Hello, there! I'm looking to be a book editor here in the very near future and I was wondering how the process works for you all to find or work with editors? If you do locate them yourself, what do you look for in one? Thanks for your time and information!
We don’t really usually work with freelance editors—I’d say we do most of our editing in house. As in I edit my clients’ work. Then of course we sell it to an editor at the publishing house—if all goes well.
The freelance editors we have worked with are often former editors who are now doing freelance work because we know them and are knowledgable about their credentials.
So I’m not sure an agency is going to be your target audience. I think there are a lot of great freelance opportunities if you’re working with authors getting ready for submission or authors who want to self-publish.
I asked the question about my adult novel that contains dark complex characters like Gone Girl. But I forgot to add on, would a book like this interest Joanna, Kathleen, Suzie, or Mackenzie in particular? I'm in the process of querying and narrowing down one agent at this fabulous agency!
Two questions- What are your thoughts on authors like Phyllis A Whitney and Mary Higgins Clark who basically rewrite the same story just with minor tweaks and changes and different locations? Is that something that really happens anymore? And going through my twilight book shelf I am interested in how some of the books found publishers. I can't really talk bad since I was one of the purchasers of these books but one is just the experience of one woman and another is written by a teenager.
So Mary Higgins Clark can do whatever she wants. Because she’s Mary Higgins Clark.
Also, there are a lot of readers who want the same thing. They find an author they like or a genre they like and they want to know what they’re getting. This is why category romance novels do so well. There’s a formula to the plot, readers know what they’re getting and they want that.
Would it be harder now, in a market that is oversaturated, for a non-brand name author or a debut author to publish a book that feels like something that’s already out there? Yes. Why would a publisher take on a Mary Higgins Clark knock off if they already have the original?
Also and unrelated, some teenagers are exceptionally talented writers.
Do you think there will ever come a day where agents and publishers no longer want characters to smoke cigarettes? I think it adds something to the characters in a fast way depending on how you describe the character and scene, but with everyone against smoking these days I wonder if it will spill into books. Thanks.
This is going to depend on genre.
I can actually think of a YA book where an editor asked the author to take out the smoking, arguing it didn’t add anything and the author agreed. And that was several years ago.
So yes, I think that day is already here, but I think there are cases when the smoking makes sense in a manuscript or for a certain character.
Leap frogging onto the question/response about interns taking on clients, would it be redundant and waste of time to resubmit one's query after being passed over by a full agent? (If the query was rewritten due to being a stinker?)
Interns taking on clients?!?! That’s not a thing. Or it shouldn’t be. They leave at the end of their internship. Also they’re not ready to take on clients.
Assistants taking on clients is a different story.
However, at NL, you can’t actually query the assistants. You query an agent. If we think there’s potential but for whatever reason it isn’t right for us, we might pass it to an assistant. Who would then read and if they loved it, they might talk to us about taking it on.
Unrelated. You can always rewrite and resubmit your query. What’s the worst that will happen?
Two weeks after I signed with a reputable agency, the agent/assistant leaves and I stay with head agent. I send her revisions shortly thereafter. I waited two months for a response. Last month, we set up a call to talk about revisions, but it never happened. Yesterday, I email for status and now she says she has other reading it as well. Should I be worried? It's been 4 mo since I signed. If she read it twice, why would she need others to read it? Is she giving me the run around? Thanks!!!!
You should email your agent and politely share your concerns.
However, I often get second reads especially when I’ve read twice (or three times or more) because I’m close to the story. A second fresh pair of eyes can be really helpful.
If Agents+Editors are the gatekeepers for the reading public, and the A+E are basically from the same political/social stripe does it follow that it's merely an acceptable way of restricting what gets read?
No. Agents may seem like gatekeepers to the reading public but we’re not. We represent books and authors we think we can sell to Editors. They acquire books that their Sales force can get behind. Sales representatives get feedback from the accounts (aka booksellers) and they put in orders for books based on what sells in their stores—to the reading public.
Now, are some political/social stripes underrepresented—yes. A number of things are underrepresented, but I would say that a lot of agents and editors are looking for things that are underrepresented in the current market—however, it still has to be commercial enough to pitch to Sales and actually sell to the reading public.
I have had a few moments in my writing/author life that have made my inner child flail around wildly and without reservation, and meeting Garth Nix at Book Expo America this past year was one of them (if he reads this, I’m sure he will find it terribly embarrassing, because he is super down-to-earth). When I was younger I was obsessed with the Old Kingdoms series (and his other books, but those were my first)— I also reread them recently and enjoyed them just as much over a decade later.
For those of you who don’t know, the Old Kingdom series includes the books Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen…
(these are the covers I have, but they have been redesigned since then, and are still pretty)
If you are not a Chicagoan or near-Chicagoan or just can’t make it out to see us, I have good news for you, too! The event will be livestreamed, and you can RSVP in advance/catch the event on October 20th here: http://www.epicreads.com/features/rothnix/
Hope to see you all there!
I will now, with the utmost calm, anticipate October 20th. (THAT IS A LIE I AM NOT CALM.)
Yesterday, I announced that I’m going on my first solo tour. I’ll be reading an excerpt from my new book, The Dregs (Fall 2015 yup yup) at every stop, but I feel bad that I can’t see all yo faces in all the places so I thought I’d share a short (very short) teaser here.
We read all these agent success stories and it feels like a lot of them happen fast? Overnight even. Is that realistic? Or does it usually take more time for an agent to respond? And, if an agent does read your manuscript quickly and love it, will they offer rep. immediately, or take time to think it over. What are the reasons they would not offer rep. immediately? (Sorry, that's a lot of questions. :-)
No. It’s a rare thing. You might hear about it because it makes a good story. But a lot of times it takes a while for agents to read and respond. My running response time is between 30-60 days from requesting.
If I read and love it, I share with the team here. The might be the next day or the next week depending on our meeting. We discuss and I might reread a little and write up some notes before actually offering.
I’m offering rep and asking to work with someone for our entire future career together. (That’s the dream at least). It’s not something to jump into.
Also I’m still one of those people who preps what I’m going to say on the phone so I don’t sound like a moron.
Is Suzie taking on new clients? Or will the assistant of New Leaf literary be taking on clients?
Suzie is taking on new clients. We all are.
The assistants are also looking to start building their lists if they find the right project.
So for instance, if an assistant reads a manuscript that they love and it’s too similar to something on Suzie’s list (or another agent at New Leaf) or if it’s not quite right for one of the agents here for whatever reason, but the assistant REALLY loves it and fights for it, then the assistant might offer representation and work with an agent in order to sell the project and kickstart both their and the author’s career.