Yet They Still Put Their Pants On One Leg At A Time

July 6th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Okay, we don’t know that for sure, but it does remain a fact that editors are human, just like most of the rest of us. MediaBistro, in its continuing series of editor interviews, reminds us of that fact. The series also lets us peek inside the publishing business without the painfully awkward conversational lulls that often accompany office tours. For example, we can leapfrog the large piles on Brant Rumble’s desk:

If a number is what you’re looking for, then let’s say twenty-five manuscripts and proposals a month. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but whatever the number is, it’s more than I could ever possibly read. Do I look at everything? Yes, if you literally mean “look.” Looking tells you a lot, though: the title, the writer, maybe a little something about the writer, the subject, who the submission is from. That’s good information for an editor who is trying to decide how to best spend his or her time. I suppose this is obvious, but good titles, compelling subjects, and strong credentials go a long way. And don’t fret; I certainly do more than look. I read as much as I possibly can.

Then he shares his best dati–oops, submitting advice:

Be honest with me. False hype is a killer. True hype is acceptable, but there’s nothing like a simple, straightforward pitch followed by, “I love it and I hope you do too.” Also, get to know my list. I’ve strategically included most of it in this interview.

Followed by what will surely be the words he’ll regret ever writing:

You can tell me that you have a manuscript or proposal that is like nothing I’ve ever read before, but I bet you’re wrong. (I’m going to read about that comment in a lot of cover letters, aren’t I?)

File Under: Publishers and Editors