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Workshop Transcript

More About Editors

with Jenny Reed

 Note: Many thanks to Kelley Robbins for assisting in the editing of this transcript.

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DonSS_: Hi all, Look at all these happy :0)

Verla: Hey! Did anyone dust the podium?

Verla: Set up the microphone?

Suzy-Q has podium set up

Dani257: Dani grabs dust rag

Suzy-Q: Every thing is done Kia

jennyreed checks her hair :)

Verla: Get jenny a glass of something to drink...what do you need Jenny? (No booze requests, please)

jennyreed: water, please

dorii: Looking forward to your workshop, Jenny

Verla: Good...

jennyreed: lots of water. keep it filled ;)

Suzy-Q hauls out the ice water

DonSS_: This is a no smoking chat room. Put up the signs Verla.

jennyreed: thanks, dorii :)

Verla gets a tall glass of filtered Ice Water

SallyA: We should probably have champagne to celebrate all the good things happening!

Verla: lol

NOTE: lol = Laughing Out Loud

Amishka hands around cookies

Verla: afterwards, sally..not during, please.

dorii: Yes, and I did remember to bring lots of champagne!

Suzy-Q passes out silly string

Verla snags a cookie when no one is looking...SUGAR!!!! yeah!!!!

dorii: Duck, Verla, before you get hit by a flying champagne cork!

Verla ducks...

Amishka: I want green Suzy

jennyreed: hey, we have nine minutes. I'm taking a quick vote.....

jennyreed: this is a yes/no vote :)

jennyreed: would you like me to include some tips on talking to an editor on the phone in tonight's workshop?

Verla: YES, jenny!

Suzy-Q swipes the cookie and hands verla a carrot.

Verla: I vote yes

SallyA: Yes!

jennyreed takes the cookie from verla and eats it quick :)

Verla: darn, sq...you saw

Suzy-Q: yes

DonSS_: yes

dorii: yes, Jenny

Amishka: yes

Sammeow: You bettcha', Jenny

Verla: the yesses win, jenny

jennyreed: okay :) just checking :)

jennyreed: I'll start with that :)

DonSS_: they won't remember a word of it when they get their first phone call Jenny.

Amishka hands verla a sugar free cookie, a very good one

Verla: Oh, thank you, ami

jennyreed: don: maybe not :)

MelLane: Any tips on talking to an editor is helpful, Jenny!

jennyreed: yes, that's why I'm curious ;)

MsEdit: lol

jennyreed: hm. am I on now, or should I wait five more minutes?

Verla: five more minutes, jenny

jennyreed: oh, okay :)

Verla: grin

Verla: Wow...nice group tonight

MelLane: I thought you said no personal chitchat, V?

Verla: AFTER we start, mel!

Verla: three minutes to go..

MelLane: Oh. We haven't started.

Verla: Dori! Share your GREAT news again!

jennyreed: thank you :)

Verla: Everyone...listen to Dori!

dorii: My GREAT news of the day.... Viking just bought a second book

dorii: (I cna't type. Hands are still shaking.)

Harazin: Congratulations, Dori!

DonaV: Congratulations, Dori!

Verla shoves Dori up on her shoulders and parades around the room with her...shouting HOOOOORAY!!!!!! HOOOOORAY!!!!! HOOORAY!!!!!

Amishka: We need confetti

SallyA: Wonderful, Dori

Verla: Hi everyone!

Verla: Okay. One minute to workshop time....

dorii: Thank you.

MelLane: Dori, I'm SO happy for you.

dorii: (Verla, let me down now, pleeeaaase!)

MelLane: Now, V, I have to reset my clock.

jennyreed: one minute?

MelLane: Because of you making me think that the workshop had already started.

MelLane: sigh.

DonSS_: Three cheers for dorii.

***WORKSHOP BEGINS HERE***

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to MORE ABOUT EDITORS Writer's Workshop IN PROGRESS

jennyreed: tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick PING!

jennyreed: okay, I guess I'm on now :)

Verla: Okay everyone...

MelLane: Kill it!

MelLane: It's moving!

Verla: Welcome to our weekly Kidlit Workshop. We ask that you hold all personal chitchat until the hour is up, but Please! Free free to join in the topic currently under discussion.

