Tag Archive | Acquisitions Editor

Confessions of a Newbie Editor

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. prism logo

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.

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New Acquisitions Editor at Prism Book Group

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I recently accepted a position as Acquisitions Editor for Prism Book Group. This was not something I had looked for but kind of got dropped in my lap by surprise. I shrugged. Why not? I applied and was honest that I didn’t even think I was qualified. I took a test – passed. I was offered the job. I thought about it, prayed about it and then….

I volunteered as a judge for the Genesis contest for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I’m an encourager at heart and tried so hard to be honest but also supportive  to the entries I had. A few made me smile. A few had me wishing I could sign that author up. That’s when it hit me. That’s what I would be doing as an acquisitions editor. I would be scouting manuscripts and seeing which ones I really wanted to read more of.

Some of those didn’t have the highest scores. Hear me. Some of those manuscripts were not going to win the competition. Maybe they were an 80 or 85. They weren’t a 90 or 98.  I had to follow the judge’s scorecard. I was honest. In spite of perhaps a lower score, there were stories that stirred  me. There was something about the writer’s voice that spoke to me. As an editor who would work with a writer, these were stories I would have been willing to invest in, to help get them to sparkle and to see that author’s name on the cover of their own book. To see them reach their publishing dream.

Tingles of excitement sparked in my heart, and I knew. With all the open doors and the unanimous affirmation of those I had talked this over with, I knew that as much as I love writing my own stories and want to see them published, I would love just as much to help other authors reach their dreams too.

I still feel a bit inadequate for the job. It sets me on a path I had not anticipated. Most of the time when I type the word “acquisitions” I spell it wrong! I also spell the wrong quite often too (teh)!

So if you are here and you are interested, check out www.prismbookgroup.com. I love romance: historical (especially Regency), westerns, comedy, romantic suspense, contemporary. If you know authors who are looking, let them know. They can submit to me at sbaganz@prismbookgroup.com.

I will be at the following conferences as well to meet with writers and hope to add more to my schedule soon:

May 11      Lakefly Literary Conference, Oshkosh, WI  .http://www.lakeflylit.org/

May 31-June 2   Wisconsin Romance Writers Conference, Oconomowoc, WI  http://www.wisrwa.org/

June 6-8    Write to Publish, Wheaton, IL http://www.writetopublish.com/

September 27-28     Wisconsin Writers Conference, Wisconsin Rapids, WI  http://www.wiwrite.org/