Editor Interview: Casperian Books

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: I'm not going to specify favorites from our own list and any favorites I specify from a personal perspective would make others think that the genres those favorite authors are writing in are what we seek for Casperian Books, which may not be the case. For instance, I love some YA authors, but we do not publish YA fiction.
So let's stick to the classics: Herodotus. I really like Herodotus. Entertaining, engaging, regional interest but at the same time covering the entire world and beyond, packed with reflections on culture, religion, race, and class, part fantasy and part history--for certain values of history.

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Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Follow the submission guidelines exactly.

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Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission
- follows our submission guidelines/requirements (which takes care of the next few points)
- demonstrates that the author has researched our company
- demonstrates that the author has read some of our titles
- demonstrates that the author has a clear concept of his/her target audience and how the book can be marketed to that audience
- demonstrates that the author has realistic expectations/that the author's expectations are in sync with ours
All of the above play at least as important a part as the book being pitched in our decision whether or not to request additional information/the manuscript.

Lily, Chief jack-of-all-trades on 16 January 2011 Read other answers to this question

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: They don't follow the submission guidelines.

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Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: We ask for a cover letter in our guidelines and are very specific about what we would like to see in it. We do ask for a list of previous publication credits, a reference check of sorts, but we do not automatically decline to publish work by authors who do not have previous publication credits. Another thing we pay attention to a great deal is the grammar/spelling/syntax of the cover letter.

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Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: Our submission guidelines ask for the first 5000 words or so with the initial query. Based on this we are usually able to decide whether we would like to read more and request the entire manuscript. Our acceptance rate for complete manuscripts we review varies between 30-50% in any given year.

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Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: At the moment, we have two primary concerns in making a go/no-go decision: whether the manuscript fits our overall strategy and our list and whether the author is a good match for our press. Both have about equal weight.

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Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: Very, very busy. Reading submissions is but a very small part of the job, and it usually happens over the weekend when all the fires are put out. If we like a query, we will start an e-mail exchange with the author at that point in order to get to know them a little better and explore synergies. Then we make a decision as to whether to request the rest of the manuscript.

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