MacMillan Children’s publishing group is open to submissions for their Swoon Reads line of romance novels for teens and Young Adults. They will put the manuscripts up for consideration by site visitors. Those that rate the highest will be read their own editors, and the best will be offered a publishing contract that includes a $15,000 advance. There is no fee.
Is this a good way to be discovered?
Maybe. Some authors are not comfortable with having their work put on a site that is available to the public. They worry that their work will be stolen. That’s not likely but yes, it is possible. I think Swoon has done as much as possible to prevent it. Here’s what they say about this:
“We are doing our best to protect your work from theft and plagiarism. We will not allow cutting, pasting, or copying from any Swoon Reads submission. We also require all members of the Swoon Reads community to agree to a set of Terms and Conditions that legally prohibit anyone from stealing and reposting any content from Swoon Reads. And you must be a member of Swoon Reads to access any of the submissions.”
Second, some feel it’s the authors who have the most friends and relatives willing to vote for them who will come out on top. That’s also possible, although I think Swoon Reads has enough followers to minimize that effect. And the ultimate decision is made by the editors. Here’s how the rating process works:
“After reading a manuscript, we ask you to rate the submission on a scale of 1-5 hearts: Not for me, It’s okay, I like it, I love it, and Swoon-worthy. Then, use the Swoon Index to tell us if it was steamy, a tearjerker, laugh-out-loud funny, or action-packed. All your ratings, reviews, and comments will be collected on your profile page.”
That means there’s no anonymous voting, and everybody’s votes are recorded so it’s hard to corrupt the process.
If you have already written a novel with a romance theme that is appropriate for a teen or YA audience, I don’t see any downside to entering it here.
What are they looking for?
“Swoon-worthy, irresistible, unforgettable love stories for our new teen romance line. To us, a romance is defined as a love story with an emotionally satisfying ending. Teen novels ideally feature protagonists between the ages of 14 and 19. We also accept New Adult novels which feature protagonists ages 19-23.
Novels can be set anytime, anywhere – and can be realistic, supernatural, dystopic, historical, comedy, inspirational, suspense or a mash-up of any sort. Stories can be happily ever after…or just happily for now. Girl/boy, girl/girl, boy/boy – just wow us with the intense romance of your story.
Since we are focusing on teen novels with crossover potential, we are open to some sex and heat if it is right and necessary for the story. However, we will not be acquiring any erotica.
We can only accept original, completed novels that are not, and have never been under contract with another publisher — and we ask that all submissions be exclusive to us as long as they are on the site.”
There’s a lot more information about how and what to submit here: http://www.swoonreads.com/submission-tips