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October 2011

Reporter: Donna Schlachter

Donna SchlachterDonna Schlachter is a storyteller at heart, and writes cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, and historical suspense. She lives in Denver with husband Patrick, and enjoys setting her books in places where she wants to vacation.

Editor: Dawn Kinzer

Dawn KinzerDawn Kinzer is a freelance editor and a member of The Christian PEN and Christian Editor networks. Her own writing has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, and The One Year Life Verse Devotional, and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home. She co-hosts and writes for the blog, Seriously Write. Learn more at her editing site.


Spotlight On: Guideposts/Summerside Press

Guideposts logo
Summerside Press

 

 

Summerside Press joined the Guideposts family a year ago. Guideposts has been publishing since 1945, and the partnership is seen as a joining of two companies with complementary strengths. Guideposts has its series and structured fiction, while Summerside focuses on historical romance and contemporary fiction with a strong series hook.

Susan DownsThe spotlight session was presented by: Susan Downs (right), Rachel Meisel, and John Woodhams.

Summerside

  • Love Finds You: This line of historical and contemporary titles is set in real towns across America. The town might be a place the reader would like to visit, has visited and has pleasant memories of, or has specific traits, such as an Amish town. Love Finds You publishes 12 titles per year with a focus on historical. They have published books from about 30 states and are still open to books for many states. Susan encouraged interested writers to email her at susan@summersidepress.com for the list of open states.
  • Signature Series: Author-driven. Not acquiring for this line right now.
  • When I Fall in Love: Based on nostalgic love songs and settings in the time period those songs were originally released. They are currently repositioning into using seasonal songs, mostly Christmas titles. Dates fall between 1971 to the 1800s.
  • American Tapestries: Historical romances centered on events in American history, such as the Titanic, the Alamo, the Oregon Trail, etc. They publish two per season.

Submission specifics

  • Summerside is not currently acquiring any stand-alone titles.
  • To break into Summerside, new authors have their best opportunity in the Love Finds You series, which has debuted new authors.
  • Novel length: 75,000 to 80,000, 240 pages.
  • Submission Process: they prefer to work with agents, and usually ask for a short synopsis, a two to three-page outline and three chapters.

Guideposts submission specifics

  • Guideposts publishes direct consumer continuity lines (book club) on an aggressive schedule with a new book every five weeks. These stories rely on a sense of place. Guideposts provides the characters and setting, and they look for writers to write to spec.
  • If interested, ask your agent to request an audition. There are currently four series in various stages of development and Tales from Grace Chapel Inn has transitioned into trade paperback.
  • Novel length: 65,000-70,000; 288-320 pages larger print.

Miscellaneous

What kind of web presence do you expect for new authors?

A nice website that is clean and not cluttered. It should include writing accomplishments and clips. The author should also have a blog because readers like to ask questions, such as how the author came up with various stories and experiences.

How much promotion are authors expected to do?

Lynsey Stout, marketing for Summerside, suggested blog tours and social media.

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