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Editor Interview: TWB Press

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Quality ebooks online

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: New Line Press with Publisher Catherine Burr and Editor-in-Chief Jim Halon, who inspired and encouraged me.

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

A: I publish genre fiction: science fiction, horror, supernatural, and thrillers. My favorite fiction authors are Edgar Rice Burroughs, Michael Crichton, and James Patterson.

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: My authors. They are the best because of their willingness to work hard to produce emotional stories that readers will remember long after they shut off their e-readers.

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

A: Write for the sake of the reader, not for the sake of the story. After every sentence you write, think: "How is my reader going to FEEL about this?"

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A great story idea is essential. Ideally, the characters (antagonist & protagonist) will have definable goals with believable motivations and high stakes. The story will have structure (inciting incident, rising action, rising stakes, turning points, black moment, climax, and resolution) filled with tension, conflict, drama, and suspense and leave an emotional impact on me.

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

A: Query letters often lack enticing log lines and compelling blurbs, and for lack of effort to craft them, I get half-baked synopses that leave me with more questions than answers.

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

A: Query letters are a must. It’s the author’s chance to shine. Previous publishing credits are helpful but not mandatory. I need to know things that will show me how committed the author is to the business of writing.

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

A: I always read every short story to the end. Even if the writing isn’t powerful or emotional or the structure is weak, I need to see if the story idea is compelling enough to develop (should the author be willing to do revisions based on my suggestions). Novels are much more time consuming, so if I’m interested in a novel’s query, I’ll request the first three chapters and a synopsis, which I’ll read in its entirety before making a decision.

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

A: Brilliant submissions are accepted right away, but that’s not the norm. If a submission is based on a compelling idea, but problems with structure or characters warrant rejection, I’ll offer the writer a chance to submit a revised draft based on comments and edits I’ve made on the original submission. If the writer accepts the challenge and resubmits a satisfactory revision (something we can work on from there), I’ll then offer a publishing contract before we continue with the project. An unsatisfactory revision will not get another chance.

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

A: It’s phenomenal. I spend my days doing what I love to do: reading, writing, blogging, Web site updating, editing, marketing, graphic design, publishing, and turning writers into published authors. No two days are the same, but most start at 5:30 am and go full bore until about 7:00 pm. I save a submission file as a 'first read' file, and I read it on the computer (I don't print it). As I read along, I make first impression notes and edits (as if I'm just any reader), typing my notes in a blue font, highlighting suggested additions in yellow and suggested deletions in red. This is the file the author sees...if the publishing process goes further. It may take a day or two (for a short story), as I have other projects in production that require my time. I try to slow down on weekends, but sometimes that’s not possible.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: Ebooks are the wave of the future, and TWB Press is taking full advantage of this new technology. I only accept submissions by email, which speeds up the process and eliminates the need for slush piles. Traditionally published books will never go away. Electronic publishing is simply another way for readers to access the books they want. It’s also a way to offer books from authors who have not been able to break into the corporate publishing bubble of New York. Modern technology is a win-win for readers and writers.