Amishka: It's dori's turn to type from the ceiling -- hand her the pole, verla

Verla: Tonight's leader is Jenny Reed...former editor of a small publishing house of adult books

jennyreed bows

dorii: applause!

ClaraRose claps

ClaraRose: and claps

jennyreed: Hi everyone!

Verla hands dori the pole....quietly so as to not interfere with Jenny's introduction

jennyreed: I didn't prepare any special introduction. The regular chatsters know me as whatie. My name is Jenny Reed.

Verla: Before we begin...we are also celebrating the sale today of Dori's SECOND picture book to Viking!

Verla: YEAH! Dori!

jennyreed: YAY DORI!

Amishka: hurray DORI

MelLane: Go, Jenny!

Verla: Jenny is VERY knowledgeable and has lots to share with us

Verla: Okay, Jenny....you are on

jennyreed: I was an editor at a small publishing house, and then I tried to start my own publishing house, so I have a lot of experience with what goes on behind the editor's desk. So I'm here to share that experience with you, and maybe that information will help you make a sale or twenty :)

Verla raises her hand....I vote for 20!

jennyreed: Why stop at 20? :)

NOTE: :) = sideways smiley face

Verla: (those were the only choices you gave us, jenny.....)

jennyreed: verla: stop thinking in the box :) write in a NEW box with your own answer in it. You're a writer, you can be creative!

jennyreed grins :)

jennyreed: I'm going to start tonight by telling you how to talk to an editor on the phone.

jennyreed: If what I tell you about phones sounds obvious to you, that's FANTASTIC!

jennyreed: Anyway, obviously, there are two reasons you would talk to an editor - if the editor calls you, or if you call the editor.

jennyreed: Let's start with when the editor calls you :)

jennyreed: the editor has something to say, and has made time in her day to talk to YOU.

MelLane: Gosh, I feel special.

Verla: yep....but usually, you wouldn't call an editor without some REALLY good reason, right, jenny?

jennyreed: verla: one would HOPE you'd only call for a good reason :)

Verla: I suppose to call and beg and plead for them to accept your manuscript because you are starving and they are cutting off your phone and power isn't a good enough reason to call an editor, huh?

jennyreed: *giggle* well, you CAN, but it probably won't actually help your case any. :)

Dani257: What if you're dying?

Dani257: That should get some sympathy

jennyreed: dani: can't you die quietly? :)

Dani257: No!

jennyreed: No? Oh, dear :)

Dani257: I'll try:-)

jennyreed: try REAL hard :)

jennyreed: Hm. Perhaps I should start with when YOU call the editor instead :)

MelLane: Ah, please, Jenny. I've already sounded like an idiot when they called me.

jennyreed: So, you call the editor.

Verla: yes, I'm sorry, jenny...I'll try to behave...

jennyreed: You have something to say, something you feel is important. If you don't, then hang up now, before the editor answers :)

Verla: like..I want to send my story to you, but I'm not sure how to spell your name!

jennyreed: hee :)

Verla: Or...I see you wanted poems for an anthology, but I didn't know if there was a word limit on them

jennyreed: Now, the editor is a VERY busy person..... and if she is at her desk, she is WORKING. So, I'm telling you, you are DEFINITELY interrupting her. (Side note: even though I am using the female pronoun, this applies to male editors as well)

Verla: thanks for clarifying that for us, jenny

jennyreed: Heh :0

Verla: (And folks...please pop in here with questions or comments!)

jennyreed: So, you are absolutely calling at a bad time. You KNOW this. Therefore, you should do a few things BEFORE you call. First, figure out exactly what you intend to say. If you tend to clam up, feel scared, and can't ad-lib, WRITE IT DOWN. Have some sort of notes on a paper in front of you. They can be anything from general ideas you want to cover, to word-for-word what you intend to say.

Dani257: That's me. Clam city

DonaV: Always write down your own name. Trust me on that one!

dorii: lol

MelLane: LOL, Dona!

jennyreed: I agree with dona 100% :)

Verla: Yes! I agree with Dona...when I get nervous that's the FIRST thing I forget! My phone number is the second

ClaraRose: phone number here.

jennyreed: name, phone number, AND the name of your manuscript(s) (unless you've dealt with this editor before, they probably will know the name of the manuscript rather than YOUR name)

Verla: (And believe me, you really feel DUMB when they ask for your number to call you back and you CAN'T remember it!)

want2write: I try to remember that editors are real people too and they're busy. If you're calling them it should be important and you should know what you want to ask.

