Editors reading my prose.
(Image from: e-reads)
This was Friday's big event. Ten editors gave an overview of the books they are looking for and the best way to submit your work. Bob Dugoni, hosted the forum and moderated the Q&A session. I liked how Bob established an ROE (military-ese for "Rules of Engagement") for attendees to refrain from asking questions specific to their WIP (writer-ese for "Work in Progress").
The panel of editors, (company links included), consisted of:
Anne Bensson, Brian Hades, Peter Lynch, Julie Matysik, Aubrey Poole, Lynn Price, Michelle Richter, Chuck Sambuchino, J. Ellen Smith and Shane Thomson
One of the first questions of the day was: What, exactly, do editors do?
"Their goal is to make a better book"--Michelle Richter.
"Coordinate with all the other departments [in the publishing company]"--Anne Bensson.
"Act as your clone to help coordinate efforts"--Peter Lynch.
What is the most important Point in the Pitch?
"A good, marketable, readable product"--Brian Hades.
"Voice"--Peter Lynch, "especially for YA (Young Adult)"--Aubrey Poole.
"A platform for non-fiction"--Chuck Sambuchino.
"A unique spin"--J.Ellen Smith.
"For memoirs, understand the market and the competition"--Lynn Price.
"Research the publishing company"--Julie Matysik.
Does self-publishing hurt an author's chance with publishing companies?
"No"--just about everyone on the panel.
However, they commented that mainstream publishing helps gain exposure that self-publishing can't.
Do you take un-agented manuscripts?
Do you work with a cadre of agents?
"Yes"--Michelle Richter answered on behalf of the entire panel. However, "we're willing to work with new ones, but it's like going on a blind date."
Should an author acquire an agent after the book has been acquired?
However, Lynn Price said yes and "... appreciates it when an author does so in order to navigate the maze of the publication process."
This difference exemplifies the most important thing writers should do when querying publishing houses--read their guidelines.
And there you have it, some words of wisdom in today's publishing industry.