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In anticipation of our Agent Day: From Mechanics to Masterpiece, we’ve put together an interview series as a way to meet the people behind the webinar. Today, we’re spotlighting editor Ashley Hearn. An associate YA editor at Page Street Publishing, Hearn will be hosting our pre-event practice pitch session.
Hi Ashley! As a self-confessed Gilmore Girl’s fanatic, do you have any favorite quotes?
“Well, my most oft repeated Gilmore Girl’s line is definitely “I need coffee in an I.V.” but I also love: “It’s all any of us wants, to find a nice person to hang out with ‘til we drop dead. Not a lot to ask!” Priorities, right?”
Coffee in an I.V. and genuinely nice peeps to hang out with. Yep. Sounds about right.
On a more serious note, what advice do you have for breaking into the publishing industry?
“Whether you’re trying to break in as an author, editor, agent, bookseller, marketing and sales professional (there are so many layers to publishing!), it’s important to read as many frontlist titles as you can. Frontlist titles are books that have gone on sale within the last twelve months vs. backlist titles which are older. Reading frontlist titles helps you stay up-to-date on what readers are currently buying, what editors are acquiring, and where publicity dollars are being thrown. Knowing this can then help you examine trends, find holes in what’s selling, and learn how to better pitch and market your own books—something you’ll have to do no matter what angle you’re approaching the industry from.”
Hmm. Frontlist Reading. Aka, a perfect excuse to build a book nest and shut the world out for the sake of research. On it.
What about the work itself? Do you have a go-to writing routine?
“I’ve always been the most productive with my writing in the mornings when my brain is fresh, so I (try) to wake up early enough every day I can squeeze in an hour of writing before I head into the office. Other than that, I’m terribly unproductive writing from my own home—so many distractions!—so I do prefer to get out of the house. Coffee shops are my preferred haunt because they typically have just the right level of background noise that helps me concentrate. Plus, there’s coffee.”
Again. Coffee. So noted.
Registration for Agent Day: From Mechanics to Masterpiece is still open but critique spots are now filled.
We look forward to seeing you (virtually, of course) on January 27th. Once registered, join us on the private pre-event Facebook page to keep the excitement going and start meeting everyone that’s going to be attending Agent Day 2018, or on Twitter: #WISCBWI18.
Important Dates to Remember:
· December 31 – Electronic critique submissions due for the 45 optional slots.
· January 13 – 9:00-11:00am CST: Practice pitch session with editor Ashley Hearn. Need to work out the kinks in your pitch before submitting or not sure you want to pitch directly to an agent yet? Test your pitch with Ashley Hearn of Page Street Publishing, open to all registrants for feedback.
· January 20 – Pitches due for the 45 optional slots.
· January 27 – Agent Day begins at 8:00am-1:30pm.