Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Chat with Jennifer Tait - Sat. July 25 - 6 PM Eastern

I’m very happy to announce that, thanks to one of our members, we’re going to be having a special chat on Saturday, July 25 at 6 PM Eastern with Jennifer Tait, a senior production editor at Penguin. (Yes, that Penguin.)

Now, since I don’t want to put her job in jeopardy just because she’s willing to talk with us, I do want to be clear that she’s not here to represent Penguin in any way – she’s here in a personal capacity only, to answer general questions on the aspects of the publishing process that she handles. As a senior production editor, she deals with the book after it’s been accepted, so she doesn’t have anything to do with reviewing submissions and so forth. That said, this is a great opportunity to get a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the traditional publishing world, and I’m very grateful that she’s agreed to come chat with us.

I also want to thank Greyflank for suggesting and coordinating this – all credit for this goes to him, so please be sure to let him know how awesome he is for arranging it. :slight_smile: I’m hoping this may be the first of many such guest chats we’ll have in future months and years.

Again, the chat will be Saturday, July 25 at 6 PM Eastern, in the forum shoutbox as usual, and (with Ms. Tait’s permission), I’ll see about posting a transcript here in the forums afterward, for the benefit of those who aren’t able to be on at that time.

Yay! Jennifer’s knows me best as a LARPer and vice versa (she has some great fairy outfits). She is wickedly amusingly. I hope you enjoy meeting with her.

That sounds amazing. I’m really looking forward to it.

If anyone knows they won’t be available on the 25th at 6pm, you can leave a question here and I will see that it gets asked during the chat.

Thank you, Grey. I was going to try and pop in, but it would be on my phone at some random location around the Baltimore Convention Center. So I don’t worry about clearing out time while I am at a convention, I’ll leave a question.

I am interested in getting into the publishing industry, what are good points of entry from a background with little employment history, but a graduate degree in a social science/humanities field?

Hope the talk goes well.

Thanks, I’ll see that Jenn is asked.

Just a note that the transcript will be posted to this thread sometime tomorrow morning/afternoon. Watch this space. :slight_smile:

Thank you for being a wonderful hostess.

And thank you all for not embarrassing me. ;D Seriously, though, thanks to everyone (and Jen especially!) for a great chat! Here’s hoping we can have more with other publishing pros in the future. (If anybody knows anybody who knows anybody, feel free to let me know…)

