Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Editor Interview: Michele Paulin of Total-E-Bound

Please give a big welcome to my Total-E-Bound editor, Michele Paulin. I really love working with Michele and I love her. She's awesome and so very helpful. I'm blessed to have her as my editor. Everyone should be so lucky. So please ask any questions you have about TEB or editing in general. 1) What are your pet peeves in the stories that have been submitted to you? I wouldn’t call it a pet peeve, but something that saddens me is that many people don’t read the publisher’s guidelines. I’ve had to reject perfectly good stories because they’re not erotic romance or because they contain elements clearly prohibited in the guidelines. 2) Is there something you see a lot you'd like to tell writers not to do? Do not send your manuscript without proofreading. 3) What tips do you have for writers you've contracted about working with you? Answer your email! I’m extremely laid back and not someone to be afraid of, but if I’ve sent you an email or given you an edit, then it’s probably for a reason and there should be an appropriate response/action on your part. 4) What are your tips for writers to present their best foot forward when submitting to you? Check your spelling. Check your timeline. Check your character details. I’m not big on synopses, but I’d like to know a few things going into a story: who are your characters, what are their conflicts and what is the problem they’re encountering in this story? Having a website and/or a blog will serve you well. It tells an editor that you’re serious about promoting yourself. 5) What percentage of stories do you accept vs. the amount you reject? Do you know what percentage of stories you accept from writers who are new to submitting to TEB vs. already contracted TEB authors? I can’t share exact numbers, but I reject far more than I accept. I also accept more books from current authors than from new authors. I know what to expect from a current author, how they take edits and revisions, etc. Current authors are also far more likely to send manuscripts that fit TEB’s guidelines and standards. 6) What kind of stories do you most wish to receive? Which type would you prefer not to receive? Truthfully, I’m open to most of the erotic romance genres. I get a pretty even mix. I’d prefer not to receive f/f books or fem-dom. 7) What kind of stories are selling the best at TEB at this point in time? Would you advise writers to write to the market and focus on writing these type of stories? This month m/m and ménage are selling well. Next month it could be something else. I’d advise writers to submit well-written books with strong characters. Absolutely, do not write to the market. It’s usually apparent when a writer is doing that and it doesn’t work. S 8) What are the main problems you see with submissions at TEB? None other than people not reading the guidelines. * Here is the TEB guidelines page in case you're interested (note from Ashley): TEB Submissions 9) What advice would you give to someone who wishes to become an editor? How would they go about it if they feel qualified? You need to have a good grasp of the language and know how to research. You’d be amazed at the amount of research I do to make sure that authors have their facts right. You need to have knowledge of pop culture. If you think you’re qualified, go to the publisher you’re interested in and contact them. There’s usually an employment link on one of their pages. Most will have an application and a test you’ll be required to take. 10) Is there anything your authors do that annoys you? That you'd like to advise them not to do? Not really. I have an awesome group of authors. 11) Do you have any other advice or tips you'd like to share with writers? Other than the things I’ve already mentioned, I’d have this advice. If you’re rejected, look at what an editor has mentioned about your book in the letter you’ve received. At TEB, we don’t send form rejections so if I’ve mentioned something in my letter to you, it’s not something pulled from the air. If I’ve told you I’d like to see the manuscript again after you’ve reworked something in it, take that seriously. It’s an open door for you and a straight shot back to my desk. In the time I’ve been an editor, I’ve only had two people take advantage of this. One is now an author for TEB. Thank you so very much, Michele, for being my guest today and answering my questions. I always love to get insight into what my editor and editors in general are thinking and what you like and don't like. I'm sure I'm not the only one.


Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Having been edited by Michele, I can agree, she does an excellent job! Nice interview, ladies.

Bronwyn Green said...

Great interview! It's always fascinating to see an editor's point of view.

Unknown said...

Thanks again Michele for joining us today. Also thanks to Cindy and Bronwyn for popping by.

Michele said...

Thanks for having me, Ashley.

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