Category Archives: Submissions

Why “Editor of New York Times Bestseller” Doesn’t Mean What You Think #editing #amwriting #indieauthor

So often I see ads from book editors that proclaim “Editor of (fill in a number) New York Times bestsellers!” Here’s why most of the time, that’s just hype.
Book editors at publishing houses are mostly in acquisitions. That means they acquire books by finding stuff in the slush pile then bringing it forward for consideration among other acquisitions editors, the marketing department, etc. etc. They’re good at finding quality.
Note that: finding quality. Not making quality.
If a project is too rough or just isn’t to their taste, they pass. And they pass a lot.
What they do select out of the submissions pile tend to be already fairly strong. The editing they might do usually is pretty nominal…tweak a personality trait here, change the order of events there.
They don’t do a lot because they don’t have time to do a lot. It’s fairly rare these days for publisher’s editors, who are skilled in acquisition, to do much actual editing.
There are exceptions, of course, but that also isn’t common.
So, “editor of X NYT bestsellers” might mean they said, “Hey, author, chapter one drags too much. Please rewrite it.”
Or, “Hey, author, so-and-so’s dialogue is stilted. Please adjust.”
Or, “Hey, author, I’m (or more likely, my freelance copyeditor is) going to do a little polishing on your project to make everything pretty.”
So beware too much of that NYT bestseller hype. Most of the time, it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Traditional Publisher Interested in Self-Published Books

Paper Lantern Lit is a boutique literary development company bestselling author Lauren Oliver cofounded with former HarperCollins and Razorbill editor Lexa Hillyer. They look through self-published books to find those that deserve more attention then rerelease them under their name. Now they’ve added The Studio, a digital imprint, to produce ebooks.

If you’ve already self-published one or more of your books, check out Paper Lantern and The Studio. It might open new doors!

New Crime Imprint

Crime novelists Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman have launched Brash Books with a debut list of 30 titles by award-winning crime novelists. Brash’s books are available through an exclusive partnership with Amazon that offers special marketing opportunities.

They focus entirely on award-winning novels. If you have received an award for an unpublished manuscript, give this imprint a try.

Unique New Sci-Fi/Fantasy Publisher

Agent Steve Laube took over Marcher Lord Press and renamed it Enclave. Enclave Publishing will focus on science fiction and fantasy with a Christian worldview. This fall, they will release five books. “Fiction continues to be a place where creativity and variety have endless capacity, in all genres,” Laube notes.

Is New Adult Only YA + Sex?

New Adult became an official category in 2013 when it received its own Book Industry Standards and Communications Code. The genre is generally considered to be stories that feature primarily college-aged heroines learning to deal with life in their early twenties…with a special emphasis on romance and sex.

While I agree that this category targets primarily female readers between 18 and 25, the YA + Sex idea is too restrictive. Putting aside the idea that sex is usually tied to some emotional response (whether the characters admit it or not), NA is much more than YA + Sex.

Just as YA broke boundaries by working with content that reflected the real coming-of-age struggles of teenagers approaching adulthood, NA can have the same impact. Publishers like Atria went from producing zero NA titles in 2012 to its current goal of releasing 15-20 each year. As the category finds its readers and more publishers move into the arena, NA stories will expand to encompass much more than teen angst plus sex.

Anytime there is a new movement like this in publishing, it’s important to be part of the first wave. Yes, your entry into publishing will be more difficult because publishers (and booksellers) right now are not sure where the category might go. So show them! Send out your unique NA manuscript. Be the first, and reap the rewards by launching your career by leading the way.

 

New Historical Book Imprint

Flatiron Books is Macmillion’s new historical book imprint. Their first list of seven titles will be released this winter. Once Flatiron Books is up to full speed, it’ll publish five to six books every month. The seek distinctive ideas from unique voices.

Have a nonfiction project that’s perfect for them? Submit your sample chapters and book proposal right away! Let me know if I can help you. I’m always available.

12 New YA Imprints

Here’s a list of YA publishers that have launched recently (within about the last 5 years).

Akashic/Black Sheep Books wants stories with engaging, realistic, and diverse characters that young adults (and adults, the critical second audience for YA stories) can relate to.

Amazon/Skyscape seeks engaging stories for teens and adult crossover readers from diverse genres including contemporary, fantasy, and romance.

Capstone/Switch looks for a  wide variety of genres and formats including graphic novels, westerns, romance, illustrated memoir, historical fiction, realistic fiction, science fiction and nonfiction, including how-to.

Carolrhoda Lab wants distinctive, provocative, boundary-pushing fiction for teens.

ChiTeen seeks dark, well-written genre fiction that includes science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and horror; stories that don’t necessarily have a happy ending.

F&W/Merit Press looks for a Millennial version of classic YA novels: deeply emotional stories about ordinary kids caught in extraordinary circumstances, coming of age in a complex contemporary world.

Harlequin Teen wants commercial YA fiction of all genres.

Month9Books seeks speculative fiction where nothing is as it seems.

Poisoned Pen Press/Poisoned Pencil looks for edgy mysteries and complex stories that capture “the vibrant teen cocktail of superior wisdom, immediate need, and sometimes hidden honesty.”

Soho Teen looks for mysteries and thrillers.

Sourcebooks Fire wants innovative storytelling in all genres in authentic teen voices.

Triangle Square Editions/Seven Stories Press looks for works that combine social justice and good storytelling. Tagline: “Telling personal stories of courage and commitment.”

Zondervan/Blink likes storytelling that inspires, enriches, and uplifts.