And now, your wall 'o text transcript…

Poetigress [25|Jul 06:03 PM]: I’m not seeing our guest yet on the user list, so hopefully she’s not having any trouble logging in.
[25|Jul 06:03 PM]: Greyflank sighs sadly. I hope one of them is not Ms Tait. I’ll check
jtait [25|Jul 06:03 PM]: No trouble, my email crashed is all
jtait [25|Jul 06:03 PM]: I forgot my password…
Faora Meridian [25|Jul 06:03 PM]: Ah, welcome!
Kyle [25|Jul 06:03 PM]: hello
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Greetings!
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Welcome. :slight_smile:
MrMandolino [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Hello!
Adam Gould [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Hello
Dark End [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Hello, and welcome to the guild!
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Welcome
T.S.McNally [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: G’day!
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Hello!
jaystoat [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: it’s far too early for a sunday morning, but hello everyone!
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Yes, welcome and thank you for agreeing to have this chat with us.
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Hi there! Before we get started, what’s your preference on how to be addressed?
[25|Jul 06:04 PM]: Faora Meridian slings Jay some tea.
jtait [25|Jul 06:04 PM]: You can call me Jen.
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:05 PM]: Cool. Thanks for coming, Jen.
Bahumat [25|Jul 06:05 PM]: Right on, Jen. Thanks for coming out today.
jtait [25|Jul 06:05 PM]: You are most welcome
Rechan [25|Jul 06:05 PM]: So Jen, are you ready to publish all our books? (Kidding)
T.S.McNally [25|Jul 06:05 PM]: Thanks for your time, Jen.
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:06 PM]: Also, would it be all right with you if we post a transcript of the chat to the forums later, for those who weren’t able to be here?
jtait [25|Jul 06:06 PM]: Absolutely.
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:06 PM]: Okay, I’ll take care of that when we’re done.
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:07 PM]: To get started, Jen, why don’t you tell us a bit about what you do as a production editor?
jtait [25|Jul 06:08 PM]: Sure. It’s one of the lesser known jobs in publishing. Once a manuscript is ready to be copyedited, it heads to the managing editorial department. Then it gets assigned a production editor. (Some companies work slightly differently.)
jtait [25|Jul 06:10 PM]: The production editor assigns a copyeditor, sends off the ms. Checks the work when it comes back. It goes back to the author. And now, in the days of electronic manuscripts, we have to clean up all the track changes, then send it off to the production department.
jtait [25|Jul 06:10 PM]: Then it comes back as typeset galleys. This is when it gets proofread and the author sees how the book will look when it’s printed.
jtait [25|Jul 06:11 PM]: A few weeks later, the corrections from the proofreader and the author get collated and returned to the typesetter. Repeat until clean.
jtait [25|Jul 06:11 PM]: Then we see one more pass, what we call blues, because once upon a time, the ink was actually blue.
Dark End [25|Jul 06:12 PM]: (ms = manuscript, in case some are wondering)
jtait [25|Jul 06:12 PM]: Now, like everything else, they’re electronic printouts. But still on paper.
jtait [25|Jul 06:12 PM]: Correct, Dark End. Sorry, I’m so used to abbreviations.
Rechan [25|Jul 06:13 PM]: Everybody loves their jargon.
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 06:13 PM]: How long does a process like this take?
jtait [25|Jul 06:13 PM]: There are also some other things we do related to the books, like checking covers, and now checking ebooks
jtait [25|Jul 06:13 PM]: Normally about 9 months.
jtait [25|Jul 06:13 PM]: We often do have crash titles.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:14 PM]: Crash Titles, jen?
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:14 PM]: 1 of the duties of a production editor is to look on the overall presence of the book
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:14 PM]: ??
jtait [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: A crash title is a book that has an insanely tight schedule. I had one original that had a 3 month schedule.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: wow!
jtait [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: Yes CopperSphinx.
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: A lot of editorial jobs from way back when were combined due to budget cuts.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: I see…
jtait [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: We do make sure everything looks darn good. We also have interior designers
