A former CEO of St. Martin's Press, McCormack's insights into the publishing world are based both on his long and distinguished career as an editor and on his experiences as a writer. For advice both on editing your work and getting it published, McCormack can't be beat.
Click here to hear the answers to the following questions:
What are some of the major ways the publishing industry has changed since you began your career? What do these changes mean for writers? Looking back, what books are you most proud to have worked on? As an editor, what did you look for in both manuscripts and authors?
Jeanette Perez, Editor for the HarperCollins and Harper Perennial imprints, offers her thoughts on the importance of agents, outlines the publication process, and shares how her list fits into the broader goals of HarperCollins.
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What kind of fiction do you primarily acquire? What do editors look for in both authors and submissions? How many first-time novelists do you publish each year? How finished should manuscripts be before authors begin to submit them to publishers? Do you recommend that authors get agents before submitting their novels? I've heard that many presses have stopped really considering over-the-transom submissions. Is that true at HarperCollins? It's said that the publishing industry has changed a lot in recent years, that some of the work once done by editors is now done by agents. Could you briefly explain what an author can expect once his or her novel has been accepted? Do you have any final advice for authors seeking to get publish?
An Editorial Director at Random House Children's Books offers advice on how to present your ideas in a professional way during high-pressure writers' conferences pitch sessions. Knowing what editors do and don't want to hear can give you a huge advantage.
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How many writers' conferences do you attend each year, and on average how many proposals will you look at as a result? What should writers do to prepare for pitch sessions? What are some of the mistakes writers make when meeting with you at a conference? Do you have advice on how to follow up in a professional manner?
Advice on Publishing from Top Fiction Editors
One of the best sources of information on publishing is obviously editors -- the people who decide what gets published and what doesn't. Here, three editors and former editors, from HarperCollins, Random House, and St. Martin's Press, reflect on how those decisions get made, the state of the industry, and what they're are looking for. See below for the questions we asked and click the links to get the answers!