Digital First Romance Publishers

sexy lips with lollipop
Erotic fiction hits a sweet spot in the women's fiction market. Lisa Stirling / Photodisc / Getty Images

Digital-first Romance imprints of major publishers offer advantages to both the publisher and the author who aspires to publish in the genre.

Because digital-only books are less costly and less time consuming to produce and distribute to the marketplace, there is lower financial risk. This allows the publisher to take more chances on unproven authors, sub-genres and formats (i.e. length of story). This lowers the bar to author entry.

While each digital-first imprint has different parameters, here are some of the specific advantages — for the publisher and the author, followed by a sampling of the Big Five and other major publisher digital-first Romance lines.

A major digital-first Romance imprint:

  • Encourages author discovery – it becomes a sort of farm team to launch Romance writers, helping the publishers find new talent while helping unproven authors find a publisher.
  • Exploits the digital format to allow quicker publishing timelines – and quicker response from readers.
  • Has a lower financial risk than print publishing, which allows publishers to experiment with different and unproven genres – like mash-ups and new topics.
  • Is generally open to unagented as well as agented works, which is a huge advantage to new writers.
  • Sometimes offers a print-on-demand option for readers for works of a certain length (for Forever Yours, it's 50,000 words).
  • Utilizes the already in-place editorial resources of its traditional publisher parent. For example, Swerve titles are acquired by St. Martin's romance editors.
  • Employs the digital production resources of its traditional publisher parent, as well as the well-established sales and distribution resources of the house to optimize exposure for the title and author.
  • Offer royalties and has proven back-end accountability.
  • Is sometimes fed into subscription book services, which allows readers to sample the text and possibly discover the author.

Many of the digital-only imprints post their parameters on the individual publisher websites. Check the individual websites to get specifics.

Avon Impulse

Avon Impulse is a digital-first imprint of Avon (which is owned by HarperCollins). The imprint actively seeks out currently popular genres, such as New Adult romance, romantic suspense, super sexy contemporaries, trilogies and longer series, and serialized erotic romance.

Carina Press

Carina Press is Harlequin’s digital-first adult fiction single-title imprint, publishing first in digital, with releases in audio and print as well.

Flirt

Flirt is the Penguin Random House Romance line for full-length New Adult digital-only novels.

Forever Yours

Forever Yours is the digital-first imprint of Grand Central Publishing (whose Romance line is Forever). Forever Yours publishes novella (12,000 – 35,000 words) and novel (35,000 – 100,000 words) length works. The imprint considers submissions in: contemporary, New Adult, category romance stories, romantic suspense, western, historical, inspirational, paranormal, time-travel, and erotica.

Harper Impulse

Part of HarperCollins, Harper Impulse digital-only imprint strives to publish "fun and fast… boundary-pushing" fiction in Adult, New Adult, contemporary, historical, paranormal and erotic fiction and mainstream novels. They are open to genre-mashing and non-traditional lengths.

Loveswept

Loveswept is a Penguin Random House digital-only line that encompasses the traditional sub-genres of romance including: contemporary romance, erotica, historical romance, and women’s fiction.

Lyrical Press

The digital first imprint of Romance fiction publisher Kensington, Lyrical  Press offers readers a rich catalog of titles ranging from tender contemporary romances and edgy erotic paranormal romances to suspenseful thrillers and shocking science fiction.

Lyrical Shine is a Lyrical Press sub-imprint that publishes contemporary romances.

Swerve

Publishing its first titles in January of 2016, Swerve is the digital-only Romance imprint at St. Martin's Press, offering its authors an advance against royalties or the option of waiving an advance and getting a higher royalty rate. The digital-only titles will be acquired by the print acquisition staff. 

 

For those who are interested in printed books, here's list of traditional Romance publishers.

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