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:15 PM]: And other reasons.
jtait [25|Jul 06:16 PM]: Sean, it depends on the publisher.
jtait [25|Jul 06:16 PM]: I’ve been a Penguin for nearly 23 years now.
jtait [25|Jul 06:16 PM]: at
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:16 PM]: Sweet.
jtait [25|Jul 06:16 PM]: the things that have changed have been mostly due to technology
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:17 PM]: Is it easer now, do you think?
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:17 PM]: easier*
jtait [25|Jul 06:17 PM]: As I said, I can only speak for Penguin and Viking. I don’t know the ins and outs of other companies
jtait [25|Jul 06:18 PM]: Not really easier. We have more to do and less time to do it. I personally find electronic manuscript easier though.
jtait [25|Jul 06:18 PM]: but the more to do just means there are more books. And I think that’s a good thing.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:18 PM]: You can be a Penguin here. We don’t judge. :wink:
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:18 PM]: I prefer submitting thru email rather than by sase
Televassi [25|Jul 06:19 PM]: Hmm. What genres do you find yourself working on the most? I seem to get the sense that a lot of books are either Crime Fiction, Autobiographies, or things like cook books.
jtait [25|Jul 06:19 PM]: I’m sure that would be easier. But I don’t know anything about submissions.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:19 PM]: :wink: Greyflank
Rechan [25|Jul 06:19 PM]: You said a copyeditor is assigned. But the term copyedits get tossed around as just cleaning up language. Checking for tenses, awkward language, etc. Do the copyeditors do any content editing (plot holes, inconsistent characters) or should a book more or less be solid content-wise before it’s accepted?
jtait [25|Jul 06:20 PM]: Televassi: You know those Penguin Classics? I get a lot of those. :slight_smile: But I do get a lot of thrillers because I like them. And we’re putting some horror in Penguin Classics and I tend to get assigned that as well
Televassi [25|Jul 06:21 PM]: Yep! Had to read a lot of them for my degree. xD
jtait [25|Jul 06:21 PM]: the managing editors try to assign books that the production editors like. With the somewhat recent merger, I’m now also working on another imprint, so I’m getting some New Age type books as well
MrMandolino [25|Jul 06:21 PM]: How many books do you work on at the same time?
Televassi [25|Jul 06:21 PM]: I guess then, what makes a classic? Are you actively looking for pieces to bestow that status, or is it more a focus on older literature, than say, finding contemporary work?
jtait [25|Jul 06:22 PM]: Rechan: most of the developmental editing is done by the acquisitions editor before the manuscript hits our department. But yes, the copyeditor should be looking for those things as well
jtait [25|Jul 06:23 PM]: That’s the eternal question, Televassi. :slight_smile: It’s no longer a question of being dead though, as we have Thomas Ligotti coming out in Classics in October.
Bahumat [25|Jul 06:23 PM]: Jen, my question for you is this: What, if anything, can niche genres (like those the Furry Writer’s Guild represent) do to end up one day appearing under a Penguin imprint?
Bahumat [25|Jul 06:23 PM]: Both as individual writers and as a collective genre.
Rechan [25|Jul 06:23 PM]: Ah, so the acquisitions editor doesn’t just read it and give a yes or no, they are also working with the author to improve the book.
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:23 PM]: ^^^
Televassi [25|Jul 06:24 PM]: Well, that’s great to hear! I guess there may be then a tension between what you select as classics, and what say, academics consider as canon.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:25 PM]: Jen, I think we may have diverted you from explaining what it is you do completely. Did you want to go back to that?
jtait [25|Jul 06:25 PM]: Bahumat: That I couldn’t tell you. I honestly don’t know what causes the editors to select what goes into Penguin Classics
jtait [25|Jul 06:25 PM]: correct Rechan
jtait [25|Jul 06:26 PM]: If people have more questions about it, we can go back to that. But I pretty much covered it. It’s a lot of seeing a book many times until there are no more corrections.
jtait [25|Jul 06:26 PM]: That we know of. Typos slip in.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:26 PM]: Ok, cool!
jtait [25|Jul 06:27 PM]: And even what academics consider classics change. I know of a number of people studying The Bloody Chamber in college classes now.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:27 PM]: Thanks for the explanations
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:27 PM]: How much of a marketing plan do the books come to you with?