Verla: Right, Want!

jennyreed: yes :)

jennyreed: and, if you have an agent, you may want to jot down his/her name too, in case that comes up.

SallyA: For what reason(s) might you call an editor?

_Lyra_: I only call editors once I have a working relationship and even then I get nervous

jennyreed: sally: if you want to know if they have received a manuscript, or if they've had it too long.

Verla: I called one once to ask about a submission she'd had for 7 months

ClaraRose: o.k. that leads into ... how long is too long?

want2write: How long over the proposed amount of time they say they should have it, should you wait to call them?

SallyA: Is it hard to get thru to the editor?

jennyreed: oh boy, let's go way on a tangent here :) Too long is significantly more than the time they say they keep manuscripts :) And you'll have to judge the meaning of "significantly more" for yourself :)

Verla: I consider 2 months over the submission suggested time limit too long

ClaraRose: o.k. discretionary judgment.

DonaV: My rule of thumb is anything over 3 months from the time I submit is too long, regardless of policies. :)

Verla: unless it says they respond in 3 weeks...or 6 months

want2write: I called Neal Porter because their guidelines said 6 weeks and they had taken 4 months. I took a deep breath before I called. But he was sooo nice. I could tell he was busy and they're short handed.

jennyreed: want: yes, everyone is busy AND shorthanded, always. guaranteed.

Verla: [I also called] once to ask if there was a word limit on poems for an anthology an editor was putting together

jennyreed: yes, clarification on calls for submissions and/or writer's guidelines are GOOD reasons to call. In fact, you do an editor a favor when you call for clarifications, because the editor might just want to revise that call or guideline to answer your question. For every one person who calls, there are probably 20 who are wondering but afraid to call.

jennyreed: Now, back to topic :)

Verla: What do you recommend when an editor calls YOU, Jenny? (Of course it will be when you are in the middle of giving the baby a bath, or you have just run in the door with 62 bags of frozen groceries on a 110 degree day...

jennyreed: verla: one thing at a time :) I'll get back to that :)

Verla: okay...sorry, jenny

Verla stands in the corner with tape over her mouth

jennyreed: okay, back to topic. you have decided to call, and you have prepared what you intend to say.

jennyreed: no, take that tape off! it's a good question, and I WILL cover

it :)

Verla smiles..and tears tape off....(OUCH!)

_Lyra_: I've heard someone say they called to ask a question, thinking they'd get a receptionist, and got the senior editor

DonaV: lyra, I did that! Yikes!

jennyreed: next, get your family situated!

jennyreed: this is not an issue if you live alone, but I bet most of you don't! :)

Amishka: Never call unless the babies gone for a nap?

Verla: tie up the kids....lock hubby in the bathroom, huh?

jennyreed: tell other adults that you will make a phone call that is very important, and NOT to talk to you, even if the house is burning down.

jennyreed: yes :)

jennyreed: I have received countless calls where the person starts like this: Hi, my name is Caller. Just a second. JOHN! Untie your brother from the stake and give me those matches!

jennyreed: or worse: Hi, my name is Caller. Oh, sweetie, you can't have a cookie now. I'm calling about my manuscript. You've had it for six months, have you seen it yet? Okay, ONE cookie.

Verla: LOL! (Laughing Out Loud) That is FUNNY, Jenny!

MelLane: (g)

jennyreed: yes, it is funny :) but an editor doesn't have time for it, either :)

Verla: true..and it IS very annoying to the callee...

_Lyra_: And use a phone without call waiting--I was doing an interview once of a BIG author and had about 4 call waitings

want2write: You can turn off call waiting. Something like *70. Ask the phone company or check your phone book.

Verla: yes, want. I've done that when I called my editor

jennyreed: If another adult is home, ask them to mind the kids AND pets while you are on the phone. If it's just you and the kids and the pets, send them outside, give them cookies, send them to their room and tie them to the bed - whatever it takes.

Dani257: Tie them to a stake and threaten them with matches

jennyreed: Then, go into an empty room and close the door. Lock it.

want2write: If an editor tells you to call back in 2-3 weeks, should you wait longer, especially if you know they're having a hard time?

jennyreed: want: if an editor SAYS call back in 2-3 weeks, that's what they mean.

