Random House Announces Digital-Only Imprints

The Random House Publishing Group (my happy literary home!) just announced three new digital imprints to add to LOVESWEPT, their digital imprint for romance and women's fiction:

ALIBI, for mystery/suspense;
HYDRA, for sci-fi/fantasy; and
FLIRT, for "college-age New Adult" fiction

Their stated goal is to provide "affordable, accessible, and accomplished genre fiction," which they will publish more quickly and nimbly than traditional books.

What's in it for authors?

  • Working with Random House's terrific editors--which, trust me, can make a world of difference;
  • Amazing Random House art-department created covers like the gorgeous one they've done for The Wednesday Daughters-->
    (which will be published in print as well as digital, but you get the idea).
  • The publicity and marketing skills of the Random House team, including guidance and training in the use of social media tools to help connect directly with readers; and
  • Titles will be available for purchase at major e-retailers, and will be compatible with all reading devices.

Did I mention these are really lovely folks to work with?

These new Random House imprints are looking for short content (15,000 to 30,000 words) as well as full-length works, and are undertaking to respond to queries in 2-4 weeks. You can submit online, too, of course.

Good luck! - Meg

This post originally ran on 1st Books: Stories of How Writers Get Started, hosted by Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters (a writing group novel), the forthcoming The Wednesday Daughters, and other novels. 1st Books features award-winning writers blogging about how they got started writing and publishing, as well as other readerly and writerly delights.

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Tags: e-publishing, fantasy, fiction, house, mystery, publishing, random, romance, science


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Comment by Annette Reid on December 6, 2012 at 4:22am

Hello Meg. I have a question for you. What would your agent say is the most sought after genre as far as Publishing companies are concerned right now? I do a lot of writing about women's fiction, that includes mystery, suspense and drama. I have heard some writers say that young adult and horror is the most sought after. I've only written two books and I am presently working on a third. I just want to make sure that I'm writing about something that's going to keep my readers attention.  I will definitely check into Random House as well. Thank you for your informative blog.

Comment by Jagoda Perich-Anderson on December 5, 2012 at 1:18pm

Thanks, Meg. That's helpful to know, and I appreciate your take on the financial piece--valuing the promotion and readership building services. I agree that's a biggie.

I'll look for The Wednesday Daughters when it comes out--I trust you'll announce it's debut.

Comment by Meg Waite Clayton on December 4, 2012 at 9:30pm

OOOPS. Meant to say, Jagoda, thanks so much for the kind words on The Wednesday Sisters, and for recommending it!

Sequel of sorts, The Wednesday Daughters, coming out next summer. :-)

Comment by Meg Waite Clayton on December 4, 2012 at 9:25pm

I don't know the financial arrangements, Jagoda, but my guess it they are offering the same e-rights they offer their traditionally published authors, which is (I think) 25% of their net. I have a few different arrangements over a few different contracts, so don't quote me on that. It is a bigger percentage of the sticker price of a book than I get with print books, but on a lower price. Depending on the contract, I sometimes get more for an ebook, sometimes more for a print book. If that helps ... But ...

Not meaning to stomp for Random House or anything. I think there are a lot of publishing options these days. But the cost of printing is relatively small these days, and their big costs are really editing and promotion. For me, a smaller percentage of a bigger amount is much better than a large percentage of little, and they do a terrific job promoting my books. And for me, the rewards of having a readership are much more important than the financial rewards.

I do think they are taking unagented submissions, so I think that's a fine way to go in.

Comment by Jagoda Perich-Anderson on December 4, 2012 at 4:55pm

Meg, I read The Wednesday Sisters a while ago, and promptly recommended it to my writer's salon (a group of women writers who get together to talk about writing, the writing life, and life in general). An enjoyable read.

You mention that you have an agent. Would you recommend querying Random House without an agent? And, do you know if/where there is information about the financial side of the equation? In other words, if RH saves printing and distribution costs, is it passing on some of these savings to authors?

Comment by Kerina Pharr on December 4, 2012 at 4:48pm

thanks for this, Meg. Great to hear a digital source catering to sci-fi/fantasy.

Love your cover art, btw. I want to hang that up on my wall! :)

Comment by Meg Waite Clayton on December 3, 2012 at 4:31pm

I confess this was the first time I'd heard of this new market! 

Comment by Meg Waite Clayton on November 30, 2012 at 4:16pm

Ramey, I think they are focusing on genre fiction for this initial foray. They do list "women's fiction" as one of the categories, and that can be a pretty broad category.

You might also look at something like Open Road, which has been bringing some pretty good fiction out in e-book. My agent represents Pat Conroy -- and they are doing his e-books! So excellent company there.

And it is really interesting, isn't it, Claire? Whole new world out there!

Comment by Claire McAlpine on November 30, 2012 at 2:27pm

Really interesting how publishers are starting to reinvent their offerings to fit with how things are changing.

Comment by Ramey Channell on November 30, 2012 at 9:51am

Meg, this is so awesome! The publisher of my first novel, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, went out of business and returned all rights to me. I would SO like to submit the manuscript to the Random House digital imprint, but there seems to be no category for Southern literary fiction. It could also fit into Humor, adventure, not mainstream mystery. I would love to work with Random House, and this sounds like a fabulous opportunity.

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