Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Grand Central Publishing Editor Speaks Out

Interview With Grand Central Publishing Associate Editor Latoya C. Smith

As an associate editor for Grand Central, what do you do on a daily basis? The one thing I love about my job is that each and every day is different.  Mostly, my days consist of meetings, email correspondence with my colleagues, authors and other industry professionals, reviewing submissions, editing manuscripts, taking phone calls, going to business lunches, dinners and events, and overseeing all of my authors’ projects.

What do you love most about being in the book industry? I love the challenges.  Each and every day I am learning new things about the industry and new ways of doing things.  I’ve always been a lover of education so I feel as though this industry has so much to teach me and I am ready to learn.    On a personal level I LOVE the reaction I get from people when I tell them I’m a book editor.  They are always fascinated and amazed, and normally the conversation ends in my telling them what I do at work.

What are the rewards and challenges to working with your authors? The biggest reward is helping authors hone their craft and make their dreams of being a published author come true.  I think the biggest challenge is finding new avenues to promote authors and making sure the word gets out about their brand and titles.

Which genres and formats are very popular these days? I mainly work on romance, so I’d say contemporary and erotic romance is hugely popular now, particularly in ebook format.

What advice do you have for struggling writers? Join writing groups and pair up with critique partners (not friends or family members unless they will be brutally honest with you!) to polish your manuscript as much as possible before submitting to agents and publishers.  Also, do not try and write to trends.  Oftentimes the subgenre is not one the author is strongest in which can really harm his/her chances of being published. Lastly, self-promote like crazy whether you’re published by a publisher or self-published.

How are you reacting to how publishing is changing today? Nothing in life ever stays the same and that includes the ways in which we do business as new technologies arise.  There will always be readers even if the formats they are reading change.  We all just have to adapt.  So far, I find the changes exciting.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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