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Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

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Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:05 pm

Ask away!

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Taryn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:14 pm

Hmmmmmmm, first of all, Alison, you are such a rockstar for doing these all the time and being so wonderful and thorough in your answers Smile

My question: why do some deals get announced within a week and others take months?

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:11 pm

Well, some deals are announced within days of the deal being made. Those are the ones you hear about right away. Sometimes, the agent waits until the contract is signed and countersigned, and that can take months. Sometimes, the deal isn't announced - then the book just appears.

It depends on the agent, and the author, the editor, and the size of the deal. And happenstance.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:06 am

I have a question! How often do you get a manuscript and ask them to change its tense/person? I've been changing one of my manuscripts to 1st person, and having visions of an editor asking me to change it *again* to something new. Laughing How likely is this, and why would a decision like this be made? Just out of curiosity.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:29 am

For me, I think it's more likely that I would pass on the submission rather than ask for a tense change. I might say that I really liked it, but wonder if it might be stronger with this direction and say I'd be open to reconsidering if the author revises.

I know it seems mean and cruel, but as I'm sure you've experienced in doing your flip, changing such a big piece of the project is very time intensive, and I don't always have the luxury of time to wait, unfortunately. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:32 am

Question for you guys: What genre are you not seeing that you wish would make a comeback? Why? Give me your dream book in this scenario.

I'll start you off. In the last few weeks, I've been vaguely wondering why there isn't much Western YA. Western, you ask? That's sort of strange, Alison. Well, I had a thing with the ABC Family show Wildfire when it was on air, and I totally can see that translating to great, twisty, angsty YA.

Your turn!

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Taryn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:39 am

Western? That's really strange, Alison :p

I haven't been asking myself that, but I have been prodding the market for adventure and mystery stories that have nothing to do with magic/dystopias. I think this is a great hole to be filled, and I think we're seeing more and more thrillers heading that way, so I'm hoping mysteries will heat up soon. *may have a mystery* :Wink

I also want to see more sibling relationships and more complicated friendships (not romance). Then the whole low fantasy thing (characters from our world find their way into other worlds), which is so wonderfully done in MG, but skirted in YA, where the characters stumble upon paranormal races but don't actually find a new world like Narnia or Beyonders or something.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:57 pm

Editor Alison wrote:For me, I think it's more likely that I would pass on the submission rather than ask for a tense change. I might say that I really liked it, but wonder if it might be stronger with this direction and say I'd be open to reconsidering if the author revises.

I know it seems mean and cruel, but as I'm sure you've experienced in doing your flip, changing such a big piece of the project is very time intensive, and I don't always have the luxury of time to wait, unfortunately. Crying or Very sad

That makes total sense! Thank you. =)

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:59 pm

Editor Alison wrote:Question for you guys: What genre are you not seeing that you wish would make a comeback? Why? Give me your dream book in this scenario.

I'll start you off. In the last few weeks, I've been vaguely wondering why there isn't much Western YA. Western, you ask? That's sort of strange, Alison. Well, I had a thing with the ABC Family show Wildfire when it was on air, and I totally can see that translating to great, twisty, angsty YA.

Your turn!

I don't think it's strange! I'd try out a Western YA. =)

Hmm... that's a hard one. It's like, I know what I'm sick of, more than what I'd like to see MORE of. Just anything that's outside the box. I agree with what Taryn says about more complicated family/friend relationships, and no so many romances. I love romances, don't get me wrong, but it'd be really neat to have a splash of something else thrown in there.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  StephanieD on Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:50 pm

Hey, Alison! Thanks for answering questions. Smile

I'm curious about author visits to meet with editors. I have a friend with a Penguin publishing deal who recently flew to NYC to meet her editor and shoot some book-related videos for the publisher. Is that something that is common for authors? Do publishers pay for a trip like that, or would authors be expected to fund it themselves?

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:08 pm

My answer is that it depends a great deal on the book. It may be sucky and unfair, but we all know that some books are bigger for publishers than others, and some get more attention and backing than others.

So depending on the scenario, I can see a publisher flying an author out to New York to shoot promotional video and do all kinds of stuff like that. I can also see scenarios where an author was going to be in New York anyhow (on vacation, visiting relatives, whatever) and the publisher tacks on visits or signings to take advantage).

Does that answer?

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Just Another Dreamer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:14 pm

Hi! My question is about agent-editor submissions. Very soon, I'll be done with my revisions and my agent will begin shopping it to editors. We've talked briefly before about whether or not I want those editors to know that I'm fifteen. So here's my question: Should I ask her to mention my age while pitching to editors? Or is it better to wait and mention that later? When I was querying, I never mentioned my age (and THAT made it extremely awkward when I finally told my agent when she called me...she was surprised, which I found extremely flattering . I did that because I wanted to be signed for my writing ability, not as a novelty item. But since this time my agent will be shopping to editors, I obviously want to do whatever it takes to see my name on a cover

Thanks in advance for your help!!

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  StephanieD on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:16 pm

Editor Alison wrote:My answer is that it depends a great deal on the book. It may be sucky and unfair, but we all know that some books are bigger for publishers than others, and some get more attention and backing than others.

So depending on the scenario, I can see a publisher flying an author out to New York to shoot promotional video and do all kinds of stuff like that. I can also see scenarios where an author was going to be in New York anyhow (on vacation, visiting relatives, whatever) and the publisher tacks on visits or signings to take advantage).

Does that answer?

It does, indeed! Thanks again. Smile

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Taryn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:17 pm

Just Another Dreamer--

Hey, I'm a teen on sub with my agent, too! We should commiserate together at some point Smile

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:23 pm

Well, it's a slightly complicated response from me.

I understand the feeling that you don't want to be signed as a novelty--that you want to be signed for your ability. I respect that a great deal.

But as an editor, I have to admit that I'm not just signing up your book. I'm signing up the package of you and what you bring to the table. I can't bring any book to an acquisitions meeting without a plan about how we would use the author, what the author's resources are (and by that I mean social media, website, other authors they might be clicked in with, bookstore relationships, library relationships, etc.)

I might just fall in love with your writiing from the start, but my first call would be to your agent to get the skinny on you. And I can guarantee I'd Google you. (I Google every author I'm interested in.)

This is a long way of saying that the secret wouldn't stay secret for very long, at least with me. Because it can't. I need to know everything relevant to your writing career to devise a plan on why I want this book with my company, and you as one of my authors.

Would the fact that your 15 be a tipping point for editors? Maybe. But the writing still needs to stand on its own. So think of it as an icing-on-the-cake selling point. And as to how you and your agent agree to pitch, that's up to you.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Just Another Dreamer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:32 pm

Thanks Alison! Would the age thing be a tipping point either way? Like...if you liked my writing but weren't head-over-heels for it, would the age thing be a dealbreaker?


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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Just Another Dreamer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:35 pm

Taryn: Totally! Do you Tweet? My handle is @encoreunreveur, if you do. I rant about my writing woes and high school, among other things.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:44 pm

Maybe for another editor it would tip them over the fence. For me, if I don't love the book, I don't care about the other stuff. (Okay, I'm curious about the other stuff, and I might like to know the other stuff, but I need to be passionate about the project, even if the other stuff didn't exist.)

So if I was fence-sitting, and then I found out you were 15, I'd still be fence-sitting. And if I'm fence-sitting, then it's PROBABLY not quite there for me.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Just Another Dreamer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:00 pm

Thanks Alison!!! And...um...*awkwardly clears throat while blushing furiously* Just out of curiosity, what genres are you interested in right now?

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:03 pm

::Low chuckle::

I don't have a particular genre right now. I'm looking for really strong, standout writing with premises that are different and suck me in and characters I either fall in love with or loathe utterly. (I like anti-heroes. Sue me!)

That's all I'm saying for now.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:25 pm

Loving the questions so far!

I have a tiny question. I tend to have trouble making distinctions between drafts. Ex: Do these tiny polishes make this Draft 2? That kind of thing. What would you say is a radical enough change to warrant a "change of draft"?

Lemme know if that makes sense.

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:38 pm

I think that's up to you. But if you're going to make every document that has a tiny tweak a new draft, you will have a gazillion drafts, my dear.

One trick I've heard a lot of writers use is that they keep a seperate file with all the bits they've diced out, so if they decide at some point they wish they hadn't gotten rid of something, it's still there!

But maybe my advice to you stems back to looking at your novel, for a moment, like you'd look at writing an essay for high school or college. At what point do you call the new version a draft? Or is it just a working document until you hit that critical moment when it became time for a seperate version? (That's how I worked on my papers. Maybe I was weird. Actually, probably. . . .)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that everyone finds their own way. None is right or wrong. It just is.


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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Taryn on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:37 am

E-book, paperback, or hardback? and WHY? =D

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:08 am

I think each have their place and audience.

Preference for me? I think hardcover - because I don't want to wait for a book I've been lusting after to come out. I want it right away, even if by the time I get to reading it, the paperback is out.

Paperbacks are often what keep a book going and going and going. And if I'm going to write in a book, it just feels a little less sacreligious to do it in a paperback. Why? Don't know. And, truthfully, now that I'm out of college, I'm not much of one for scribbling notes in my margins anymore. (I guess I do that so much on author's manuscripts that I don't need to do it in books anymore). But I love reading other people's marginalia. I think it comes from reading my dad's old college books when I was in high school. I loved seeing what passages he thought were especially important and how he interpreted things.

Ebooks - I think Ebooks are great! I love that you click and it's yours. Right there. And you can see exactly how far through you are becasue there's that great percentage bar. (Or, on my Kindle, there is). But I guess I don't do that many Ebooks because the Kindle technically belongs to my company and, to be honest, I find it aggrivating to keep switching the credit card charged from my company card to my personal one. But I use my Kindle to read manuscripts. All my manuscripts. So we can say that's reading books in one of their earliest forms. And I love that. I love that it's all there and I can just read and click and read and click and read and click.

Conclusions: Don't care how you're coming to your books. I just want you reading 'em!

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Re: Ask Editor Alison Weiss #15 (right in here!)

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