Hello Seekers and Seeker Friends! Happy Fall to you all!
I was honored when Mary invited me to come spend a little time with you today.
|Happy, Happy, Happy|
from Howard Publishing
I’ve always loved books and reading. As a little kid, the first book I read was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. More likely than not, my nose was always in a book. Not much has changed throughout the years. Reading is still my most favorite thing in the world. And I was somehow able to find a job that pays me to read. Can you believe that? Me either.
I work as an Associate Book Editor for Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. We are located in Nashville, Tennessee and are most famous for publishing the Duck Dynasty Books including Happy, Happy, Happy and Duck Commander Family. Our fiction books hold a large piece of my heart too.
|by Rebecca Kanner|
Beth Vogt. These ladies are fantastic—let me tell you.
But I am also a huge Fan-Girl. I cheer for Howard’s other authors, regardless if I am working on the book, and I champion for them any time I can—shout out to Rebecca Kanner (READ HER BOOKS!) and Tosca Lee (DITTO!).
Editing fiction and non-fiction is completely different and oddly, I love both. But there is something about fiction that makes you feel more creatively involved. I’m so fortunate to have worked with such gracious authors who allow me to feel a part of a team with them as we work together to make the book the best we possibly can. It feels like a true collaboration in some ways. It’s very important to me to develop strong relationships with open communication between me as an editor, and the author as the creator. I honestly love my authors as people (there’s no better way to get to know someone than in Track Changes Notes in the rough MS!) and we cross that imaginary line to become Facebook friends and see insight into our lives away from the written word.
|By Stephanie Lansem|
My job doesn’t end with line editing a manuscript. I make it a personal mission to always do the best thing for my author’s books—no matter what—and to get the book in as many hands as I possibly can. I will ask the tough questions to my peers and brainstorm creative ways to market or spread the word or find possible endorsers. Honestly, if you see someone holding a book over her head on the corner begging you to read it because it will change your life—that just might be me!
And the coolest part about all of this? Is that I can’t believe this is my job. It never feels like work. It feels like an honor and a gift to work with passionate and talented people who create amazing stories. How lucky is that?
|By Kara Isaac|
I also work to acquiring new talent and spend many hours poring over hopeful book proposals. As you guys know, it’s a tough market right now—especially for debut fiction. Nowadays, a social media platform is crucial. If you have any connection for a possible endorsement, it’s a game-changer for potential authors. A suggestion? Get the endorsement as soon as possible, perhaps even before submitting the proposal. A great blurb from a well-known name makes a huge difference. I know this is tough, and it means taking that first step out of being shy, and asking for help from someone who has already walked this path and had success. Hopefully one day you will be able to pay it forward to someone too! I also look for something unique in a potential book—a fresh plot, strong compelling voice, and unique storyline.
I know that it can seem that my job entails saying no quite a bit for you potential hopeful writers. I
wish I could say yes more often.
Believe me. But when writing a letter of rejection, I do try to take the time
to write personal comments and suggestions to give the author feedback. Most
publishing houses have a very specific list we are shopping for. Often times, I
may read a proposal that is interesting and well-written, but not a good fit
for our current list. And it’s helpful to remember that just because your
proposal may not be right for my imprint, does not mean that your book—your
idea—your writing—isn’t good! Do not get discouraged.
|By Beth Vogt|
Another key tip and I say this to all fiction writers across the board: networking is a must. Attend conferences. Make friends. (I know introverts, I know, this is hard! But it’s necessary!) Support one another. Create a group of special readers you respect to read your manuscript before you submit it so they can weigh in with their thoughts and suggestions. You’ll have a great group of support, which is invaluable, but you’ll also end up with a better book!
It’s such an honor to spend the day with you all.
If you leave a question, I will send fifteen questioners, one of Howard’s fiction books as a giveaway (as long as you make sure to tell a friend if you like the book!) I will also be choosing one lucky Seekervillager to win a special surprise fiction package giveaway so please introduce yourself--question or not!
Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
|Day 20 of our Birthday Bash!|