Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

P's Perspective: Editor, Erin Clarke

The sessions with editors were very short. I found this to be refreshing. Us writers have a tendency to obsess (just a wee bit). Had the sesions been longer than 30 minutes people would have likely started asking specific to their own projects. So the 30 minutes kept it to the basics, allowing for a short burst of intense, specific info.

According to Erin, Knopf puts out 75 books annually
PB, MG, YA (fic and non-fic)

They are an author-driven house who likes to maintain a longer-term relationship with its authors.

- Books should be more along the literary side

- She likes books that will have an impact on children's lives

- They do not print many series or young chapter books, though are looking to acquire more of the latter

- She doesn't like to limit herself to one genre or style

- She's currently acquiring for the Spring and Summer '07 list

- Among other things, she's looking for young, fun, accessible non-fic

- The 3 things she wants to see in submissions:

Strong Voice - she wants to be drawn in immediately. Used the book "BOOK THIEF" as a good example.

Good Beginning - Says this is key to getting an editor to read beyond the first few pages. Used "CAUSE" by Tonya Bolden

Description - of the setting, characters or a situation. Used "CORNEILA & THE AUDACIOUS ESCAPADES OF THE SOMERSET SISTERS"

Quote that sums it up: What she's looking for is "good writing, good writing, good writing."

Once again she pointed out that plot can be fixed, voice cannot.

For PB:
She commented that economy of words is key but they should leave space for Illos to tell the rest of the story.

She chooses PB that have the potential to be read over and over

What NOT to submit:
Rhyming PB

Submitting to Erin

*Wants to see entire PB mss (no query)

*Synops are optional.

*Wants query and first few chapters

*NO email submissions

*NO discs

*If you have a web address, feel free to put the URL in query so she can visit it

* Cover letters should be VERY brief. She doesn't take much time reading them.

* Include SASE

Looking at a 6 month turn around time

She won't read beyond the first chapter if it doesn't touch her.

Says that if an editor gives you feedback in a rejection you should be encouraged. But if they send you a form, it's merely due to lack of time to answer all of the many submissions in a personal manner.


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