What an Editor Wants

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What do the following editors have in common?

Amanda Bergeron -- Avon/Harper Collins
Holly Blanck -- St Martin's Press
Stacy Boyd -- Silhouette Desire
Lia Brown -- Avalon
Leah Hultenschmidt -- Sourcebooks
Alex Logan -- Grand Central Publishing
Evette Porter -- Kimani, Kimani Tru/Harlequin
Megan Records -- Kensington Books
Patience Smith -- Harlequin/Silhouette

They all have pet peeves about what they do and don't want to see in a query or manuscript submission. This impressive group of publishing industry professionals was on an Editors Panel at the recent New Jersey Romance Writers conference.

Kensington's Megan Records hates poor research. She wants people who submit to her to know her name and how to spell it as well as what line they are targeting. Alex Logan at Grand Central does not want to see anything longer than 80,000 to 85,000 words.

Leah Hultenschmidt of Sourcebooks gets annoyed when people send a manuscript in chapter pieces. She wants to see the entire manuscript in one document.  Avon's Amanda Bergeron says writers should remember to make their query letters professional, because they represent your writing.

They all want to know about contests wins, other manuscripts or books, and anything else that tells them that you are looking at writing as a career and not a lark. The editors prefer that you use your name as your email address and not a family email address, which makes it more difficult for them to find your submission should they go back and look for it.

Oh, and as to whether you need an agent. The editors say they always look at things sent to them by agents first. A good reason to try to land an agent, wouldn't you say?


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