Verla: Uh...I wouldn't recommend tying them to the bed...that could cause Child Protective Services to get a little testy...

MelLane: That's true, V.

jennyreed: oh, okay, tie them to the dresser instead *grin*

Dani257: Bribe 'em with cookies. They'll never tell

Amishka: put them in the dresser

want2write: Does finding a sale make an editor happy or more at ease? Like they finally found that needle in the haystack?

jennyreed: want: yes :)

Verla: I was pulled from the slushpile

Verla does a happy dance around the room

jennyreed: :)

jennyreed: Make sure you have water handy, and that you have NO FOOD handy. I can hear you when you're eating on the phone, and it's not pleasant. The water is for dry mouth :)

Verla: no chomping apples or chewing gum in their ears, huh?

jennyreed: please!

want2write: Does an author really have a very good chance of making it out of the slush pile if they don't have an agent and they're an unknown?

jennyreed: want: depends on the place you've sent it, and the time you've sent it.

jennyreed: yes, you can be pulled out of the slushpile, when the editor needs a new manuscript, she will look through the slushpile to find one.

Verla: I did, want. I think it depends on the quality of your manuscript AND what the house NEEDS in their list at that precise moment...right, Jenny?

jennyreed: YES, exactly!

want2write: What do you mean the time you've sent it?

jennyreed: want: well, it's luck, unless you have inside information. See, if you send me something in march, I might have a full list, and I'll have to either hold it for later or reject it. but if you send it in may, I might be looking for something else. if I'm planning to find five things in may, and I've only got three, I'll be combing the slushpile.

Verla: If you send a manuscript to a house that just accepted one very similar....they won't buy yours.

ClaraRose: how does one go about getting the inside 'scoop'?

jennyreed: clara: well, you need to know somebody that knows. that's a matter of connections.

want2write: Is there a way of finding out what kind of material they're looking for?

ClaraRose: are any bold enough to call and ask?

jennyreed: you can ask. If you were to call me and ask that question, I would tell you either, "now is a good time to send, we need stuff right now" or "now isn't your best bet, we're quite full now, try in a couple months". I doubt I'd give you a specific later date :)

want2write: I've had two publishers tell me they've published something similar. Someone told me that means I'm on track with what that publisher looks for. Is that true?

jennyreed: want: yes, if they bought something similar, then they were looking for something like what you sent. you were just too late :)

Verla: But each house has their own schedule, right, jenny...and WE as writers, have no way of knowing when the publishers have these windows.

_Lyra_: that's called LUCK...slipping through a publishing window (g)

jennyreed: right. you really can't know, unless you've been told by someone who DOES know.

SallyA: When an editor asks to see your ms in response to a query, what's the longest time you can take before sending it?

NOTE: ms = manuscript

jennyreed: sally: longest? I don't know..... how good is the editor's memory? :)

SallyA: I don't know. I guess just send ASAP.

NOTE: ASAP = As Soon As Possible

MelLane: What would be an acceptable time frame, Jenny, from the request to see the ms?

MelLane: Would you say that if an editor calls to see a ms, send it as quickly as you can?

jennyreed: well, if you say you have a finished manuscript and the editor wants to see it, you should send it within a week.

MelLane: What if it's a proposed ms?

jennyreed: if, however, you say you have a work in progress in the query, the editor will be patient longer. proposed, then the editor will understand that you cannot write an entire book in a week.

Verla: So it's important to mention in your query letter if your manuscript is completed and ready to send or not

jennyreed: definitely! there are two kinds of queries. queries for finished ms, and proposed projects. you MUST say what kind of query you are sending. if you don't say, the editor will probably assume you have a complete manuscript, and will expect a quick submission if she accepts it.

DanielJack: If an editor expressed interest in a manuscript, but no longer accepts unsolicited, because of the previous interest, does that mean that the writer is free to send other manuscripts without querying first?

Verla: yikes...our time is over half gone already!

jennyreed: daniel: if you send a query, and the editor says "please send", that is a SOLICITATION (or request) to see the manuscript. your manuscript is no longer unsolicited. but other manuscripts should be queried. you can, however, send the solicited manuscript in the same envelope with another query.

