We are so excited to host another Editor Shop, this time with the incomparable Robin Haseltine, senior editor of Entangled Publishing! Be on the lookout for details of this upcoming opportunity for you to submit your pitch to this wonderful publishing house.
- Tell us a little about yourself and how you became an editor extraordinaire!
Although I’d written stories since I was 5 and hosted an award-winning non fiction column as an adult, I found I enjoyed the editing process more than getting the words on the page. Liz Pelletier, Entangled Publishing’s CEO, tweeted looking for interns shortly after Entangled opened their doors in 2011, and I came on board. I loved that Entangled opened a new and profitable venue to talented writers unable to break into traditional publishers. With fantastic guidance and shared expertise from Liz and Entangled’s other seasoned editors, I moved up from reading slush to Senior Editor. During that time, I’ve worked on NY Times and USA Today Bestsellers, 2 RITA-nominated books, and so many fine books that have hit the top of the charts and won numerous awards or have been featured on Fresh Fiction, Kirkus Reviews, and Romantic Times.
I love my authors and I love my job.
2. How long is the turnaround, usually, from the time an author submits to when they can look to hear from Entangled?
We do our best to reply to authors within a two month time frame. http://www.entangledpublishing.com/submission-information/ on Entangled’s website has links to Submittable, an online system where we track every manuscript that comes in. Authors can request a particular editor, upload their work and synopsis, enter a query letter, and note the genre.
3. What about an average for the time between signing to publication?
There are many factors that go into establishing a release date: Editor’s calendar, Imprint calendar, and the anticipated length of the editorial process. Some category romances can be ready for Copy Edits in 2 months, Single Title might take 6. With all these variables, we like to suggest a book will go from contract signing to release within a year, with 8 – 10 months the average.
- What trends are you seeing in the market place?
Contemporary romance, including Rom Com and Red Hot, shmexy romances, still command very strong sales, and we’re excited to see Paranormal (especially super alpha shifter heroes) and Sci Fi gaining strength. The historical market (Viking, Highlander, Medieval, Regency, and Victorian) has a very solid, devoted readership, and demand for multicultural romances is as strong as ever. We’re also seeing an uptick in YA Fantasy, although the New Adult market is retracting somewhat, possibly due to saturation.
5. Entangled started in 2011 and has many imprints. What makes them different from other e-publishers?
I believe one of the reasons Entangled Publishing has become so successful in a few short years is due not only to the vision of Liz Pelletier, CEO, but also to our team approach in taking a book from submission to publication. Editors collaborate with each other and with publicity, along with the authors to help make their book the best it can be.
What is equally important is that we work to help shape an author’s career. We never see just one book, but how to grow an author’s fanbase, potentially moving them into another genre to develop crossover readership. Our royalty rates have always been high and our authors are important to us. Authors aren’t left to their own devices once a book releases — each has a dedicated publicity point person and team that hits the ground running, building excitement long before publication date.
As a result, our authors have hit the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling lists, have been nominated for RITAs, have won national contests like “Reader’s Choice,” and have sold foreign and film rights. We not only offer digital-first books, but release print books distributed via Macmillan that are sold in brick-and-mortar bookstores. In addition, we have a unique partnership with St. Martin’s Press.
Entangled anticipates trends instead of reacting to them and offers innovative ways to expand readership, which is tailored for each book. Liz Pelletier recently launched Entangled Music http://www.entangledmusic.com/, and several of our books have tracks embedded in them with talented new artists writing songs specifically for their characters. In a very crowded field, this gives authors another way their books can be noticed, as the tracks are also listed on pop charts.
More detailed information is available here:
6. Entangled has a wish list. What are you wishing for?
Although I edit in every imprint except Inspirational, my favorite projects are Paranormal Shifters / Sci Fi Single Title and Historicals in both Category and Single Title from Medievals through Victorian time periods. I’m also interested in near-Sci Fi. Cutting edge Dark Hunter type Sherrilyn Kenyon books with a slight Sci Fi bent, action-adventure military on the cusp of the possible. But every book must have a solid romance and romantic conflict to appeal to our readers. I also love humor and enjoy editing Rom Coms. And I’m especially looking for multicultural books in all genres except Inspirational.
7. What do you look for in submissions? How do they pique your interest?
Most of the genres I edit have a very specific tone, so voice is going to be the first thing that draws me into a story. Once I’ve evaluated whether the voice is appropriate to the genre by reading several pages, I’ll read the synopsis to ensure there’s a good premise and solid romance (or at least the potential for a romance). This means there has to be a believable conflict that can be sustained through the book and not a misunderstanding that can be cleared up in a conversation. 2 – 3 tropes lend richness and depth.
Next, is this book going to appeal to our readers? If we don’t have the readership, I’m hesitant to acquire a book no matter how exciting the voice, premise, or romance. That’s not saying I won’t take a chance, from time to time, but that’s why it’s so important to read our books, check sales rankings, to see whether a submission would fit one of our imprints.
I also look for super alpha (or sexy beta heroes for rom com) because our heroes have to be swoonworthy. Meet-cutes are important, too, and the more unique the better, since this is a great way to define the romantic conflict. We can see the chemistry — physical and intellectual — right away, which hooks our readers because they’ll root for the hero and heroine to find their HEA.
Finally, and equally important, if I love a submission or feel it has potential, I’m going to contact the author to see if we’ll be able to work together. At Entangled, editing is a partnership, a give-and-take and healthy respect for all parties involved in publication. Books always are their best when a trust relationship is the basis of the editorial process. If an author can’t trust my instincts, then I’m not the right editor for them.
8. Will you pass on a good story that may not be on your specific wish list to other editors at Entangled?
There are many times when I think there’s potential in a book, but it’s not for me, and other times when I’d love to edit a book but my calendar is full. Like all the editors at Entangled, we work as a team and will either send a solid candidate to a specific editor or will make every effort someone else picks up the book. Several authors have found a home with another editor. I have a book releasing soon that didn’t quite work for someone else, and one of my USA Today Bestselling authors was passed on to me because another editor was full.
Thank you for this great interview. Just as a final note to authors who haven’t yet sold, do your research. Read the author’s acknowledgements in those books you love, because if you like an editor’s authors and books, he/she might be the right one for you. Never give up, work with critique partners, and enter contests, which is a great way to gain an editor or agent’s notice.