Thursday, July 23, 2015

PNWA 2015's Editors Forum

(Image of Perry White from Smallville Wikia)
This year's Editors Forum was actually the fourth conference session I attended.  Normally, I write my blogposts in chronological order, but I'm feeling lazy and I'm pressed for time.

Back in 2012, when I last attended, Perennial Emcee Bob Dugoni skipped the Editor introductions in the interest of saving valuable time, assuming everyone could read their bios in the conference handout.

He said he wouldn't do that again because he nearly had a riot on his hands afterwards.  So each editor present introduced themselves, told the audience what publication they work for and what genres they're interested in acquiring.

Bob assured the audience that these folks were friendly and approachable (unlike Perry White, pictured above), and didn't fall asleep at night counting the ways they could reject your work.

So here's this year's list of Editors-at-Large:

Peter Field (Timberline Review)

Sheila Gilbert (DAW Books)

Brit Hvide (Simon & Schuster)

Jennifer Letwack (Thomas Dunne Books)

Allison Lyons (Harlequin)

Anna Michels (Sourcebooks)

Lynn Price (Behler Publications)

John Raab (Suspense Publishing)

Robert Sappington (Harken Media)

Adam Wilson (Gallery Books)

After the intros, we jumped right into the Q&A (Questions & Answers).

Since I'm writing a webcomic, and wasn't stalking submitting work to editors, I didn't pay too much attention to inquiries and responses.

When I was paying attention, I actually learned a few things:

One of them being the new term "New Adult" to describe books for college-aged kids (18-22 year olds).  These are mostly coming-of-age stories that are romance-focused, and attempt to answer such monumental questions like:  What kind of job will I get? What will I do with my life? Will I ever get laid? 

The term "mainstream" tends to be a literary default setting when publishers aren't sure what genre to pigeon-hole your work.

One-of books are increasing in popularity among publishers.  They're reluctant to invest additional seed money into a series, especially since subsequent books usually don't earn as much as the initial book.

So when you're pitching you're book, and envision it as Number One in an Epic Series of Epic Proportions, it's best to keep your delusions hopes to yourself. 

Unless publishers inquire about the possibility of a series, or your name is George R. R. Martin, or J. K. Rowling.

In the meantime, each book must stand alone and be a complete story in-and-of itself.

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