I did it again: Submitting to Romance Includes You Mentorship

I did it again. I signed up and entered in the Romance Includes You Mentorship program this year. I will never forget when I did this back in 2019. I had prepared my submission to be entered into the ‘Romance Includes You’ Mentorship. It was for writers in the United States and Canada who dreamed of becoming a Harlequin author. The winner was going to receive a $5,000 dollars to sign a contract with Harlequin and to be mentored by someone on the Harlequin team for an entire year. Within that year, the winner will be able to publish a category romance with Harlequin. The contest was open to unpublished and self-published authors who are not represented by a commercial publisher or agent.

I wanted the opportunity to be published with Harlequin so I submitted the story to them. Then, that’s when I got the disappointing news: I didn’t win. I wasn’t offered the contract or mentorship I wanted. I was devastated. But I was happy for the winner. Since then, I waited for the opportunity to come around again. If you check out my prior posts on my website, you will see I mostly reviewed books by Harlequin authors. I can’t help it, I love being a romance reader and writer and Harlequin did that for me back when I was little.

Now fast forward to 2023 where the opportunity to become a Harlequin author has presented itself once again. Despite the fact that I have three self-published books out into the world…and despite the fact that I love writing the Truson S.E.T. Series with all of my heart, I still have that burning desire I cannot shake no matter what I do.

To become a hybrid author. To continue to self-publish and write for Harlequin at the same time.

I know what you are probably thinking: But wait a minute Dominique, you can achieve a lot more success, money, and freedom when it comes to you self-publishing. All you have to do is give it a couple of years and I’m pretty sure you will achieve what you mostly desire.

Or: Dominique, you are giving self-publishing a bad name when you do this. Don’t you know that there are authors like you who have achieved thousands and even millions of dollars just by self-publishing?

Yes. I am aware of all of this. I could easily continue to self-publish my work and not even consider traditional publishing because of the low royalties I would get or the rights the publishing company would take away from me once I sign on the dotted line and give my book away. Yes, I am aware of this but guess what?

I don’t care.

For me, I don’t do writing because of the money. I have heard about publishing companies paying authors very little money for the hard work and dedication they put into their work. I m aware of it and it sucks. But, the reason why I decided to try again with this mentorship is because I love reading their novels and hoped to one day write for them. I have a full time job that pays the bills right now so I am not too worried about my writing on the money side. No, for me, I want to enjoy my life writing stories that I love to read and write about without having to worry about money in the process.

Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about at the end of the day? I don’t know, you tell me.

That’s it. That’s all I have for now. Just wanted to rant for a little bit before I go back to writing my next masterpiece. See ya soon.

Dominique Gibson

Published by Dominique Gibson

My first love has always been writing since I was eight years old. After getting my Bachelor's Degree in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago and struggling for years trying to get published the traditional way, I decided that the only way to promote my work was to promote myself which is why I am self-publishing my paranormal romance The Truson S.E.T. Series.

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