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Contributor
LeslieWells
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-06-2009

Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


DebsScott wrote:

Welcome Ms. Wells!  Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic book with us! It is a beautiful tome on the outside and terrific reading on the inside. 

 

I don't really have any questions about the book yet, but was wondering if you could answer a couple about your specific job.  First, do you get to choose the genre of books you want to edit or are you tossed a stack of manuscripts and told to read them?  Is it difficult for you to edit a book if you do not find it particularly enjoyable?  Are y'all hiring?  :smileyhappy:


Hi there, so glad you're enjoying The Physick Book!

 

Most publishing companies only consider manuscripts from literary agents, and editors receive submissions from agents every day of the week. We read the submissions (most editors work with fiction and nonfiction), and if we like something we take it to editorial board and get readings from others in house. If it passes that, it goes to an acquisitions board; the editor acquires the book for our publishing house if we get the green light. To acquire a novel, an editor must think that the book is well written, have engaging/interesting characters, and also think it will be snapped up by readers.

Inspired Contributor
canterbear
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

Leslie,

thanks for taking part in this discussion.

 Loving the book.

But I do have a few questions about publishing:

 

1. How much self-marketing must an author do? and how much is done by the publisher?

2. What are the differences between a commercial publisher and a trade publisher?

3. Does the agent present the authors query to the editor or the publisher?

4. when you are considering a book, what elements must really sell that book to the publisher?

 

Thanks very much for all your input.

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

Thank you for joining us Ms Wells.

I was wondering were diagrams ever considered for inclusion in the book, in order to depict the tetrammaton or the symbol burnt into Granna's door or even some of the other items like the key, that was found? I would have liked to see a pictorial image of what they looked like so I would have a better idea of what they meant. I often look up things related to the book but I was really not sure what to look up to help explain some of the things more clearly. 

twj

Contributor
LeslieWells
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-06-2009

Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


canterbear wrote:

Leslie,

thanks for taking part in this discussion.

 Loving the book.

But I do have a few questions about publishing:

 

1. How much self-marketing must an author do? and how much is done by the publisher?

2. What are the differences between a commercial publisher and a trade publisher?

3. Does the agent present the authors query to the editor or the publisher?

4. when you are considering a book, what elements must really sell that book to the publisher?

 

Thanks very much for all your input.

 


Hi there,good questions. These days an author really needs to do a fair amount of internet marketing, such as setting up their website, blogging about the book, and so on. Most publishers don't have a large enough marketing staff to do that for the authors and it's something authors are very good at. The publisher will do some or all of the following: print and distribute ARCs, run ads, pitch the author to book club groups and bookstores for events, coordinate with our sales dept. on requests from bookstores for author appearances, and pitch the author to tv/radio for interviews.

 

A general trade publisher is the term for a non-academic publisher (ie not a university press). A commercial publisher is just a loose term for a house that focuses on more commercial (as opposed to, say, literary) fiction and nonfiction. However just about all of the major publishers now focus on "commercial" (ie you hope you can sell it well) books with a smattering of purely literary work.

The agents send manuscripts to editors and also at times to the publisher as well. I think you're confusing the use of "publisher" in previous threads (often that's used instead of "publishing house") as opposed to the specific title, Publisher, which is the head of the publishing house. But both editors and the publisher receive submissions.

Important elements: for fiction, first of all it has to be a great, riveting read. Good to great writing, strong plot and pacing, unique storyline, engaging characters. And the publishing house has to see an audience for the book (ie people will buy it).

Nonfiction: good writing, interesting topic, author is an expert in his/her field, and a strong audience for the book.

Contributor
LeslieWells
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-06-2009
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


thewanderingjew wrote:

Thank you for joining us Ms Wells.

I was wondering were diagrams ever considered for inclusion in the book, in order to depict the tetrammaton or the symbol burnt into Granna's door or even some of the other items like the key, that was found? I would have liked to see a pictorial image of what they looked like so I would have a better idea of what they meant. I often look up things related to the book but I was really not sure what to look up to help explain some of the things more clearly. 

twj


Since we didn't include line drawings in the interior of the book (usually you don't for works of fiction), we didn't have these elements as art in the interior. If you google tetragram you can find some ideas, but since this is fiction, these elements are works of imagination (informed by historical research).

Inspired Contributor
canterbear
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

Leslie,

thank you so much for answering all my questions and in such detail.
I really appreciate it.

 

 

D. 

