Ask An Editor!

July 15th, 2008 • Kate

So I’m heading off to the New York office later this week, taking a couple of days off to be with the Unfeasible Clan, and then spending next week running around between meetings with editors and scouts. I’ve got tons of things to talk to them about, but in case the well runs dry, and to prove that I am nothing if not service-oriented, I’m throwing open the floor to questions.
I will take the three best questions left in the comments below from now until next Monday morning, and I will Ask An Editor (like this). I might not ask every editor I meet all three questions, but I’ll do my best to ask each of them at least one, and I will get back to you with their answers.
So there you go! The comments are open!

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8 Responses to “Ask An Editor!”

  1. Emily Says:

    hmm a question to ask an editor? How about what trends are they tired of (ex. fairies, werewolves etc) and what do they want to see more of? Or if not trends, what types of heroines/heros do they look for? I know these aren't exactly original questions, but they would provide an interesting insight into the current market and editor expectations, I think.

  2. Jeanne Says:

    How young is a Young Adult?
    What makes an editor decide to market something as YA instead of middle grade? I just finished Curse as Dark as Gold and Bewitching Season.( I loved them) Why were they YA? Neither book had mature themes.

  3. Carrie Says:

    What's their position on websites for unpublished authors? Benefit, drawback, or something in between? Is it better to do it earlier or wait until you've signed on the dotted line?
    When you're not gallivanting around across the continent, I'd be incredibly interested in hearing your take on it too, if that's not entirely too presumptuous. I've been having this debate with myself for a while!

  4. Mary Says:

    I’d love to know what editors think about YA novellas, about 20,000 words. Are they receptive to short novels in this genre?

  5. Hopeful Says:

    I've noticed a few publishers (where my agent has my book subbed) have been visiting my blog regularly. When editors visit a writer's blog, what kinds of things are they looking for?

  6. jeanoram Says:

    What is the most common (or biggest) mistake they see first-time novelists making which causes them to say no to their project?
    (I'm sure I've made them all in some of my projects, but I'd be curious to hear what the biggest one is.)

  7. jeanoram Says:

    I have another…is that okay?
    Same question, only a bit different.
    What is the biggest mistake first-time novelists make that makes editors not want to work with them again. (They've given them a deal.)
    Thanks!
    Have a great trip!
    🙂
    Jean

  8. beth Says:

    YES! After half a day, I FINALLY remembered my super-cool question!
    OK, so you know how Cory Doctrow allows anyone to download the full content of his huge hit, Little Brother? His theory is that an author's biggest problem is not people stealing the work, but being unknown–so he lets people download his book in the hopes that people will then like his work and buy the book (or buy other books of his).
    My question is this: what is your opinion on this? What is the editors' opinions on this?
    In my experience, it works. I bought a copy of Little Brother after reading the entire thing online–I thought my husband would like and bought it as a gift. This works for music and movies for me, too–I've bought countless CDs and DVDs based on downloading them. Cory Doctrow obviously thinks it works, too. But what do the publishing people think?