books aren’t just what we do, they’re who we are

Ask An Editor: The Answers (part 2)

More on my continuing mission to bring you all the answers you ever wanted from all the editors I dared to ask. Today’s first answer to JenFW’s question comes from an editor at a top teen imprint. She replies:

If there is no info on a writer, I don’t mind. That said, a nice, well-organized website can’t hurt either! I like to know about who they are as writers–for example, what books have had a big influence on them, did they attend any kind of writing program, have they been published before and where?
I don’t necessarily like to find out too much personal information–blogs about people writing in their pj’s or talking about their pets can come off as unprofessional to me. I guess, like everything, it depends on the person, too. If they are quirky, funny writers, then a quirky, funny website makes sense. If they write literary novels, a quirky, funny website might be a mismatch.

And another editor chimes in:

The kind of thing that makes a good impression is when an author has a good understanding of the business and how publishing works. Also, I love it when writers blog about writing itself — whether discussing their own process and/or inspirations, or giving practical advice to other aspiring writers. Quick thumbnail synopses of any works-in-progress can be very helpful to editors as well — I know that when I bring in a MS by a debut author, I always like to be able to mention if they have other ideas that I think are clever or marketable. And as you know, I’m also a sucker for an engaging blog voice!
As for what makes a bad impression, I have to admit that I’ve occasionally been put off when someone shares TOO much about their own publication process, including names, etc. I always advise authors to have a degree of discretion there. Also, if a writer wants their blog to be considered as a marketing tool, they have to make sure that it’s appropriate for the audience that they’re trying to reach with their writing. I’ve definitely had one or two authors whose blogs were more adult in tone/language wonder why we couldn’t mention the blog in their bio or post a link on our website.

Note the similar comments about blog content matching book content.
And speaking of book content (how’s that for a segue?), exciting new kt literary client Ransom Riggs is looking for a research assistant on a book about Sherlock Holmes. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, email me for more information.

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