Wordsmith
kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


LeslieWells wrote:

DSaff wrote:

Thank you for joining us, Ms. Wells! This is a wonderful book. I know that the job of editor can be taxing as well as joyful. Can you tell us what drew you to this book and how the editing process has gone? 

 

 


Hi there! I've always been interested in the Salem witchcraft trials, so immediately I was interested in Katherine's novel. But I was also drawn in from page one by her gorgeous writing -- we editors see hundreds of novels a year, but we acquire only a handful, so a book must really stand out for us to publish it. The combination of strong plot line and pacing, great period detail, and superb writing drew me in to the book and kept me going.

 

In terms of the editing, Katherine is absolutely wonderful to work with, and the editing was collaborative (as any good editing process should be).


As a reader, I was also hooked after reading page one.  Reading Peter's concern and worry as he waited for "yon woman" to come", I knew there was much more awaiting me in the pages to come.  I read a lot and I agree that Ms. Howe's writing style is wonderful to read- descriptive, poetic.  This book was a joy to read.

 

Kathy 

Wordsmith
kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


LeslieWells wrote:

PiperMurphy wrote:

I'm curious about the editing process. How do you do it? Are you looking for continuity, cohesiveness, etc? Or, do you make suggestions about the writing itself?

 

Thanks for taking my question.


 

When editing a novel, first you read it several times to look for larger issues such as continuity and cohesiveness (as you mentioned), also parts that should be cut, parts that you'd like expanded upon, making sure the characters remain in character, asking the author to clarify things that aren't clear, and so on. Then once the manuscript is in good shape in terms of the larger issues, the editor goes through line by line to work on smaller things such as word choices, sentences breaks, even punctuation. Usually you go through several drafts before the editing process is finished, and the editor goes back and forth with the author, discussing questions, and so on. The author makes the changes that she agrees with in each draft and ultimately we wind up with the final manuscript.


Ms. Wells,

I also want to add my gratitude for allowing First Look to read this book.  I have enjoyed it tremendously.

 

I also appreciated you commenting on your role in the completion of this book.  I am recommending it to many.

 

Kathy 

Contributor
LeslieWells
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-06-2009
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


Carmenere_lady wrote:

Hi there, Ms Wells.  So happy that you can be with us as we enjoy The Physick Book.  I'm a bit confused as to the timing of chapters 8, 9 and 10.  Please help me understand.....Chapter 8 takes place in Late June, Chapter 9 in Mid-June and Chapter 10 around the Summer Soltice which I believe is around June 23rd.  Is that the way it should read, am I missing something or is it just a typo?

 

Thanks alot,


Hi there, you are absolutely right, and this is something we caught and fixed after the first pass pages (and arc) were printed. Ch 7 should be mid June, and Chs 8 and 9 are late June.

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

I don't mind the typos, I've only found one so far anyway. The cover was cute, but it has become annoying though.

 

I just wanted to thank you for giving this book to First Look.  I've really enjoying this experience.

 

Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

[ Edited ]

Hello Leslie,

 

Thanks so much for joining the group! I just read a great small interview with four young editors in Poets and Writers, and it's wonderful to get a peek at what happens behind the books we love reading.  You can probably tell, many of us idealize what an editor's day must be like.

 

How much of your day do you actually get to spend reading fiction? Would you mind revealing what's best and worst about your job?

 

 

Thanks!

 

Rachel

 

 

Message Edited by rkubie on 04-08-2009 10:41 PM
New User
Leslie_Wells
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-06-2009
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


TiggerBear wrote:

I don't mind the typos, I've only found one so far anyway. The cover was cute, but it has become annoying though.

 

I just wanted to thank you for giving this book to First Look.  I've really enjoying this experience.

 


 

So glad you're enjoying the book!
New User
Leslie_Wells
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-06-2009
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


rkubie wrote:

Hello Leslie,

 

Thanks so much for joining the group! I just read a great small interview with four young editors in Poets and Writers, and it's wonderful to get a peek at what happens behind the books we love reading.  You can probably tell, many of us idealize what an editor's day must be like.

 

How much of your day do you actually get to spend reading fiction? Would you mind revealing what's best and worst about your job?

 

 

Thanks!

 

Rachel

 

 

Message Edited by rkubie on 04-08-2009 10:41 PM

 

Hi there,

Actually during the day there's no time for reading or editing -- there are lots of meetings to discuss plans for the books, phone calls with authors/agents, and so on. The reading and editing of manuscripts takes place pretty much after hours, at night and on weekends. I tend to get up very early to do a lot of my reading and editing.

