Clarkesworld Magazine is running a two-parter, “Dirty Hands and Invisible Words: Speculative Fiction Book Editors Speak Out,” with Part 1 appearing this month.
Now, even if you’re not a ‘spec fic’ writer there is some really interesting insight here into the goings on in publishing, how editors approach the process of publishing a book, who’s ‘hands-on’ and who’s not, their predictions on what the future of books and book buying might be. This round-up includes 14 editors, including Patrick Nielsen Hayden from Tor (who I always find interesting).
Small trends that I see are the rise of the importance of trade paperbacks, the dwindling of hardcovers, the increased dominance of urban fantasy, the migration of classic science fiction out of the bookstore category and into both literary mainstream and teen category fiction, and the return of swords & sorcery and its infusion with epic fantasy.
Here’s the line-up of the editors interviewed:
Philip Athans has been a full-time staff editor at TSR, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast since 1995.
Victoria Blake is the publisher and founder of Underland Press, an independent specialty press.
Paula Guran is the editor of Juno Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books.
James Lowder has worked as an editor for both large publishers and tiny independents, on projects that include New York Times bestselling shared world novels and small, critically acclaimed creator-owned titles.
John Jarrold has run three science fiction and fantasy imprints in the United Kingdom, worked as a freelance editor, and now runs the John Jarrold Literary Agency.
Susan J. Morris the Forgotten Realms® line editor at Wizards of the Coast.
Chris Schluep is a Senior Editor at Ballantine/Villard/Del Rey.
Simon Spanton is the editorial director at Orion/Gollancz Books in the United Kingdom.
Jacob Weisman is the founding editor and publisher of Tachyon Publications, an independent specialty press.
All links should be active. Let me know if I hosed any of them up. The conclusion will appear in the August issue of Clarkesworld Magazine (don’t worry, I’ll remind you).