Will your book “twist in the wind” even after you’ve sold it?

What sort of person wouldn’t love a blog called Book Angst, especially when it’s run by an undercover editor going by the name Mad Max Perkins?

Yesterday Mr. Perkins interviewed three editors about marketing. Here’s an excerpt:

What are the two or three things an author most needs his editor to accomplish in-house to increase the chances that this book won’t get lost in the shuffle?

ED#1: Every book needs more than one in-house champion. Presumably the editor is the first champion, but the editor needs to find fans in sales, marketing, etc. And the editor needs to constantly talk about the book to any one who’ll listen, but never cross the border into annoying.

ED #2: The first thing an editor needs to accomplish is decided long before the author even signs a contract, which is the editor must have already established him or herself as someone with good relationships in-house. Sales, marketing and publicity need to trust and respect the judgment of the editor based on their experience with him. It’s from that platform that everything else will spring.

Secondly, the editor needs to get sales, marketing, rights, and publicity people to read the manuscript. Depending on the house and the book, this may be a no-brainer or the hardest thing in the world to accomplish. . . .

ED #3: It’s not up to the editor. Ultimately, editors have little more than enthusiasm. As indicated before, having your editor like you and feels he wants to help you is a good start. At the end of the day, though, despite all the noise you and your editor can make, decisions about how books get published are out of the editor’s hands. It’s usually a committee (in some houses a formal one, but in most an informal one), led by the imprint’s publisher and including the sales director, publicity director and marketing director, that decides which books are to live and which are to twist in the wind.


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