The Nina, The Pina, and the Santa Daphne

October 13th, 2008 • Kate

Happy Columbus Day, all! It’s not much of a holiday in the publishing world, usually, but because this week is ALSO the Frankfurt Book Fair, it is a little quiet. I’ve been able to keep down my pile of queries, and I was able to get a ton of reading done this weekend, thanks to a cold front that kept me cuddled in an armchair almost all day on Saturday, slippers on, kindle in hand.
But there is more movement afoot! As you can see above, I’m paying tribute to Columbus Day pictorially with a shot of Columbus Circle in NYC. If you ever hear radio stations talking about delays driving into NYC, and giving times, they’re talking about getting to Columbus Circle. So there’s a fun fact for you. I’m ALSO going to be traveling to NYC shortly, and, as usual, while there I’ll Ask An Editor.
Last time, with so many great questions to ask editors, I got a little overwhelmed. You may have noticed no follow-up post with actual answers. (I wasn’t going to mention this failure, but I think it’s best for our relationship if we can be totally honest.) So THIS TIME, I’m only going to ask ONE question. And you guys get to help decide what that’s going to be.
Here’s how it will work. In the comments below, please suggest questions for my next Ask An Editor. If you need some ideas, check out previous posts here and here. You’ve got a whole MONTH to submit questions. On Monday, November 3rd, I’ll post the best or most popular three questions, and you guys get to decide what you most want answered. And it gets even better! The commenter who suggests the question for this round of Ask An Editor gets a free copy of Let It Snow, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.
So hit those comments! I’ll do my best to remind you to keep coming back to this post in the next month, and hopefully we’ll get some great questions pouring in.

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11 Responses to “The Nina, The Pina, and the Santa Daphne”

  1. Margay Says:

    What is the number one thing an author can do to make an editor's job easier?

  2. dust Says:

    "What would you like to drink?"
    "If I have multiple options for a beginning/ending scene and I'm requested to send the relevant chapter, should I send the alternate versions?" — I ask because I my book begins with a frame scene, and I've written two versions, from two POVs. Votes are out as to which one to use. (Or maybe that's an agent question.)

  3. JenFW Says:

    When editors search the internet for further info about a potential author, what are some things that make an impression, good or bad?

  4. Beth Says:

    (I want that book!)
    Cory Doctorow, and now Neil Gaiman, are giving away copies of their books for free online. From an editor's money-making business point-of-view, is this a good idea? Does it really help sales, as Doctorow suggests? Or does it only work on select cases and with select (or famous) authors?

  5. jeanoram Says:

    Is the genre of 'chick lit' morphing into something new, for example a moniker like 'romatic comedy'?

  6. jeanoram Says:

    Can I ask another?
    When considering a new author, how much do editors consider the long-term career possibilities of an author? (Is it more than a one book deal that they are hoping to establish?)
    Can I vote for JenFW's question? I'm curious about that one too.

  7. Megan Says:

    most editors say that you need a strong opening page/s – if an opening isn't particularly strong, are you still likely to read on? or too much to do, so throw them aside?

  8. D. Ann Graham Says:

    If the most common complaint of editors is that they have too many unsuitable submissions, and if their most common response to these is, "… please bear in mind that publishing is a very subjective business"… why then are they not more subjective in their requests for material?
    Such as, "I am looking for historicals, but personally, I detest the regency period, or heroes with long hair." Or even, "I'd really like to see more sports novels. But not extreme sports like parachuting into China and rafting the Yangtze — good grief. Baseball, golf… that sort of thing."
    In my humble opinion, such a small change in our protocol would make a big difference in the entire industry.
    Anybody out there like sailing?

  9. jeanoram Says:

    Just pretend it isn't me again…
    In light of the recent economic downturn and uncertainty in the publishing world, what can new authors do to help safeguard their fledgling careers?
    Thanks! (again)

  10. Kiersten Says:

    This is pretty specific, so I understand if it's not the best question…
    At a conference I attended, an editor said working for publishing houses as a writer for hire–writing "authorless" things like television show tie-in books, etc–was a great way to make connections and get a foot in the door. However, I've been unable to find anywhere I can find any information about this. Do editors and publishers just choose authors they already know, or is there a way to break into this?

  11. lotusloquax Says:

    I'm curious about what's hot in YA. What are the editors especially hoping to find coming in for YA readers? How long is too long for YA? With books like Twilight out there at 120K is that length really pushing it? Would it be better to break up something that length into 2 shorter novels?