Meeting With An Editor

pexels-photo-largeWe have an incredible opportunity to meet with editors. But try not to be nervous. They’re interested in us or they wouldn’t be coming. However, we want to present our material in an organized and professional manner, so here are a few ideas:

  • Introduce yourself very briefly and thank the editor for his or her time.
  • Give the editor a “one sheet” (one page) presentation of your book project. Prepare this ahead of time, and bring several copies so you can leave them with the editors in case they are interested. Remember, there will be multiple editors at this event. Don’t go beyond one sheet and don’t use fancy fonts or cutesy gimmicks on your sheet, but do include at least the following information:

1. Your name and contact information (don’t forget to bring business cards, too, if you have them)

2. Title of your book and genre (where it will fit on bookstore shelves)Fiction: historical fiction, contemporary fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, etc.

Nonfiction: biography, memoir, Christian living, humor, etc.

Target audience (not everyone everywhere; be specific), e.g., fathers of teenagers, mothers of elementary-age children, retired but still-active seniors, unchurched but spiritually sensitive Gen-Xers, etc.

3. Summarize what your book in one sentence—what your book will “say” (not what it’s about).

Not this: My book is about prayer.

But here’s a hypothetical example: Beyond Fix-It Prayers encourages readers to broaden their prayers beyond the frequent “who’s sick now?” lists to praying prayers that will make a difference in the kingdom by ______, ______, and _____ (fill in the blanks with how you will develop this topic throughout the book).

4. Give a brief, attention-grabbing sample of the writing in this book—often the first few paragraphs of chapter one. Continue on the reverse side of this one sheet if necessary, but only include a few paragraphs. Editors won’t have time to read more.

5. It’s OK to include a small, quality photo of yourself to help the editors remember your conversation.

  • While meeting with the editor, answer any questions the editor may have and take note regarding any suggestions given to you—and follow through.
  • If an editor says your project is probably not a good fit for his or her publishing house, remember that they are not rejecting you. You simply need to find the publisher who can reach your target audience.
  • Do not overstay your allotted time. Be considerate of others who want to talk to the editor.
  • Thank the editor again and leave.
  • But if editors ask you to send them more, make sure to follow through. This is a pet peeve of editors: most people who talk to them about projects and get a response like “I may be interested; send me more” never follow through.

For more ideas, see the following web posting: