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Ask Editor Alison #30 (right here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:47 pm

Oh man, oh man, oh man! I'm the worst.

I forgot to open the forums today, and I forgot to even open them at all in June. But they are open now.

And to make it up to all of you, the first 3 people who play and ask questions can have an Egmont book of their choice.
So come ask. Bring friends. We'll have (imaginary) cake.

-Editor Alison
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #30 (right here!)

Post  Alyssa on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:27 pm

I don't know if you're still accepting questions, but I had a question. It's not really a publishing question. Anyway I was wondering what your opinion was on palm readings in books? Do you like them? See them as a cheap way to reveal plot points? etc

Also I've seen agents say before that they don't like it when authors say that "this book will make you cry", etc, telling the reader what they're going to feel by reading the book, in queries but those kind of things are always on jacket flaps... so why is that allowed on published books?
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #30 (right here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:14 pm

Hi Alyssa,

Great questions!

I don’t really feel one way or the other about palm readings. I think the general feeling of this being a “cheat” probably is similar to the way people feel about dreams. The sentiment is that you can use that forum to kind of do anything, so it doesn’t require the careful plotting and building necessary to convey that information in an interesting, effective way. I think you could potentially do the same thing with palm readings to convey info that’s going to happen or create tension rather than have to work to build it. But I think you can also potentially do interesting things with that device. When you have information given to you in a mystical way as a character, what do you do with it? Do you try to then fight against it? How does it influence your choices with that prediction always echoing in your head?  I guess, like so many things, it depends on how you put a device into play.

Question 2: I don’t mind if an agent tells me a manuscript will make me cry. (I actually love it, because I want a book that makes me cry!) But I think the sentiment you’re talking about is that the manuscript’s emotional impact should speak for itself. The reader shouldn’t be told how they’ll feel about it.

But that’s different in flap copy. Why? Because it’s no longer about getting representation or getting an offer. Now we’re marketing to the consumer. And consumers want to have a sense of what they’re getting into. Is this book going to freak you out? Make you laugh? Don’t you want to know?

As a side note, every editor approaches copy differently, but I’d never say “Guaranteed to make you cry.” I might say, “emotional,” “heart-rending,” “emotional.” But that’s just me!
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #30 (right here!)

Post  Alyssa on Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:37 pm

Wow, thank you so much!
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