Big & Exciting Changes at GH

It’s a whole new month, and we have some updates!

Staffing Changes:
SO. First of all, have to do the inevitable apology for being so quiet on the blog for the last month or so. Our social media coordinator (who we still stalk obsessively and love to death) took a break, and our NEW social media coordinator (who we also stalk obsessively and love to death) had Things To Do before she could start here.

I can’t really complain, because … well first off, I love them both to death. Also, I’m ridiculously lucky to have them at all, and complaining would just be super ungrateful.

BUT now that Kara has started as our new Blog Coordinator, she has a terrific lineup of blogs coming down the pipe, so get ready for some action! The first blog, of course, falls to me (and as an editor, I’m CONSTANTLY complaining about the need to –actually– write things. It just seems so unfair.).

That being said. It’s update time. So here’s the happenings for right now.

New Faces and New Books:
We took part in several pitch parties over the last couple of months, which means we have NEW AUTHORS TO ANNOUNCE. Some submissions are still coming in, so this certainly isn’t a complete list (I’m looking at you, Shanna), but here are the newbies for now:

  • Shawna Railey, who some of you might have seen us talking to on Twitter. She writes urban sci fi/fantasy. 
  • Sonya Craig, who writes space opera/dystopian
  • Richie Schall, who writes MG high fantasy 

I have no doubt that there will be a LOT more coming from them as we get to know each other. I’m super excited to welcome these lovelies into the GH family, and hope you’ll watch out for novellas from them in the upcoming StoryTime events.

Pitch Events from a Publisher's Perspective:
We took part in several pitch parties over the last couple of months, which means man-oh-man do I have stories. And not all of them are good. But since pitch parties are becoming de rigueur, and happening more and more often, I think those stories—good and bad—or things I’m going to have to get used to. Because let’s be honest—IS there anything more fun and efficient than authors being able to contact publishers and agents directly through a hashtag event?

I think not.

Just in case you’re thinking about getting involved in a pitch party, though, here are some tips that we learned the hard way. First off, these things are COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING. As an author, you probably only get to pitch a specific number of times an hour, or a specific number of times during the event. As publishers and editors and agents, we can check as often as we want. And man-oh-man does that kill efficiency in the office. The easiest and best thing to do, we found, was to browse the thread once every two hours or so—that way we know we’re seeing what there is to see, and we’re still doing that thing called work. I would say it will work the same for authors—checking obsessively isn’t going to make anyone respond more quickly, and it’s going to kill your work flow!

Next: follow the rules in these things. Most publishers and agents are looking for specific things, and tweeting to them about something that falls outside of their interest list is just like submitting something that doesn’t work for their catalog. It’s going to lead to disappointment. Which isn’t fun for anyone.

DO, though, communicate with people if they’ve liked one of your pitches! One of my favorite things was carrying on conversations with people I’d asked to pitch us, and getting to know them a little bit. And as an acquisitions editor, I can tell you that the people who responded to me personally were the people I looked for in the submissions box.

Do also understand that 140-character elevator pitches can be extremely misleading, though, and that’s no one’s fault. There’s only so much you can put into that small word count! So a lot of the pitches we liked and received turned out to be something very different from what we thought they were. And that happens. It’s not the end of the world. But it’s good for everyone involved to go in with that in mind—a like and request doesn’t mean it’s all going to work out in the end. This is also true on both ends! Half of the pitches I liked never even bothered to respond to me. So a pitch party means getting a shot at a great contract, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything more than that.

GH Flash Fiction Contest:
Final thing on the List of Things Carrie was Told to Talk About: our flash fiction writing contest. We’re SUPER excited to announce that we’re going to be hosting a number of flash-fiction pieces from our authors in upcoming blogs, and these aren’t just any flash fiction pieces. Our editorial team chooses a number of random (and fancy—one of our first words is palimpsest!) words, and hands them to the chosen author, who is then responsible for writing a 2500-word story using those words. We’re going to host all of our authors in this contest, and at the end of the year hold a vote for who wins. The winner will receive … not a pony. Yes, a pony was suggested, and yes, I’ve refused that as a prize. We haven’t really decided on the prize yet BUT that doesn’t change the fact that this will be a contest. Our first author is Mary Fan, so keep your eyes open for her story at the end of the month, and get ready to vote for your favorite at the end of the year!

I believe that’s all the updates for now, and it better be, because I have SO MUCH EDITING TO TAKE CARE OF. Keep your eyes open for cover reveals of our May StoryTime authors next month, along with interviews of new authors this month and announcements about upcoming A Rebel’s Stone and Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil releases! Until next time, lovelies!

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