 

The best part of my job definitely is acquiring a new book by an author. It's so exciting to begin working with a new author. The worst part is having to turn down so many projects. We receive so many submissions, and we can't accept but a small portion of them for publication (and all submissions are from literary agents).

New User
Leslie_Wells
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-06-2009
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


godslioness wrote:
I found two typos in the book, fyi....

Hi there, actually the arcs are made up from uncorrected first pass pages -- but the actual book has been proofed many times (arcs always have some typos).

gl
Distinguished Correspondent
gl
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Questions for Editor - do editors specialize in a type of novel

Ms. Wells,

 

Do editors develop an area of specialization?  For instance, if you had a fondness for historical fiction and fantasy novels, would you slowly develop ties with authors with those specializations?  Or do editors learn to explore all different types of books, within a larger area? Would categories be split much the same way that booksellers divide them, like Amazon's categories?

 

How do book editors feel about bookswapping sites like Bookmooch.com and Paperbackswap.com?

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions - I love books but don't know much about the publishing and bookselling industries.

 

GL

New User
Leslie_Wells
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-06-2009

Re: Questions for Editor - do editors specialize in a type of novel


gl wrote:

Ms. Wells,

 

Do editors develop an area of specialization?  For instance, if you had a fondness for historical fiction and fantasy novels, would you slowly develop ties with authors with those specializations?  Or do editors learn to explore all different types of books, within a larger area? Would categories be split much the same way that booksellers divide them, like Amazon's categories?

 

How do book editors feel about bookswapping sites like Bookmooch.com and Paperbackswap.com?

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions - I love books but don't know much about the publishing and bookselling industries.

 

GL


 

Hi there,

Editors do develop "specialties" in terms of what they edit, to a certain extent; if an editor has a good feel for historic fiction, or commercial women's fiction, or thrillers, for instance, she would solicit that kind of fiction from literary agents. But editors at most houses need to be pretty diverse in terms of what they do -- most editors work with both fiction and nonfiction, ranging over many genres and categories.

Reader-Moderator
liisa22
Posts: 606
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?


juls74 wrote:

...

 

Out of curiosity and because I have often thought of writing, it it truly reasonable to think that one can break into this field without some type of connection or contact?  Also, do all editors, publishers, etc. have to be based in NYC?


 Good question, wondered about that myself. :-)

 

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
-Sir Richard Steele

http://bookreviewsbyliisa.blogspot.com/
Correspondent
SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

Ms. Wells,

 

Not sure if you are still on line as I've been out of town for a week. 

 

How much influence does the author have in designing the cover?  Do they have the final say?

 

Thank you for sharing this book with us before release date.  I am enjoying it immensely.

 

SandyS

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

This is my first time in the First Look Book club, and I have been enjoying the whole experience immensely!  The whole editing and marketing process (as described in the previous posts) is fascinating to me!  I have been an avid reader my whole life, but the privilege of obtaining an ARC and being educated about the whole process of a book has given me an increased appreciation for the author, editor, etc. 

 

Thank you for all of your hard work and for the part that you play in this process! 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
Contributor
KimberlyH
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-24-2008
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Re: Questions for Editor, Leslie Wells?

Hello & Welcome Leslie!

I must start by saying I am a bit picky about my books.  My husband calls me a book snob.  We all must have our opinions.  I love hardbacks for the ease of reading and lack of cracked spines in my bookcase.  I have been known to flip through a book before buying to test the smell and feel of the pages.

I have to say this book is beautifully packaged.  The print and colors on the cover and spine capture the book perfectly.  I love the watercolor look and the almost canvas feel.  I was able to read to book comfortably without cracking the spine.  

The weight and touch of the pages provided a well crafted impression that nicely mirrored the story that was being read.  Beautiful.

The outer cut of the pages was a bit disappointing.  A straight cut here would have provided a fine polish on the book.

I still have not formed a clear impression on the folding jacket.  It really gave the feeling of "opening" a special, older book from around1700's.  Almost as if the reader has discovered the book that Connie is looking for in the story.  However once the book is opened and being read, the excess jacket in the back can feel bulky and somewhat cumbersome.  Not sure what my finial pick here is ~ comfort or art.

A very nicely written book.  What are the packaging plans for publishing? 

Kimberly H