first in our series, Chatting with Publishers. Today Natalie Kleinman
interviews Kate Bradley, Senior Commissioning Editor at Harper Fiction, who was kind enough to answer her questions. So, for
all you writers who would like an insight into another side of the industry,
here it is.
worked in retail and direct mail bookselling for many years, picking up valuable experience about readers; what people buy and why. It’s all helped me as a commissioning editor – I always think
about who the end consumer is when I’m acquiring a new novel or writer.
as a busy editor – if there is such a thing as a typical day?
characterised by editing and publishing mostly. Editing is where you work with
an author to help make their book as good as possible; we can do umpteen edits
before the book is ready for the world. Publishing is really the strategic and
tactical process of getting people to buy the book; it’s about the jacket design
working with the copy to make the book appealing to potential readers; using social
media to reach out directly to consumers; working with our Sales and Marketing
teams to engage retailers; all of this is often the hard graft; editors love
editing and sometimes find it hard to stop!
write a book?
their ideas and to get their brilliant stories down on paper (or laptop!).
books in your job what do you like to read for leisure?
me on an emotional journey, whether that be historical or contemporary.
that is not a genre you handle, do you pass it to another editor in your
I handle. It’s good to see what’s out there and all of the editors at Harper
work very closely together, we read each other’s book all of the time and share
the things we’ve loved.
accept un-agented submissions?
work for us, it’s what they’re really good at; sifting for gold – we’re the
What do you feel will be then next ‘big thing’?’
anything can happen. One thing’s for sure, readers will always want books that
speak to the heart, but perhaps with books that subvert the idea of the
advice to give to anyone submitting a manuscript, what would it be?
you send as good as it can be – work tirelessly on it. Be patient and take the
feedback you are offered positively; it will all help you to hone your craft.
questions, Kate, and for giving our readers so much helpful information.
historical romance novels and has thrown a bit of a mystery into the mix in her
current wip. She is accumulating a nice collection of Regency works to help
with her research. You can follow her blog at http://nataliekleinman.blogspot.co.uk/