren’t actively seeking unsolicited submissions. However, when we do, we look for solid SF without fantasy elements (think Star Wars), fantasy that’s not yet another rehash of Tolkien or Robert Jordan, and horror that relies on psychological terror rather than slice-and-dice gore.


As we already have several cozy mystery series (or potential series),we’re in the market for police procedurals and noir PI more than anything else. We look for reality in our procedurals, which means don’t get your in-formation on how law enforcement works by watching TV. The same applies to mysteries with paranormal elements; we expect authors to research the field of paranormal investigation and apply that information.


Our goal at Boundless is to publish LGBT novels with broad market appeal. We don’t do erotica per se, but graphic anything—sex, violence, language.—is acceptable provided it’s essential to the plot. The character’s sexual orientation should not be the focus of the work, with the exception of coming-of-age stories or those in which that orientation is a pivotal plot point necessary to establishing the conflict or the conflict resolution. As one of the current Boundless authors put it, these are books with LGBT people rather than about them. All genres are welcome. We are particularly interested in SF/F, police procedurals, romance, historical and dark fantasy. We are also open to YA and middle-grade material, which may be released under our Thresholds imprint. The specifications noted for the other imprints also apply here


We want good stories with characters young readers can relate to. We aren’t interested in teaching them about anything, except what evolves from the stories. If you set out to write with a particular lesson in mind, please seek publication elsewhere. We also don’t follow trends, so knock-offs of Twilight or the Harry Potter books need not apply, either. Science fiction should be based on the same facts as adult SF. Fantasy involving characters who are the savior of their world had better have something seriously original to say. This also applies to lost royalty. Mysteries need to challenge the reader to figure out the puzzle. Historical novels should provide accurate information without being boring. Much of modern contemporary fiction for young readers focuses on sex, abuse and drugs. These are easy topics to write about. They are also foreign territory for a large number of young people. We challenge writers to find away to create an interesting story that uses a world where those subjects may intrude, but where they are not the focus, and do so in an original and entertaining manner.


Arcane is our newest imprint, and encompasses both fiction and nonfiction. For nonfiction, we want ghosts, but only material that reflects application of paranormal investigation techniques. In other words, we don’t want yet another compilation of folklore and anecdotal tales that lack any vestige of having been investigated. Fiction submitted for Arcane should be based on actual beliefs and practices. If the characters in a romance are Wiccan the story should have Wiccan ceremonies and beliefs as outlined in the literature, not what passes for it on TV and in the movies. If the protagonist in a paranormal suspense novel is a Voudon priest, then he should behave as such.


Yesterdays wants historical fiction, including Westerns. We will consider memoirs but
Only those that reflect the writer’s experience with a specific era in modern history, c.f. Vallie Fletcher Taylor’s Eyes in the Alley. We are not in the market for recovery memoirs, whether from addiction or abuse, or memoirs of self-discover. Our goal is to preserve world history as experienced by those who lived it. We define history as anything that occurred 30or more years ago. The general Zumaya Publications imprint is an eclectic mix of literary fiction and niche nonfiction. There are no specific categories; decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Short story collections that aren’t of a single genre are also published under the Zumaya logo.

CLICK HERE!! For more information and detail to submit your manuscript to this publisher click here for further instruction on this event.


  1. Wow. Clear, concise and to the point! This is very helpful for those writers who seek publication but also provides a wonderful focus for those who are planning a new story and covers all genres. Thank you.

  2. This is excellent. What terrific info. Thank you, Zumaya!

  3. What an interesting collection of calls for subs- mystery, women's lit... great!