DanielJack: okay....thanks

want2write: What's the best way to propose a series to an editor? How many do you need to have done first?

jennyreed: want: oh, you don't have to have anything more than one to three chapters of one book completed. but you need to make it clear, in the query letter, that you are proposing a SERIES. editors don't like feeling "hoodwinked".

LILEX: Jenny, do you have any thoughts about which book on the market would be best to learn how to write query letters?

jennyreed: hm. I know a good book, but I cannot remember the name of it right now.

Verla: I use the Writer's Digest book .....Guide to Manuscript Formats. It REALLY helped me. Authors Buchman & Groves

want2write: You Can Write Children's Books has a part on query letters.

want2write: Do editors care much for series from 'newbies'?

jennyreed: generally, editors prefer series proposals from seasoned writers, people who have been published, so that they know they can count on you to deliver. HOWEVER, it never hurts to send a query anyway.

MelLane: Jenny: Is it ok to send a second proposal, while they're considering a first, requested ms? Or should you ask?

jennyreed: mel: yes, yes, and yes. send as many queries as you like. same envelope or different envelopes.

JustLiz: What if you like the first ms so well you later decide to try to make a series out of it?

Jennyreed: well, that's different. you are intending a single book, and you change your mind later. that's okay. in fact, sometimes a book (or a movie!) sells so well that they ASK you to make it into a series. when that happens, many an author has struggled for something else to do. look at home alone sequels - that poor author never intended a series :)

DanielJack: To clear this up once and for all........does it mean anything if you get a rejection letter that is signed by an editor of high position (like senior editor or editor-in-chief)?

jennyreed: a personal letter means that the editor thinks enough of your work to tell you about it personally.

Verla: yep...it's a sign of encouragement....

jennyreed: a form rejection means that the editor didn't bother to send you a personal note.

want2write: One editor sent me personal comments on form rejections. One said , unfortunately they published something similar. The other was a thanks for considering them. I took this as a sign to submit more right away.

want2write: I've had editors write something in pen on several rejection letters I've received. I hope that's encouragement.

Verla: Absolutely, want!!!!

jennyreed: want: yes, that was a sign to submit more. the editor liked what you did.

Verla: Hey, Jenny, I was told that most editors are VERY cautious about giving writers "too much false hope" and so they are VERY sparing with positive comments that the writer might take to mean more than they meant to say...does this sound like your experience?

jennyreed: okay... have I fielded the query letter questions well enough? now is a good time to throw more at me :)

Marianne__: Jenny, what if you've gotten 9 out of 15 rejection letters that were signed personally by an editor. What would you do with this manuscript where everyone says "too specialized"?

jennyreed: I'd find a publisher who likes that sort of specialization.

Verla: Find a specialized publisher for it, marianne!

Marianne__: (:) I can't!

jennyreed: well, maybe I can help you after the workshop :)

Marianne__: You got a date! (:)

Verla: market guidebook dissection time, marianne

Verla: (is that spelled right?)

Marianne__: maybe one s, V. (:)

_Lyra_: jenny--could you speak a bit on a "typical" day as an editor; your various duties

jennyreed: okay. :)

jennyreed: now, I worked in a small house. some of what I say will differ radically from large houses. I generally got into work at 10.

Amishka: What do you say on the phone when an editor calls you?

jennyreed: Oh...that's right. we didn't finish that yet. let's go back to that. :)

jennyreed: when an editor calls you, the FIRST thing you should say is,

Amishka: Hello?

jennyreed: please hold a minute, I need to change phones!

jennyreed: okay, hello is a good first :) I need to change phones is the second.

jennyreed: Because the editor almost certainly caught you changing a diaper, making dinner, chasing your barking dog down the street, something.

Verla: AH! That gives you time to grab your paper with your name on it!

Marianne__: LOL!

Verla: (And grab a Depends from the box....)

Marianne__: Time to breathe into a paper bag! (:)

jennyreed: Yes :) put the phone down, grab paper, go to a quiet room, remind your family NOT to bother you. Pick up a new extension :)

Marianne__: LOL!

Verla: (Assuming you have more than one phone in the house, jenny)

jennyreed: Okay, if you only have one phone, SAY you are changing extensions anyway, grab your stuff, shoo your family out of the room and shut the door.

