Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What An Editor Wants

Writers agonize over what editors are looking for, over what sort of things they should be doing to build a platform prior to publication, over where the romance market is heading. . . etc, etc, etc! They wonder what in the world editors are thinking.

Since this is Leah Hultenschmidt, my fabulous editor at Dorchester Publishing, you don't have to wonder. She'll tell you.

Leah is very open about the whole acquisition process and has made herself available by posting regularly on her own blog RomanticReads and also by visiting at other sites. Today she's at Barbara Vey's Beyond Her Book on Publishers Weekly (aka, the Bible of publishing)

There is a tendency for aspiring authors to regard editors as either fire-breathing gate keepers or fairy godmothers. (I know because once upon a time I waffled between those two opinions myself) The truth is editors are extremely hard-working people who love books and writers and are so swamped with the multiple hats they wear, I have no idea how they keep their heads above water. Editors are looking for manuscripts that compel them to say "Yes!" I've heard editors say they run around the office exclaiming "I got one! I got one!" when they're able to find a gem in the slush pile (a beast of truly mythic proportions!)

An editor's blog is a goldmine. I'm sure other editors blog as well. Leah is the one I keep closest tabs on since she's the one whose deft hand shapes my books (something for which I thank God regularly!) If you are targeting a specific publishing house or agent, look for their blog. Following it will serve you well.

But don't spend all your time on the Internet (preaching to myself here!) That next great American novel won't write itself!

Have you found an editor or agent's blog you'd like to share? As a reader, do you like the "peek behind the scenes" into what causes editors to choose one manuscript over another?


Anonymous said...

Kind of you to give such good advice to aspiring writers. The more I read of the the trials and tribulations of writers trying to get published, it is clear the more good suggestions they get, the better.

EmilyBryan said...

Pat, I've received so much help from other writers along the way, I'm thrilled to pay it forward. Outside of my church, romance writers are the most giving bunch of people I've ever been priviledged to know.