Category Archives: Editorial

Profiles of content editors, acquisition editors, managing editors, production editors, copyeditors, and other members of the editorial team

Bouchercon 2014 : Meet Alibi Editor Dana Edwin Isaacson

Posted by November 10th, 2014

Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach kicks off November 13th in Long Beach, California. Bouchercon is one of the world’s largest crime fiction conventions. Dana Edwin Isaacson, Senior Editor at Alibi, shares what he his most looking forward to at Bouchercon.

ALIBI editor Bouchercon 2014Janet Umenta: What are you most looking forward to at Bouchercon 2014?

Dana Edwin Isaacson: During the e-publishing forum on Thursday, our Alibi authors are doing a virtual eBook signing, using our partner Autography. Interested mystery readers can meet our authors at the signings, get a personal inscription or photograph with the author, and then go and download their personalized eBook. As I’ve yet to see this incredibly cool innovation in action, I’m eager to get my own personalized eBooks!

I’m also excited to be meeting in person for the first time a few of our Alibi authors. When editing a novel, you develop an intimate relationship with the author’s viewpoint. It’s fascinating to meet in person someone whom you feel you already know.

JU:  What new trends do you see in the mystery and thriller genres?

DEI: Cozies are selling well. In online strategies, novels with a female protagonist find it easier to win readers.  Also, there seems to be an uptick of medical thrillers. Continue reading

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Win an Intensive Creative Writing Course from The Writers’ Academy!

Posted by November 4th, 2014

Enter to win an intensive creative writing course with The Writers' Academy!

We’re excited to give away a free spot in the latest intensive creative writing course from The Writers’ Academy, a new range of online classes offered by Penguin Random House UK. This sweepstakes is exclusive to Book Country members who live in the US, the UK, and Canada (excluding Quebec).

During the course, you will be introduced to key elements of fiction including character, plot, and setting. The course includes weekly writing exercises, individual feedback and support, and videos and podcasts from world famous authors. You’ll also receive expert advice from Michal Shavit, Editorial Director at Harvill Secker. Shavit has worked with incredible authors including including Denis Johnson, Rachel Kushner, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Alexandra Fuller, Elif Batuman and Sheila Heti, among others. Tuition is priced at £499 (approximately USD $800!), but one lucky Book Country member will take the course for free! If you aren’t yet a Book Country member, go ahead and join now.

As a student, you’ll receive a discount on all further courses with The Writers’ Academy, and an opportunity to become part of The Writers’ Academy alumni community. You can read the full course schedule on The Writers’ Academy page.

Michal ShavitWe caught up with Editorial Director Michal Shavit to learn more about the Writers’ Academy, what it will be like to take this course, and how she approaches working with writers.

Why should an aspiring writer take a course from the Writers’ Academy?

As the largest publisher, Penguin Random House can draw on their vast pool of authors and editors to contribute to the Writers’ Academy online course with their tips, experience and valuable advice.  The Beginners course offers exclusive online content from authors and editors in the form of podcasts, videos and written materials. Weekly exercises, structured peer review and regular individual feedback by an experienced creative writing teacher help students understand the nuts and bolts of creative writing. The course flexibility allows students to balance their busy lives, work and other commitments around the course. Continue reading

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Come Down Off That Ledge—Self-Promotion Can be Fun!

Posted by October 8th, 2014

Andrea Dunlop on Book Country promotion

Let’s take a moment to discuss the oft-used phrase “self-promoter.” It’s unclear in the Kardashian-takes-all world whether this phrase is meant as a compliment or an insult, but the idea of promoting oneself gives most authors I know the heebie-jeebies. We all know that it’s necessary to advocate for your own work, especially in today’s overcrowded publishing landscape, but how do you do that without becoming a bore or a Bragosaurus rex?

Being a writer is a lifetime commitment, and it involves more than just putting pen to paper. The following are some ways to promote your work that won’t feel like a chore to you or your readers. Continue reading

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Assistant Editor Michelle Meade on the Editorial Process

Posted by September 9th, 2014

“Never feel that your book is finished before you get started in the editorial process.” Michelle Mead, now Assistant Editor at MIRA Books, an imprint of Harlequin, gives advice to new authors starting the editorial process.

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Slice Literary Writers Conference: What’s All This Talk About “Platform,” and Do I Really Need One?

Posted by September 5th, 2014

Are you headed to the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference tomorrow?

I will be there, speaking on a panel called “What’s All This Talk About “Platform,” and Do I Really Need One?” from 2:45-4:00pm in Room 3203.

Here’s what the panel is all about:

It seems that writing a great manuscript is not enough to attract a publisher. Many say you aren’t publishing material unless you have a “platform.” But what exactly counts as a platform, and is it really that important? Agents and editors talk about how platform influences publishers, how best to spend your energy building one (or not), and how the definition and importance of platform changes depending on what you’re writing.

