Make Her Laugh Make Her Cry

September 20th, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Once upon a time, you could write a book and that was that. Somehow — magic, probably — customers found the books and fortunes were made. Hmm, not entirely true. Authors have always been part artist, part salespeople; it’s simply that the marketing thing wasn’t mentioned in public. Bad for digestion, you know.

At Three Rivers Press, Carrie Thornton likes books that focus on today’s culture (as long as said focus will be relevant tomorrow, see: Bob Marley example). She also like authors who come with a nice little platform, making it easy to launch the book into the cruel, cold world. There is a lot of noise in the world of publishing, and the more unique you can make yourself and your work, the easier it is to get noticed.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, good writing and strong voice matter. A lot. She makes that clear. Let’s be honest, those aspects of the job should go without saying. Unless you’re writing a throwaway celebrity-tell-all, talent is essential. But in these days of almost non-existent publicity budgets, it’s important for authors to be involved in the selling books part of their careers from moment one.

In addition to non-fiction with a pop culture bent, Thornton seeks out edgy, emotional fiction — something different, something that makes her sit up and take notice. You know how it goes: she’ll know it when she sees it. Heck, when she has time, she’s out there on the Internets looking for great talent (one can almost imagine a sea of bloggers suddenly thinking they need to write sharper, funnier posts).

One way not to catch her eye? Agents who submit sloppy proposals (yes, Virginia, agented proposals), including those that don’t fit her style. Note:

Think about what the editor’s list looks like before you submit to them — shooting in the dark never works.

File Under: Publishers and Editors