Rechan [25|Jul 06:28 PM]: Jen, we hear a lot of doom and gloom about publishing - more books being put out, fewer books being sold. What are you seeing about the industry from the inside, and how is Penguin reacting?
jtait [25|Jul 06:28 PM]: Publicity and marketing handle all of that. And I know they work their butts off. I currently sit right next to publicity.
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:29 PM]: So with everything digital, from what you have been saying about the increased work, we can infer that you get a lot more submissions now than you used to?
jtait [25|Jul 06:29 PM]: Actually, Rechan, the number of books being sold is up. PRH’s numbers were up last year. And more physical than ebooks are being sold.
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:29 PM]: That’s a good thing! I’m glad to hear that.
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 06:30 PM]: Do you have any interesting trends over your career you’ve noticed?
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:30 PM]: I heard about print books still outselling ebooks.
jtait [25|Jul 06:30 PM]: If you go back far enough, people were predicting that newspapers would cause people to stop reading books. It’s always doom and gloom and books still always win out
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:31 PM]: Yes, what NightEyes DaySpring asked
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:31 PM]: I have so many questions I want to ask, but most of them would be more recruitment-related.
Rechan [25|Jul 06:31 PM]: I think we’re all looking for recruitment of some kind, Sean.
jtait [25|Jul 06:31 PM]: Let me think. My personal favorite was when I saw Lovecraft go into classics. I like that I’m seeing more horror, but that’s a house trend, I think
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:32 PM]: I gave our Pearson reps my business card, but I don’t think working in the textbook division is really my future =p
jtait [25|Jul 06:32 PM]: The best I can tell you about that is that there are publishing classes you can take. And look onilne for jobs at specific houses. Each one will have a website that lists jobs.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:32 PM]: I tend to think of Penguin as the Hipster Publisher.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:33 PM]: :smiley: :slight_smile:
jtait [25|Jul 06:33 PM]: I started in technical publishing and then worked in medical journals for a bit over a year.
Mog Moogle [25|Jul 06:33 PM]: What about the quality of the new submissions? Has it gotten better, worse or stayed the same over the years?
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:33 PM]: That may have already answered this question from one of our members, Camio, who wasn’t able to attend tonight: “I am interested in getting into the publishing industry, what are good points of entry from a background with little employment history, but a graduate degree in a social science/humanities field?”
jtait [25|Jul 06:33 PM]: A good friend of mine was working at Penguin and told me about an interview. It was only being listed in-house at that point.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:34 PM]: But what about what one of my fellow members asked: How would Penguin view subgenres, esp Furry?
jtait [25|Jul 06:34 PM]: Mog, I don’t know. I know I’ve loved many of the books I’ve worked on. Before the change to our department, I used to work on hardvoer books as well
Rechan [25|Jul 06:34 PM]: Journals, augh.
jtait [25|Jul 06:34 PM]: and they’ve gotten better in my opinion. But not all have sold well here.
Televassi [25|Jul 06:34 PM]: I’d sorely be surprised if furry is even considered as a genre.
jtait [25|Jul 06:36 PM]: I don’t know how Penguin would view the subgenre. I would think it would probably go over better in one of the sf publishers to be honest.
Bahumat [25|Jul 06:36 PM]: I’m really hoping “The Bees” by Laline Paull does well. It’d be nice to have a great and solid-selling book to point at in the genre. We can only ride ‘Maus’ for so long.
Rechan [25|Jul 06:36 PM]: And Bete, which apparently is hard to get right now?
jtait [25|Jul 06:36 PM]: But I’m not on the buying end, so I’m not sure
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:36 PM]: Televasi some Furry flavours are out there: http://www.penguinusablog.com/tag/werewolves/
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:37 PM]: @Rechan: Not that hard to get, just not published in the US yet and I was too cheap to buy it as a UK import.
Faora Meridian [25|Jul 06:37 PM]: I was just wondering if you had any thoughts or advice on how the authors you work with could make your job easier or more streamlined for you. From what you say it seems a time-consuming process; what can we, as writers, do to help that process for you?
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:37 PM]: So, one of the imprints within Penguin, Jen?
pj wolf [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: Oh I almost forgot about this thing.
