Most publishers, White Rose included, have guidelines on their website. These guidelines address how to format your story for submission, what elements we prefer to see in a story we may consider and general questions that come up frequently (usually known as a FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions).
Although a poorly formatted story will not immediately get tossed into to the virtual trashcan, it is hard on the eyes. If you want a fair chance at getting my attention quickly, a properly formatted manuscript begs to be read further than one that isn’t correctly done. When the formatting is sloppily done, it gives the editor the feeling they are dealing with a newbie author who hasn't researched enough. I generally will look over the first 20 pages, even if its not well-done, but its tedious to do so.
Editors have specific criteria for our published books, and we cannot consider anything outside that genre. We look for these specific details and have been rigorously trained to find the elements that further our publisher’s message of Inspirational novels that Christians can read without compromising their moral standards.
What do I look for as an editor of the genre?
1. Christian Inspirational romantic fiction must contain Christian aspects. They cannot be outside the basic tenets of the faith. The criteria is stated on our website. The story must be God-centered in some way.
2. Developing romantic relationship. I want to see stories where a man meets a woman, and when they feel that tug of the emotional heartstrings, they act to further the relationship until it ends in a Happy Ever After. The more scenes they are together, without other people, the more likely I am to keep reading.
3. Conflict. No relationship is without conflict. The conflict can be belief vs. unbelief in Christianity, man vs. woman, conflicting lifestyles, or anything where it seems they can never get together, but then miraculously, they do.
4. The Happy-Ever-After. No romance is complete until a man and a woman realize they cannot live without each other, or God, in their relationship. That is the culmination of what every reader wants to see in a Christian romance. An equal partner who respects God and is willing to live by the guidelines God has established in the Bible.
Reading the guidelines and adhering to them give the editors a chance to look at your hard work and evaluate the content of your story without having to read through poorly scripted text. Please bookmark Guidelines to keep handy so when you submit, your manuscript is the best it can be.