Please welcome Anaiah Press Editorial Director, Kara Leigh Miller. Kara is full of advice, tips and information about the editorial process for writers.
1. What does the Anaiah Press Editorial Director do?
I think a simpler question would be what don’t I do? Ha! I do a little bit of everything and fill in when needed, but my primary responsibilities include reading submissions, answering emails, editing for a select group of authors, setting release dates, overseeing our other editors, and ensuring deadlines are met. I also get to preview cover art and share the final versions with the author, which is always so much fun!
2. Share a typical day of an editor.
For me, my day usually starts with checking my email and answering questions my authors have. Then I check for any new submissions. Once I’m done with that, I open whatever manuscript I’m working on and jump in. I often set a daily page count for myself, and I work until I reach that goal. Then I check my email again. And again. Did I mention I get a LOT of email?
3. What is Anaiah Press looking for at this time?
We’re still looking for contemporary Christmas romance novellas and our submission deadline has been extended until April 1. (https://anaiahpress.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/wish-list-wednesday-special-call-for-submissions/)
We’re always looking for romance in any sub-genre, but especially romantic suspense.
In our Surge Imprint, we’re looking for compelling fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary. We’d love to find some thrillers, too. I’m still desperate to find a YA story that takes place during summer camp or Bible camp, preferably a thriller or mystery, but a romance would be great, too!
And, brand new this year is the launch of Anaiah Cozy–an Imprint dedicated to cozy mysteries!
4. What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring author?
Oh, I have way more than just one piece of advice…. First, be sure your manuscript is in the best possible shape before you start to query. Second, please, please follow submission guidelines. I reject too many submissions because authors don’t follow simple guidelines–either information is missing or they’ve included an attachment (which, for the record, we do not open unless we’ve specifically requested one). Third, and most importantly: DO NOT GIVE UP! Ever. I know it can be difficult, and there are days when you wonder why you do what you do and if you’ll ever “make it.” But trust in God’s plan and believe that He wouldn’t have put you on this path if He didn’t have plans for you.
5. How and why should an author edit their own work before submitting it to a publisher?
First drafts are never good. Ever. Sadly, I see a lot of authors querying first drafts, and they almost always get rejected. It’s so important to write the draft and then set it aside for a couple of weeks or even a month or more. Get some distance from the story. Then go back and read it. You’ll catch quite a few mistakes that way. And once you’ve done that, it’s time to enlist the help of other writers–preferably people you don’t know because friends and family often won’t tell you what you’re doing wrong. They’ll only tell you what you’ve done right. Which is great, but it’s not really helpful. Find a local or online writing group to join and share your work. Ask critique partners and beta readers for feedback. Then implement the advice they gave you. Take a writing class or two. Read books about writing. Once you’ve done all that, set it aside again for a period of time, then go read it one final time before querying.
6. How do you know a manuscript is the right one?
When I can’t stop reading. If a story sucks me in, and I can’t put it down, chances are I’ll accept it (providing it meets our content guidelines). But if I start making notes about what types of edits I’d ask the author to make and my focus is on that rather than the story itself, chances are it will end with either a rejection or a revise & resubmit.
A great amount of tips in this post! Thank you so much, Kara!