pj wolf [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: Hullo.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: Hello PJ.
Rechan [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: Jen, do all the authors who come through have an agent? I’ve heard it said the big 5 only review submissions from agents or only deal with people who have them.
jtait [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: As far as getting into the field, Carnio’s question: It depends on what part of the biz you want to get into. Possibly try looking into something other than editorial. There are departments that people don’t often think of, like marketing and publicity. Even sales. Or managing editorial. :slight_smile: Look for entry level jobs on publishers’ websites. Check the Publishers’ Lunch website also.
Dark End [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: I’m sure the editors in chat would love to hear the answer to Faora’s question too. And repeat the answer endlessly.
jaystoat [25|Jul 06:38 PM]: Jen, how does Penguin deal with books that have previously been published, either with self-publishing or with small publishers? Are these ever considered, and if so, by what criteria are they judged?
jtait [25|Jul 06:39 PM]: Authors: meet deadlines. That’s basically it. My job IS time consuming. But that’s just the way it is.
jtait [25|Jul 06:39 PM]: Our sf imprints are Ace, Roc, DAW
CecilDFritz [25|Jul 06:40 PM]: Hello, Jen. I have a question: do you have any knowledge of what sort of process is in involved in Pouplar Internet Blogs, “Web Serials”, and Assorted Internet Icons such as say…GRUMPY CAT get picked up for Book Deals? How are the deals worked out? I understand that this is still a bit of a rarity since publishers prefer first-rights, or some I’m told, but what of the few examples that have made it to the big times with one of The Big Five publishers? 6v6
jtait [25|Jul 06:40 PM]: oh, and then over at RH (the “uptown” campus) there’s Del Rey. I forget the others. I’m still getting used to the Random House thing.
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:40 PM]: I still think you guys should have been called Random Penguin.
jtait [25|Jul 06:41 PM]: For all the books I work on yes, agented only.
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:41 PM]: That’s another good question. We’ve seen a lot of talk that agents are “outdated”. Your thoughts on this?
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:41 PM]: LOL Poetigress
jtait [25|Jul 06:42 PM]: Cecil, I have no clue whatsoever. I’ve worked on (an am currently working on) some books derived from tumblr blogs, but I don’t know how they get selected or who does that or what.
[25|Jul 06:43 PM]: pj wolf snerk. “Random Penguin…”
jtait [25|Jul 06:43 PM]: Some of us very much wanted that Poetigress.
jtait [25|Jul 06:44 PM]: Sean: from the authors I “know”–basically sort of friendly with on facebook and one or two I know in real life, they are all very happy with their agents.
pj wolf [25|Jul 06:46 PM]: Man, why didn’t it become Random Penguin?
pj wolf [25|Jul 06:46 PM]: Also, who bought whom?
Rechan [25|Jul 06:46 PM]: Did Jen miss Jaystoat’s question?
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:46 PM]: It’s more that there is the idea that agents do nothing for authors, and that there’s no use for them. Do you find that to be true? Though that’s probably more a question for the aquisition editors.
jtait [25|Jul 06:46 PM]: They do know how to negotiate better than you probably do and they do know the ins and outs of the publishing business. And there are publishers that will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. One author I’m friends with said the difference in what he got for his first manuscript with his agent and what he would have gotten on his own was quite significant.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:47 PM]: Hmm
MrMandolino [25|Jul 06:47 PM]: I’m curious (and not sure if you already answered this): how many books do you usually work at the same time?
Sean Rivercritic [25|Jul 06:47 PM]: Good to know my Intel was right on that one =)
MrMandolino [25|Jul 06:47 PM]: *work on
Rechan [25|Jul 06:47 PM]: Sean has intel. Otter spies. :open_mouth:
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:47 PM]: Plus they explain exactly what you are selling and so forth.
Dark End [25|Jul 06:49 PM]: Jen, from a more editorial side of things: are there any mistakes you see small presses make frequently? Or just advice you’d give small press publishers in general?
jtait [25|Jul 06:49 PM]: Ooops, I did miss Jayostat’s question. There are a few types of books we do that have been previously published. Obviously there are those that were in hardcover and go to paperback. That’s normal. We’ve also done some that go from small press to us. And I’m sure even self-published. I mean RH bought 50 Shades. As for what criteria–I can’t say. I’m sorry, I know a lot of my answers are like that, but I really don’t know what prompts editors to buy certain books.
