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Guidelines for Prospective Authors
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
We publish an extensive list of original erotica and erotic romance in themed short story anthologies, petite novels of 40K minimum word length, novels and single author collections of 80K minimum word length.
We are looking for fiction that really is a cut above tired, formulaic, hurriedly written and mass produced erotica in a saturated genre. We are looking for inspired and imaginative explorations of explicit sexual fantasies, considered writing, well-developed characters, and interesting stories. Your stories should hit the ground running and sex and sexual tension must be the driving force of your narrative.
Stories need to be written in a modern idiom and the reader must find it easy to suspend her disbelief. The ideal narrative is one where the reader can vicariously enjoy all manner of thrilling erotic experiences, but they must be experiences which are credible.
WHAT TO SEND US
In the first instance, for single author titles (novel, novella or single author collections), you should send the following:
i) A short paragraph explaining what the submission is about, within your email (for short stories please state the title of the collection you are submitting to).
ii) For novels, novellas and single author collections of short stories, an outline of the work. We want you to convince us that erotic action and tension is the driving force of the narrative. We prefer novels and novellas to actually begin with an erotic scene as a statement of intent. Include the first chapter/story and two other chapters/stories of the finished text of single author titles which show your writing at its best.
Send your submission to the editorial email address: Adam.Nevill@harpercollins.co.uk
We will attempt to acknowledge your proposal within a week of receiving it. But please be patient for news of an editorial decision. We are already receiving a large volume of proposals each week, so we’re constantly working with a huge backlog. The average waiting time for a full response can be as long as three months.
Once your proposal has been acknowledged, we’d very much appreciate if you don’t write or call to ask how it is faring.
Please do not send hard copies.
WHAT WE DO NOT WANT
- Single random short stories or reader’s letters style fantasies (unless requested or specific to an advertised collection)
- General fiction with little or no erotic content
- Sex scenes featuring under 18s or flashbacks to childhood ‘experiments’; in fact, we’d rather all characters were over 18
- Sex acts that cause serious physical damage, genuine tragedy or anguish
- Sex or sexual intimacy with animals
- Bondage that involves constriction around the neck, or endangers life
- Stories that focus heavily on i) the breakdown of a relationship; ii) self-loathing, or the hatred of one’s body; iii) self-pity; iv) bitter revenge; v) abusive, miserable, traumatic relationships.
Here’s a list of the most common reasons why we reject manuscripts:
- No narrative development, just screeds of unbelievable adult action
- There is insufficient erotic content and no erotic tension
- It’s too silly
- Mishandling and misunderstanding of consent
- Tragic/unpleasant events such as illness, death, violence, etc. that detract from the eroticism. The emphasis should always be on pleasure
- The central characters are unsympathetic/unattractive
- The writing lacks fluency, compression and authority and suffers from:
- repetitive sentence structure
- limited vocabulary
- overlong, overcomplicated sentences
- blatant exposition (info dumping in ‘author’s voice’)
- overwriting: excessive adjectives, adverbs etc.
- lack of coherence/focus
- obsessive attention to the details of genital anatomy at the expense of thought/dialogue/action