Rebecca Germany faced a room filled with eager writers at the Barbour Spotlight, which took place during the recent ACFW conference. She shared lots of helpful information. I took notes so I could pass it on to those of you interested in learning more about Barbour.
(Note: I listened closely, but If I’ve presented any misinformation, please let me know.)
About Barbour and Becky
Barbour Publishing is privately owned and has been in business 30 years.
Becky is the only fiction editor at this time. She’s been with Barbour since 1993.
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They work primarily with agented authors and those previously published by Barbour.
Becky will not be making any acquisitions until after the first of the year.
They don’t have any openings for new titles until the fall of 2013.
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Becky said, “We sell romance best.” Their fiction focus is historical romance.
They’re not seeking women’s fiction but will consider it if it has a romantic element.
They are open to a wide variety of settings and like stories set in small towns.
The most popular time period is the late 1800s during the Westward expansion.
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Barbour will be continuing their 4-in-1 novella collections.
They will be looking for Christmas novella collections, but perhaps fewer than this year.
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Heartsongs Presents Update
Heartsongs Presents may continue, despite earlier reports that Barbour was going to discontinue the line. The Heartsongs Presents website is online once again.
Barbour plans to continue publishing their Romancing America titles, which are repackaged Heartsong Presents titles.
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New Destination Romances Line
Many of the questions for Becky dealt with this new line, which my debut novel’s part of.
This line includes contemporary and historical romances. A single book will be released each month in 2012, historicals in the odd months and contemporaries in the even ones.
The word count for a historical or contemporary in this line is 80,000 words.
The Bride books are historical. They don’t necessary have to include a wedding, but there must be a proposal and an understanding that a wedding is to take place.
The Wedding books are contemporary. They must mention a wedding taking place but don’t necessarily have to include an actual wedding scene.
To learn about the first six books to be released in 2012, you can read my post about them.
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Sales and Marketing
Barbour wants their authors to have a satisfying career with their house.
They don’t want “one book wonders” and would prefer to see an author have a book come out every six months in order to keep the author’s name out there.
A first print run is generally 10,000 copies, but they’d prefer to see a book sell 20,000. That number is what’s deemed a success and helps justify keeping an author.
They work with design agencies to create eye-catching, professional-looking covers and give their authors quite a bit of say in cover design.
They do all they can to help promote their books, including getting their books picked up by major booksellers. They send galleys to prominent book reviewers.
They expect an author to help with promotion. Becky mentioned having a website and a Facebook profile as well as seeking influencers who will help generate interest in a book.
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I found the information Becky shared very helpful and hope you have, too.
Was anything I learned in the spotlight surprising to you?
What questions would you ask about Barbour if you could talk with Becky?