Verla: true...

jennyreed: Grab a glass of water, swallow whatever you are eating and set it in a different room than you are in.

want2write: Should you suggest calling them back if it's not a good time?

jennyreed: No. You should NEVER ask him to call back.

want2write: Not even to call him?

jennyreed: Well, let me rephrase that. Never say it's a bad time. It's always a good time for an editor to call :)

want2write: They may get a lot of ruckus if they call me. There is no one but me and 3 little one's ages 4 and under home during the day.

jennyreed: Well, you can't really prepare for an editor to call, but you can try to control the ruckus.

want2write: What time of day do editors usually call?

jennyreed: that depends on the editor.

Amishka: and the time zones

jennyreed: also depends on whether the editor thinks you work at an office or if you'll be home during the day.

Verla: my editor calls me often at 7am (my time)

Amishka: ewwe

Verla: partly depends on where you live, too, want. I live in California...so there's a three hour time difference. My early morning is halfway into her day

want2write: Your editor knows you now Verla and knows you're a morning person.

Verla: true, want

jennyreed: want: well, I often called my authors at night, because most of them worked day shifts. however, I would have preferred to call during the day, when *I* was on the clock, and would gladly have called if I had reason to believe they would be there to take the call

DanielJack: Will an editor leave a message if no one is home?

want2write: Does it show up on Caller ID as unavailable? Someone asked this on the CW list this week.

NOTE: the CW list is an email group for Children's Writers

jennyreed: Now, once you're set, the editor will tell you why she has called - probably with good news. Be as professional as you are capable of being :)

want2write: From what others have said, children's publishers call in the afternoon and romance publishers call at night. I've tried to figure out the times.

jennyreed: and don't agree to anything in the heat of the moment. You want to see a signed contract first.

DonaV: GREAT advice Jenny! (about the heat of the moment!)

jennyreed: be enthusiastic, yes.... but you want a contract (this is for acceptance calls)

Verla: yes....what I said with my first acceptance call....was....this all sounds wonderful, but I do need to see the contract first

DonaV: Jenny, this is also a good time to acquire an agent...you can say, you're talking to an agent and will have him/her call

jennyreed: aye :)

DonaV: Jenny, it's my understanding that if you DO agree to contract terms or an advance amount during the initial phone call, even if you get an agent later, you're stuck with that original agreement pretty much

jennyreed: dona: yes. while a verbal agreement may not be legally binding, an editor can get her nose VERY bent out of shape if you agree to something and then try to change it.

DonaV: jenny, I was told -- may not be true -- that a verbal agreement WAS legally binding in NY

jennyreed: I don't know. it may be true, it may not. I cannot say.

ClaraRose: would you page someone if they suggested it?

LILEX: What instructions? For example jenny.

jennyreed: yes. you should always follow instructions! if the editor says, I liked your manuscript but I want to see it in purple crayon! then you write it in purple crayon and mail it.

Verla: In other words, if an editor says, call me back in one week, call back in ONE WEEK

jennyreed: likewise, if the editor leaves a message on your machine saying "page me at this number", then they mean for you to do just that.

Verla: Or if they ask for you to run naked down main street....

Verla: hmmm. I'd have to think about THAT one...

want2write: So I should call them back at the end of 3 weeks!

Verla: I once had an editor tell me to call her at home..she was interested in seeing a manuscript I'd shown her briefly at a conference

Verla: She passed on it....that was Gold Fever. I wonder if she remembers it now that it has gotten 3 starred reviews? WEG (Wicked Evil Grin)

_Lyra_: I once had a packager-editor try to get me to agree to a LOW advance in the rush of The Call excitement

jennyreed: many editors are scummy that way, lyra :)

_Lyra_: That's why it's good to try not to agree to EVERYTHING immediately

DonaV: Well, you have to remember that editors are working for their company. They're not acting as your agent.

Verla: Exactly, dona!

ClaraRose: What kind of questions should an author ask an editor on an acceptance call?

jennyreed: the first question you should ask is, when will I see the contract?

Verla: I asked what kind of book they wanted to publish. Picture book? Full color? Hard or softback? etc

jennyreed: then, you can ask questions like, how do you envision my book? soft or hard cover (or both), print run, all kinds of things. HOWEVER don't demand answers if the editor doesn't know yet. they usually know all these things before they call, but sometimes they don't! don't make them commit to something if they don't know! and don't try to get an answer that isn't there. "I don't know" is a VALID answer for the first phone call. don't forget that!