jtait [25|Jul 06:50 PM]: PJ: Technically it was a merger. But we’re 51% owned by Bertlesman. Which is Random’s parent company. They have better internal systems and tech though.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:50 PM]: That’s fair, I don’t even know why I buy the books I buy and I’m there with me in the bookstore.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:51 PM]: We understand. Different departments/divisions.
jtait [25|Jul 06:51 PM]: Sean, judging from the authors I know, I’d say that’s absolutely not true. At least not for a good agent
Poetigress [25|Jul 06:52 PM]: As far as the process of getting a book from accepted manuscript to finished book – what kinds of misconceptions do you think authors might have about that process? Are there things about it that you think might surprise us to learn?
pj wolf [25|Jul 06:52 PM]: Jeez. Publishing companies are consolodated hard, aren’t they?
Rechan [25|Jul 06:52 PM]: They are borg.
jtait [25|Jul 06:54 PM]: Oh dear god, MrMandolino! Right now, I’m the person who works on almost all the offsets–the hardcovers going into paperback–for Penguin. In addition to my original titles. The offsets require very little work, mostly just new frontmatter (bio, quotes, copyright page). I have about 20 originals right now (one of which is 1400 pages, I kid you not) and I can’t count the offsets. My boss estimates it jokingly as hundreds
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:54 PM]: Remember to refresh the shoutbox from time to time.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:54 PM]: OMG
MrMandolino [25|Jul 06:55 PM]: :open_mouth:
jtait [25|Jul 06:55 PM]: Dark End: small press mistakes. Hmm. I kind of get a little annoyed at bad typesetting and layout. It’s weird, but it’s a thing.
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:55 PM]: That’s… a lot of paper…
Rechan [25|Jul 06:56 PM]: Heh, there are a few typesetter nerds the Guild. Sadly Chipotle isn’t here.
jtait [25|Jul 06:56 PM]: Poetigress: I think that once a book is accepted, the authors are pretty good with expectations. The editors seem pretty good at explaining things
Greyflank [25|Jul 06:57 PM]: Hey Jen, how has working in publishing affected your reading for pleasure habits?
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 06:57 PM]: Even if typesetting is professional, does a book going from small press to big 5 take folks like you to translate/convert to meet your house’s standards?
jtait [25|Jul 06:57 PM]: We would probably reset it. Not always.
jtait [25|Jul 06:58 PM]: Greyflank: nope, not a bit. What has is the damn computer.
Rechan [25|Jul 06:59 PM]: I think PT meant authors who haven’t been accepted, the misconceptions the “writing public” has.
Televassi [25|Jul 07:00 PM]: Hmm, a bit of a obvious question, but what words of encouragement would you give to people attempting to become a writer proper? By that, I mean work published in paid print.
Poetigress [25|Jul 07:01 PM]: By the way, Jen, it’s been an hour, and I don’t think we ever really set how long the chat was going to be – so if you need to head out at some point, just say the word. Otherwise, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like.
jtait [25|Jul 07:01 PM]: Ah, okay. Let me think. I don’t actually work with the authors except in rare instances. (This is most definitely different in each house.)
jtait [25|Jul 07:02 PM]: You know, I’m not really sure what the public thinks, so I’m not sure what misconceptions might be! Tell me!
jtait [25|Jul 07:02 PM]: Advice: write. Keep writing. Write every day. Don’t ever give up.
Televassi [25|Jul 07:03 PM]: Hehe, I thought it would be that. xD
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:04 PM]: I think one of things that might “concieve” is that publishers often tell writers what books to write.
Rechan [25|Jul 07:04 PM]: Any publishing cautionary tales or “oh man you won’t believe this but some person…” you’ve encountered?
Bahumat [25|Jul 07:05 PM]: Jen, in the era of modern publishing, is it better still to submit pitches for not-yet-complete books, or is it better at this point to come pre-loaded with a finished manuscript? Many professional authors seem to suggest that pitching a story is better than writing it out without a sale.
T.S.McNally [25|Jul 07:05 PM]: Write until your finger fall off and you have carpel tunnel! Building characters builds character.
MrMandolino [25|Jul 07:06 PM]: This is an odd question (more of a curiosity) and probably interests only me in this chat, so sorry in advance. Is there any way someone located in a non English-speaking country and fluent in both languages can be of use to a publisher?
