A year ago I took a step of faith and became part of the Prism Book Group team, taking on the role of Acquisitions Editor. This article is not an attempt to brag, but more of a confession of sorts.
Lessons: I had never been an editor before, so there was a learning curve. Here is some of what I learned:
- I discovered how much fear held me back until I had to push against deadlines to make sure my authors had books ready for publication.
- I relished how good it feels to give an author that contract – and to celebrate with them when their dreams are in print for the world to read.
- I’ve developed a way of giving rejections that takes some of the sting out and helps writers grow. I may not contract them but I do still care. This was the scariest part of taking the job. I still don’t like to do it but at least I don’t crush dreams (or try not to).
- I delight in encouraging authors at conferences.
People. All the highlights this past year have shown up in the form of relationships:
Lisa Lickel is the person who passed along the job opportunity with Prism. At first I couldn’t believe it. You think I could do what? But I asked friends, took a test (and passed) and prayed about it. Then I took the plunge and have not regretted it. She became the first author (in a group of four) that I signed. She protested, “I didn’t tell you to get the job so you would publish me!” I’m glad I did, as Brave New Century was a huge revelation. I worked with four different authors and stories all at once. Do you know how intimidating it was to edit an editor’s work as well as when she is a dear friend? She must not have minded Prism at all as she just came out with another novel, The Last Detail, in January. Because it wasn’t a strict romance, fellow editor Marcy Dyer did the honors of working on that book.
Anita Klumpers entrusted her debut novel to me and worked her butt off with such cheerfulness. Anything I threw at her she took and was grateful. Her attitude was such a bolster to me and a bit frightening. Sure. She had never been through this process before. But neither had I. Her novel was released on January 22nd. Just coming up the the title, Winter Watch, with her was an adventure in and of itself. I loved every minute.
Daisy Jerico also entrusted me with her fun novella and delivered the best pitch I ever heard to date. She talked like she loved her characters and she was telling the story of something that happened to a close friend. The Love Thief ebook has done well and if you want sassy and suspenseful romance – that book is pure delight. I must not have done too bad with her as she signed with me again. Sparks Fly is due out in July. Oh, and we’ve had coffee together and both emerged victorious during 2013’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
Paula Mowery was part of an anthology I had contracted and became interested in doing my job. Well, not my job, but the same position. There’s plenty of great fiction to go around! I have now worked with her on not one – but two books! Brave New Century released in November of 2013 and Love and Legacy released March 19, 2014.
Jacqueline Hopper is another Acquisitions Editor at Prism Book Group and an author in her own right. She has been a great support and willing to answer all kinds of questions to the newbie on the block. She helps with scheduling reviews and making teasers and trailers for our books. (Check out her novella The Gingerbread House!)
I also had the honor of working a repeat Prism author, Penelope Marzec on her book Patriot’s Heart which released in February.
Finally, I have to mention Joan Alley, the owner, and Editor-in-Chief of Prism Book Group. She was willing to take a chance on me and I am grateful she did as I have learned so much in the process about writing, about speaking, and about myself.
I’ll be honest. I did this as a way to earn a little income while waiting for my own books to come to print.
I gained something far more valuable in the process, and I am grateful.
Susan, you’re a great assist to PBG. As a PBG author I don’t we’ve worked together, but I’ve heard lots of good things about you. Keep pressing on with a smile.
You are sweet to say so! I will keep pressing on and learning and enjoying the ride. THere are so many great books and new authors on the horizon. What an honor to be part of their journey.
Loved this endearing peek into your life as an acquisitions editor, Susan. You are so genuine and have such a heart for writers. No wonder the Lord is blessing your work. All the best, dear friend.
This was interesting stuff! I know what you are like to deal with professionally and personally, and you shine in both arenas. Next up I’ll have to hear you speak. Bet you are lively!
All of the above, and truly, not just because you signed me. And she is pretty good in the public arena.
Enjoyed reading about your journey. You are a major contributor at Prism, and all of us appreciate your work.
Prism is a wonderful publisher, and you make it better!
Awww, you gals all make me blush. Much sweeter than a “happy anniversary” card!
Susan, I will never forget our appointment at Write-to-Publish. You listened. You encouraged. You prayed with me. One day I may have just the right book to pitch to you. For now, I am enjoying your blog and hope to see you again, soon.
I’m glad I could be a blessing to you, Rebecca! I hope to see you again soon as well!
I can’t wait to see what we can do together. I think we’ll both fly high with the eagles! You’re a true blessing.
I look forward to the adventure as well, Renee! So glad you’re part of the Prism team!