ClaraRose: I have a list of about 20 questions I've gathered .. is that too much?

jennyreed: clara: 20 is probably a lot. organize them by importance, and ask questions until you feel that you've asked enough questions for the first call. the first call is NEVER the last. you can ask more questions later.

ClaraRose: o.k. thanks

DonaV: jenny, I read somewhere that an editor has to do a worksheet figuring out how much it will cost to publish your book before she makes you an offer. True?

Verla: Dona...that was true for my Charley biography...they took an extra two months before making the offer until they had "run the numbers" on it to see if it would be profitable for them to offer for the book

jennyreed: dona: depends on the house. some houses, yes. some, no. for example, there are many lines of "trash" fiction, or "read and toss" fiction, where they offer every author the same thing, and all books cost the same amount. there are no new numbers to run. and other places do judge each book individually, while others have standard offers, and fit you into one.

Verla: yes....charley was a book different from anything they'd done before so they were starting from scratch to figure the "numbers" out on it

MelLane: What if they just send you a personal letter, but don't ask for more. Do they want more?

jennyreed: mel: never hurts to send a second. assume they want more and mail them something else. soon.

Verla: an "unwritten invitation" to send them more. It means, they LIKE the way you write...they just need to get a manuscript that they NEED for their list

LILEX: Jenny, does an editor usually remember from one time to the next the author they have repeatedly rejected?

jennyreed: yes, an author who keeps sending stuff will probably stick in my brain.

MelLane: Ah, that's good, Jen. I'll remember that.

LILEX: Does the person sticking in your brain have a better chance?

jennyreed: well, if they are sticking in my brain for GOOD reasons, then definitely yes :)

jennyreed: if, on the other hand, they are sticking in my brain for BAD reasons, then they have a very poor shot :)

MelLane: LOL, Jenny!

want2write: Do they look for your stuff when it comes in if you're sticking in their brain?

jennyreed: yes, there were a few writers who were so good, that I always ripped open their envelopes the minute I saw them. no waiting for them!

ClaraRose: Wow... hope I get there

want2write: If they are taking longer to respond than they have on other manuscripts you've sent them, can you assume they may be interested?

Verla: yikes! We are four minutes OVER our allotted time, folks.

Amishka: not by my clock verla

Verla: Jenny..can you finish answering the questions on the board?

jennyreed: well, I'm willing to keep going, if you are willing to allow me to :)

Verla: Here's one you missed, Jenny...want2write: If they are taking longer to respond than they have on other manuscripts you've sent them, can you assume they may be interested?

jennyreed: it's a reasonable assumption..... but not always the case. if they got 200 manuscripts on the same day, or they're having heart surgery, it could be just a delay

kathrap_: uhmn.... can we back up a minute for my question?

jennyreed: kat: what was your question?

kathrap_: I have in my hot little hand two personalized notes/rejections... does this mean they want more from me?

kathrap_: because the one I sent them wasn't right

jennyreed: kat: yes, they do. send something else. or, if they gave you revision suggestions, revise and send it back again.

kathrap_: I know the revision part...

kathrap_: ok

kathrap_: thanks

Verla: Okay...thanks SO much, jenny....and now we do have to officially close this workshop for those who are on time restraints....

DanielJack: Thank you Jenny! It was great!!

MelLane: GREAT workshop, Jenny.... as always.

Verla: This has been VERY helpful, Jenny! Thank you SOOOOOO much!

jennyreed: thank you :)

Amishka: Great Jenny

DelaneM: thank you

MelLane applauds and stomps floor in enthusiastic cheers.

jennyreed: and to think I actually prepared an outline :)

_Lyra_: thanks, Jenny! Wonderful!!

Marianne__: Clap, whistle, whistle...(:)

Dani257: Thanks, Jenny

DonaV: Jenny, this was SO good!

Harazin: Thanks Jenny.

want2write: Thanks Jenny! That's encouraging.

Verla: Yea....Jenny! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP!

ClaraRose claps and claps and claps and claps

Sammeow: Thank you , Jenny. Maybe you could come back some time with fewer interruptions.

jennyreed: *grin* now THAT will never happen :) people have things they WANT to know :)

DonaV applauds

DonSS_: Very nice Jenny, thanks

***END OF WORKSHOP

 

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