Today is a beautiful, cloudy rainy day. I think God created rainy days just so people who work from home can actually get work done. :)
I want to introduce my editor and my friend, Rebekah Guzman. She is the senior editor of Th1nk Books, which is the teens to young twenties imprint of NavPress. She's married and has an absolutely beautiful one year-old daughter. I've been bugging her with endless questions for years now and she's always extremely gracious in answering. So I'm excited to have her here today! :)
Onto the interview! :)
~~~~ Erynn: Why did you decide to become an editor?
Rebekah: I wanted to find a way to integrate my love of reading and writing with my love of interacting with people. Being an editor allows me to do just that. I get to work with great authors, writers, and speakers—and I get to read books that stretch my imagination and beliefs. Erynn: What is the most important thing you look for when deciding whether or not to sign a new author?
Rebekah: Now more than ever, publishers are looking for authors with built-in self-promotion. It’s extremely important that authors develop their own promotional opportunities. They need to be proactive online, in blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. Successful writers will establish a platform, build a list of fans, find speaking engagements, and take advantage of media opportunities. We also look at what message the author is writing on and how effectively he or she conveys that message.
Erynn: What are some of the trends in publishing right now? Should potential authors follow the trends or avoid them?
Rebekah: These times are challenging for all publishers, including NavPress. Retail publishing in general is declining. People aren’t buying or reading books as fervently as they once did. While the economy plays a part in this shift, the larger reason is a move toward electronic delivery of information. However, this is nothing new. Publishing has changed the way it has delivered products before, just as the music industry has moved from records and CDs to downloadable music. Will books become obsolete? Of course not. Will this change the mix of how things are published? We think so.
NavPress recognizes these trends and has made some changes. Over the last two years, NavPress has been shifting from a bookstore and trade-only focus to adding Internet and church development channels alongside the trade. This will help us move from a primarily trade-oriented publisher to a trade and direct publisher, strengthening our direct side of the business. What this means for authors is that their books can be sold into both channels, trade and direct, strengthening their visibility and effectiveness of their message.
Erynn: What is the biggest mistake potential authors make?
Rebekah: One thing I like to remind any writer is simply this: You can’t create and perfect at the same time. While most editors love an author's attention to details, don’t feel like you have to get everything right the first time. Jot down your thoughts, create the content, and then set it aside for some time and come back to it later. Keep in mind that editors are here to help you. I love coming alongside a writer to make his/her work the best it can be. Also, remember to pray for wisdom as you create (for now)—and later as we perfect, together.
Erynn: What's your favorite part of being an editor? Your least favorite part of being an editor?
Rebekah: My favorite part of being an editor is spending time with authors and traveling to meet new people. I have the opportunity to meet some of the most fascinating, passionate people. Least favorite? It’s sometimes hard in this competitive business to see an author go to another publishing house instead of working with us. However, I want what’s best for them. I know that God is in control and has His hand in everything. If it’s not the best fit with TH1NK/NavPress, I’m willing to help find one that is. We want to help authors get their messages out there in the most effective way. It’s only because I want to work with them that I’m sad to see them go. I’m thrilled with the success of any author or writer, whether or not I get to be their editor.
Erynn: How do you take your coffee? :)
Rebekah: I hate to say this to you—the queen of coffee and author of books that always include coffee—but I don’t drink coffee (gasp!). My favorite drink is a zebra hot chocolate. I also love Dr. Pepper—and get my caffeine fix that way. Now, if you were to ask me about chocolate, we’d be on the same page! ;-)
Sheesh. Another non-coffee drinker. I just don't understand how you guys get anything done. :)
I hope you guys are having a wonderful day! Remember to post questions! :)