Monday, May 17, 2010

Publisher Showcase ~ Devine Destinies

Hello, Brigaders.

I have the great pleasure this morning of introducing Tina Haveman from Devine Destinies. Welcome, Tina!

Would you like to share a little history about Devine Destinies?

Devine Destinies is an imprint of eXtasy Books. I opened it about a year and a half ago, aiming for readers who want books without graphic sex. There are a lot of writers out there who would love to write under their real name and not hide behind a pseudonym to mask the sexy books they write. Devine gives them the opportunity to do that as we don’t publish erotica.

Who are your key personnel?

Tina Haveman (owner/founder), her fabulous EIC, Jay Austin, her financial manager, Heather, her PR team, Angie and Dorine. Martine and Angie mainly do the artwork. We also have a great stable of editors.

How would you describe Devine Destinies to potential authors?

DD is a friendly house and wide open as yet.

What genres are your primary focus?

We are open to pretty much anything, although DD was started by me with the aim to focus on New Age material. However, we do publish near every genre.

What are the most common reasons a novel (especially a Science Fiction Romance novel) is rejected?

Bad writing, POV issues (head hopping), too many grammatical errors and spelling mistakes to address, a boring story. Underdeveloped worlds. Unbelievable characters and aliens. A story needs to hook me immediately.

What are the biggest mistakes new authors make?

Oozing with self-confidence and playing diva. Bragging about their schooling and/or journalism activities. Claiming they’ll be the next Rowlings and will be our next best seller and then blaming the publisher/editor if their book tanks. Whining at your publisher/editor about lack of sales, not getting rich overnight. An author needs to write for the love of writing. We all have dreams of making it big, but authors need to be realistic. Another mistake is to write a story or two, have it published, find it doesn’t sell, then to give up. I can testify to a number of writers whose earlier books sold diddly squat. Then suddenly they gain a following and start selling better and better. Authors also shouldn’t stick to one genre, especially if that genre doesn’t sell right now. Dabble, experiment, be daring. If you’re a true, born writer, you’ll never give up. And if accepted, the biggest mistake? Thinking the book will sell itself. With every Tom, Dick and Harry and their dog now writing and publishing or self-publishing, it’s a tough world out there. Lack of promotion or giving up on promotion makes for no sales.

What do you look for in a Science Fiction Romance submission?

A well written story that will grip the reader.

What grabs your attention, makes you sit up and want to read more?

A hook. (The first lines of chapter 1 or the prologue).

How far do you read into a submission before you know if the novel is right for you?

The first pages usually already tell me a lot, although I will read on a bit. We’re kind at eXtasy Books and Devine and we'll tell an author where he or she has gone wrong. Sometimes an author is thankful, other times highly insulted. They'll pull a diva on us, send us a rude response etc.

Do you have recommendations or requirements regarding ”heat levels” of submissions?

It depends if they’re submitting to Devine or eXtasy. eXtasy allows high heat levels. At Devine we aim for the mainstream readers who prefer tamer books. Therefore, sensuality is fine, but without all the graphic words and details. No purple prose however. That really turns us off.

Tell me about a few of your favorite/best-selling Science Fiction Romance novels. What really stood out in these stories that made them unique?

Viola Grace is our main science fiction writer at Devine Destinies for now. She’s a bestselling author no matter what she writes, but her science fiction stories top everything.

What are you looking for right now? What kinds of submissions would you like to see pop up in your e-queries? Anything you’re dying to see more of? Steampunk? Futuristic? Space Opera? Any dream novels?

We’re open to anything except non-fiction and biographies. I do urge authors to study the market to see what readers are buying.

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us!
http://www.devinedestinies.com/shopdevine/

7 comments:

  1. That you are kind enough to tell a writer where they are going wrong sets you on my pedestal!! No one likes to hear they can't write but I know I spent many years desperate for just a few words of encouragement instead of the formal rejection letter. It made me realise the importance of balancing praise and criticism. No matter how hopeless someone might be - there has to something kind that can be said.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on why some authors make it and others don't. Not to give up, write different genres and most of all, write for the love of it, wonderful advice. I can't imagine how childish a writer would be to get 'diva' on someone kind enough to tell them why the submission didn't work for them. It means you stand out even more as a publisher willing to ignore those idiots, and take the time to encourage the ones who'll become better writers thanks to understanding what they need to change.

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  3. Thanks Tina for all the great information. We, as writers, need to heed to the advice you offer so freely.

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  4. Thanks for your frank advice and information, Tina. I think most writers very much appreciate an honest explanation of why their work wasn't right (or isn't ready) for Devine Destinies. I was also glad to learn DD accepts non-erotica SFR.

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  5. Not only is Devine Destinies a friendly house, they are amazingly patient and open to questions from a new author, let me tell you.
    ;-)

    Wonderful to work with.

    Frances

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  6. Thanks for the information. I visited your site and read some excerpts, good stuff. I'll definitely keep your suggestions and Devine Destinies in mind.

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  7. It's good to know what DD publishes. I had no idea they didn't do erotic fiction. Nice to know, since I'm one of those readers who like the books "tamer." LOL! Thanks for all the useful info!

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