By Scott Lorenz
There’s nothing sweeter than a romance novel in movie form. If you’ve written a romantic comedy, you may be wondering what it takes to get it turned into a Hallmark movie. Fortunately, the Hallmark Channel clearly outlines the steps you must take to bring your heartwarming work to its audience. Here’s an overview of what it entails.
Understand the Hallmark Channel’s Ideal Novels
Hallmark looks for uplifting and inspirational novels related to romantic love, family love, and love between friends. The ideal story ranges from 75,000 to 90,000 words with relatable characters that overcome conflict and an ending filled with hope and happiness. While Hallmark’s stories typically take place in the U.S. the channel is open to American stories overseas.
When it comes to contemporary romance, Hallmark is most interested in beach settings, Valentine’s Day and Christmas stories, laugh-out-loud romance comedies, novels with a unique time element as well as those that involve brothers or male best friends. The Hallmark channel is open to all types of submissions so don’t be afraid to intrigue them with something that’s not on their list.
It’s important to note that Hallmark does steer away from paranormal romance, romantic suspense, young adult, new adult romance, and religious romance. As of 2022, they’re not interested in cozy mysteries. Also, novels with sex, nudity, profanity, or violence are not permitted. The extent of the physical interaction in your story should be hugging and kissing.
Submit Your Rom-Com in the Proper Format
The Hallmark Channel asks that you submit one MSWord document with a four-to-five page synopsis and a second document with the first three chapters of your novel. Make sure your submission is in Times New Roman font, size 12, and double spaced. Also, add the title, genre, and actual or estimated final word count to the subject line. Check the Hallmark website to learn more about the deadline for your submission and where to send it.
Learn From Other Authors
There have been many authors who have been able to turn their rom-coms into Hallmark movies, so it only makes sense to turn to them for some advice. Denise Hunter’s novel The Convenient Groom made it to Hallmark. It’s about a young celebrity marriage counselor that gets left at the altar of her own highly publicized wedding.
“Publish your novels through a publisher that actively seeks movie deals. I’m sure there are many ways producers “find” novels. But in my case, it was through HarperCollins Christian Publishing, whose rights department routinely pitches their novels for film rights,” Hunter says.
“Utilize a romance trope; they’re popular for a reason. If you can take a trope and spin it in a fresh way, all the better. The Convenient Groom is, of course, a modern-day marriage of convenience story,” she adds.
Tracy Andreen is another noteworthy author who wrote six films produced for Hallmark, including Snow Bride, Picture a Perfect Christmas, and It’s Christmas Eve. When asked what her secret sauce to success is, she replied with, “Being professional. When given a deadline, I do everything in my power to deliver on that deadline, especially as the time to start production nears.”
In addition to meeting deadlines, she says that it’s important to love what you do. “I love what I do and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it, but at the end of the day it’s still work . . . awesome work I love, so I’m thrilled to do so and, hopefully, that shines through,” Andreen explains.
There’s also Jenny Hale whose novel Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses got picked by Hallmark. “It seems like romance is easy to write, but it’s a very careful dance between making it magical while also creating scenes and characters that feel real and relatable,” she says.
“People have told me for years that my books would be perfect for a Hallmark movie,” says bestselling romance author Pamela Gossiaux. “So this year I submitted my book The Scent of Love, a sweet, small town romance about the owner of a candle and gift shop, and the handsome man who rents the cottage on the shore. I love the type of books and movies that Hallmark produces. They’re the perfect escape!”
The Bottom Line: The Hallmark Channel produces 90+ holiday and romance films per year. With creativity, persistence, and passion, your novel may be one of them!
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.
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