Rechan [25|Jul 07:06 PM]: Bahumat, I’ve heard the opposite.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:08 PM]: Let’s hear what Jen says n the pitching/query letter question
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:08 PM]: *in
Poetigress [25|Jul 07:08 PM]: That might be another acquisitions-type question.
Poetigress [25|Jul 07:09 PM]: (Bahumat’s, I mean.)
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:09 PM]: Jenn’s screen froze up
pj wolf [25|Jul 07:09 PM]: Acquisitions?
pj wolf [25|Jul 07:09 PM]: Are publisher’s Ferengi?
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:09 PM]: She’s refreshing now.
jtait [25|Jul 07:09 PM]: there we go.
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:10 PM]: Yay!
Poetigress [25|Jul 07:10 PM]: @pj: As in, the editor who reads/accepts the manuscript and works with the author.
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:10 PM]: <---- Bill, btw
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:10 PM]: Actually, I’m usually the Ferengi, but that’s another story.
jtait [25|Jul 07:11 PM]: I know who you are Bill
[25|Jul 07:11 PM]: Greyflank hides
jtait [25|Jul 07:11 PM]: The only time I actually know of publishers telling authors what books to write is in the true crime genre. And that’s only cause I’m addicted to true crime podcasts.
pj wolf [25|Jul 07:12 PM]: Hello Bill.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:12 PM]: :slight_smile:
jtait [25|Jul 07:12 PM]: Sadly, I have no idea about the pitch letters. I think the best thing to do is look up the publisher/agent and find out what they prefer. Or check with published authors and see what they say
jtait [25|Jul 07:14 PM]: MrMandolino: the possibiity of translating I would guess, but I think that’s a difficult field. If you mean in general, I’m sure it could be a benefit, especially as publishers are opening branches in new countries
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:14 PM]: I think you’d have to pretty dependable before pitch letters before writing anything really works, but that’s me.
jtait [25|Jul 07:14 PM]: I believe the pitches usually include a sample and outline
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:14 PM]: But a querry letter before you drop 1k paper on them might be nice.
jtait [25|Jul 07:15 PM]: Cautionary tale: don’t lie about selling your book, especially to people who know the publisher you said you sold it to. :slight_smile:
jtait [25|Jul 07:15 PM]: so there was this guy…
[25|Jul 07:15 PM]: Greyflank chuckles.
jtait [25|Jul 07:15 PM]: seriously, there was this guy I knew from an email list and he said he sold not just his book, but his trilogy to DAW Books. I used to do a lot of freelance for them and a good friend of mine used to work for them
jtait [25|Jul 07:16 PM]: he even told me which catalog the book was listed in.
jtait [25|Jul 07:16 PM]: when in fact the manuscript was in the slush pile
Rechan [25|Jul 07:16 PM]: There are still some publishers that take only print submissions. What’s up with that?!
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:16 PM]: wow… so, was it any good?
jtait [25|Jul 07:16 PM]: I tried to call him on it. I got, "Oh this is y. I’m borrowing x’s instant messenger account.
jtait [25|Jul 07:17 PM]: It’s still not published. So let that be your judge.
Rechan [25|Jul 07:17 PM]: Wow.
jtait [25|Jul 07:17 PM]: Rechan: I don’t know. Slow with progress?
jtait [25|Jul 07:17 PM]: yeah, don’t be that guy
jtait [25|Jul 07:18 PM]: (I did of course tell my friend about it. She told her bosses. Who decided that even had they liked his novel, he was obviously going to be too much crazy to deal with as a first-time author.)
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:19 PM]: moral of the story: Hide The Crazy
jtait [25|Jul 07:19 PM]: exactly
Televassi [25|Jul 07:19 PM]: So, don’t burn your bridges? That’s a question actually, if you have a bad reputation, is the industry small enough or well connected enough to blacklist problematic authors?
jtait [25|Jul 07:19 PM]: at least until you’re well-established
jtait [25|Jul 07:20 PM]: Quite possibly. Remember the James Frey scandal? I don’t know that anyone will touch him now
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:20 PM]: A million little pieces?
jtait [25|Jul 07:20 PM]: It depends on how good you are though.
jtait [25|Jul 07:20 PM]: right. alleged memoir
Televassi [25|Jul 07:21 PM]: James Frey?
jtait [25|Jul 07:21 PM]: he wrote what he claimed was a memoir and it came out that it was really fiction
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:21 PM]: LMBO to Jen & Grey
jtait [25|Jul 07:21 PM]: after he was endorsed by Oprah, won awards, etc
Televassi [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: Ah. I think I remember hearing. What date was this?
jtait [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: a number of years ago. I don’t recall how long though