Panelists: Emily Griffin, Editor, Grand Central Publishing; Kirby Kim, Agent, Janklow & Nesbit; Lucy Silag, Community and Engagement Manager, Book Country; Terra Chalberg, Agent, Chalberg & Sussman; Maya Ziv, Editor, HarperCollins

Moderator: Joshua Bodwell, Author and Executive Director of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance

Slice Magazine

The Slice Literary Writers’ Conference is hosted by Slice Magazine, a fantastic publication that “aims to bridge the gap between emerging and established authors.”

If you’ll be there, I hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a spirited and informative conversation about the writer’s platform and what that means.

I’ll also be tweeting as much as I can from the conference, and I’m sure there’ll be lots of interesting tips and tweets coming from other participants as well. Follow the official conference hashtag #SMC14 as well as #SliceConference to stay in the loop!

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Ask an Editor: Jessica Renheim Answers Your Questions!

Posted by August 27th, 2014

http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/dutton/Today we present another round of your questions for an editor–this week, answered by Dutton associate editor Jessica Renheim. Jessica has worked with New York Times bestselling authors like Brad Taylor, Dan Savage, Richelle Mead, and Kelley Armstrong. Read on for her advice to members of the Book Country community.

1.  What should a person look for in an editor? (Specifically for ones who will be working closely with you.) Also, should you have your manuscript completely finished before looking into editorial services? – Amber Wolfe

If you’re an aspiring writer who’s interested in traditional book publishing, then the first step is finding a literary agent who can represent your work and connect you with an editor and publisher. There are great sources online like Publishers Marketplace and the Literary Marketplace that can help you research agents and determine individuals who are the right fit for your manuscript; you don’t want to blindly query agents (or editors) who only work on nonfiction if you’ve written a psychological thriller, for example. Find an agent who specializes in the genre you’ve written, who feels passionate about your work, and who can help you find an editor who feels the same way. In terms of manuscript length, literary agents usually have their preferences listed on their websites for how to submit queries and material to them. Continue reading

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Book Country Sponsors Slice Literary Writers’ Conference

Posted by August 26th, 2014

I’m excited to introduce the Book Country community to Maria Gagliano and Celia Johnson. They are the cofounders of Slice Magazine, a literary magazine dedicated to connecting emerging writers of poetry, literary fiction, and narrative nonfiction with one another. The Slice Literary Writers’ Conference continues that mission with two days of programming dedicated to illuminating craft and publishing topics. Book Country has signed on to be a sponsor of this year’s conference because we admire their mission of helping writers find their audience.Slice Literary Writers' Conference

Our sponsorship includes a scholarship for one MFA student to attend the conference this year. We’re excited to tell you more about that scholarship recipient in a future post. In the meantime, I wanted to give Maria and Celia a chance to tell you why they began doing this incredible event, and why you should keep this conference on your radar.

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We’re excited to host Slice magazine’s fourth annual writers’ conference in Brooklyn on September 6 and 7. My Slice co-founder Celia Johnson and I started Slice eight years ago as a print literary magazine dedicated to helping emerging writers find an audience for their work. In that time, an amazing community of writers, readers, and publishing professionals have rallied around Slice’s mission, working together to foster the next generation of great writers. Continue reading

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Ask an Editor: Alexandra Cardia Answers Your Questions!

Posted by August 22nd, 2014

Book Country Ask an EditorWelcome to Part III of Book Country’s Ask an Editor blog series. Alexandra Cardia, Assistant Editor at Riverhead Books, talks about the most rewarding thing about being an editor and deciding whether to work with a particular manuscript. Read Part I and Part II of Ask an Editor.

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1.  Generally how far do you read into a submitted book before deciding it’s trash or good enough to work with? – BoJo Johnson

It really depends on the project. Nonfiction projects are generally submitted as a proposal, and I read proposals front to back; you need to, I think, to get a full picture of the work. For fiction, how far I read into a work is generally dependent on two things: First, if I connect to the writing. If I don’t, I’ll know that pretty quickly and know that the work is probably a pass for me. Second, if I like the writing, I’ll read for story. This can take anywhere from a couple dozen pages to the entire manuscript. Sometimes I’ll read an entire manuscript and only then know that it’s not the right fit for me. So it really does depend on the work! Continue reading

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The Book Publishing Journey: Interview with Senior Editor Beena Kamlani

Posted by August 15th, 2014

Hope you are enjoying Ask an Editor Month on Book Country! Watch this interview with Senior Editor Beena Kamlani of Viking Penguin Random House. Beena explains her role as a developmental editor and how she guides the author in the editing process. You can also watch an expanded version of this interview.

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Ask an Editor: Melissa Danaczko Answers Your Questions!

Posted by August 12th, 2014

Ask an EditorWelcome to Part II of Book Country’s Ask an Editor series! Melissa Danaczko is an Editor at Doubleday, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Today, she talks about how to improve dialogue in writing, how marketability plays a role in selecting books for publication, and how editors deal with personal bias. Read Part I of Ask an Editor.

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1.  Is there bias when editing? When editors get content which violates them personally, does it affect their work? – Melanie Kilsby () Continue reading

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