Today writers got to spend an hour-long focused sessions with representatives from some of the best publishing houses in the nation. Attendees heard from editors such as Alicia Condon of Kensington, Heather Osborn of Samhain and Angela James of Carina Press. There were also representatives from Grand Central, St. Martins, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Tor and more. The panel was moderated by author Judi McCoy, for a complete list of as agents at the panel giving advice and answered questions, check the bottom of this special guest post by RT's Stacey Agdern.
One of the great things about the RT conference is that an attendee could be at a western party one minute and at a business panel the next. This afternoon’s editor’s panel was upbeat and excited as the group of editors who were willing to talk, listen and explain to attendees who had questions.
The news in historical is that the field is wide open. St Martins Press Editor Monique Patterson pointed out that historical fiction is a better fit when dealing with more international settings and more recent time periods. But Decadent’s Heather Bennet was among the group of editors who assured the audience that they would be open to historical romance set in a typical places and time periods.
Some of the other questions clarified the difference between the speed of the electronic world and the slower pace of the traditional world, where Lori Perkins of Ravenous Romance said that with the help of an editor, a book could be released within a month from acquisition whereas the minimum time for any of the print publishers was a year. Susan Swinwood from Mira/Spice was one of the editors who extolled the virtues of the back to back publishing schedule.
But no matter how fast a book is published or how many of them were published within a year, there was a great deal of emphasis placed on the need to deliver a good book. And the fact that it is more important to publish a good book than to publish a mediocre book quickly. In fact, at least two different editors said they’d rearranged publishing schedules to accommodate authors who were able to produce more, and a whole bunch of editors said that they’d worked with authors whose books weren’t in shape to meet a deadline.
So what do editors want? Steampunk (St. Martins/Carina), Male/Male historical romances (Carina), contemporaries with food emphasis (Kensington) and Inspirational historicals (Harlequin Love inspired) were what editors specifically asked for. Questions about romantic suspense, romantic fantasy, and science fiction romance were answered favorably.
The complete list of editors who attended: Heather Bennett (Decadent Publishing), Kelli Collins (Ellora's Cave), Alicia Condon (Kensington), Treva Harte (Loose Id), Selina MacLemore (Grand Central), Heather Osborn (Samhain), Monique Patterson (St. Martin's), Whitney Ross (Tor), Susan Swinwood (Mira/Spice), Deb Werksman (Sourcebooks) and Dianne Moggy (Harlequin).
For an audio version of today's panel, visit www.conferencerecording.com. And if you are looking for other resources for aspiring authors you can check out the Aspiring Authors section of our website and be sure to pop by later this afternoon to get a peek into this afternoon's Agent Spotlight!