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: OMG, its strange to think that was ten years ago or more
jtait [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: Oprah was still on air
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: Some of our memebers were only wee lads and lasses then
Televassi [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: Ah, then that was way before my time. I would have been 12. XD
Rechan [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: Back in the 2000s.
jtait [25|Jul 07:22 PM]: it caused us to start putting a disclaimer on all our memoirs
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: There ^^^
Televassi [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: Wow.
Kyle [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: million little pieces came out in 03
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: I remember the whole thing. It was HOT
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: Really, I hadn’t noticed the disclaimers
Rechan [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: Hey Kyell!
Televassi [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: Wow. I was ten then. xD
jtait [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: How many people read copyright pages?
Rechan [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: So many youngins. x.x
Rechan [25|Jul 07:23 PM]: I only look for the date of publication on those.
Televassi [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: Barely ever.
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: http://thisnewmountain.com/2013/05/31/writing-the-memoir-disclaimers/
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: Penguin Books uses its own particular disclaimer: “Penguin is committed to publishing works of quality and integrity. In that spirit, we are proud to offer this book to our readers; however, the story, the experiences, and the words are the author’s alone.”
pj wolf [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: That’s not Kyell.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: So many younglings
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: I work at a libary, so I have before, but I haven’t read one in a while.
Rechan [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: OOps.
Kyle [25|Jul 07:24 PM]: lol rechan
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: Kyell’s taller and his fur is darke
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: sorry worked
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: r
Televassi [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: Poor Kyle. xD
Rechan [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: Huh, I thought you did something different, NE. I may be confusing you with the dhole.
[25|Jul 07:25 PM]: NightEyes DaySpring had a lot of fun doing that as a student
[25|Jul 07:25 PM]: Kyle sighs and shakes his head
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: I read the copyright pg, Jen
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: I do IT stuff now. I used the wrong tense. :slight_smile:
jtait [25|Jul 07:25 PM]: ooooo! I do too, but I have to. It’s my job. :slight_smile:
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: I do, especially on cookbooks.
jtait [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: anyway, folks, I gotta run. Greyflank can get in touch with me if there are any more questions.
jtait [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Hope I was some help.
Dark End [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: I’ve proofread a couple of copyright pages.
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: 1973 and ten minutes in the microwave? thre
Dark End [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Thanks for coming, Jen.
Kyle [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: thanks for all your information Jen!!
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Thank you so much Jenn!
Televassi [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Aw. Thank you so much for coming! =)
Rechan [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Thanks a bunch Jen!
NightEyes DaySpring [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Thank you so much! This has been amazing.
Poetigress [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: Thanks again for coming, Jen. Feel free to stop by anytime.
jtait [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: You’re most welcome. Keep writing guys!
jaystoat [25|Jul 07:26 PM]: thanks for all that Jen - was very helpful!
Faora Meridian [25|Jul 07:27 PM]: Thanks much for your time and insight, Jen!
Rechan [25|Jul 07:27 PM]: So can we consider you an “insider” that we know and can help us in the future?
Greyflank [25|Jul 07:27 PM]: You’ve made our day!
pj wolf [25|Jul 07:27 PM]: Cheers, Jen, and thank you.
CopperSphinx [25|Jul 07:27 PM]: TSVM, Jen!!