Now that we’ve all survived a hectic January, it’s time for the Red Sofa Chats to return. I’m excited to have Angela James as our first guest in 2012. She brings a forward-thinking eye to the publishing table, and extensive knowledge about digital publishing. I appreciate her positivity, advice about publishing and general enthusiasm for life, and wouldn’t have met her if it wasn’t for Twitter. Thank you Angela for joining the Red Sofa Chats!
Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first imprint, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a long-time advocate for digital publishing. She has enjoyed nearly a decade of experience in digital publishing, including successfully launching, building and serving as executive editor for two digital-first presses. Angela frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers and to drag them to the digital dark side. She’s the creator of online self-editing course, Before You Hit Send, which she offers to authors at all stages of their writing career. You can find Angela daily on both Twitter and Facebook.
Though Angela does not do much acquiring and editing these days, spending most of her time on the administrative end of things, she continues to edit a small group of authors she’s had a long-time editorial relationship with, as well as the special, invitation-only, Carina Press holiday collections. In addition, she’s been known to be seduced into editing the random novella that catches her attention while she’s browsing the submissions inbox. And Angela is still waiting for someone to write her the ultimate cowboy space opera romance adventure, in the vein of Firefly. For that particular project, she’ll give up sleep in order to edit!
1. Why did you choose to become an editor?
My original career was in occupational therapy. I took on editing a decade ago as a side-project, because I loved books and wanted to be involved in their creation. One pregnancy and a move across the state later, and I ended up taking on more editorial work while I took a “hiatus” from my OT job to be a stay-at-home mom for a few years. Things snowballed from there, and I somehow never ended up going back to my occupational therapy career, which is what I’d always intended to do, but instead developed a (mildly successful) career in editing!
2. Are there any projects you wish you could have edited?
Pretty much everything ever written by Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh, because I love reading their work. I would love to discover a writing voice like theirs!
3. What are you reading right now (for personal reading, for fun)?
This changes just about daily. I read a lot, and I read quickly. I read 330 books in 2011, not including what I read for work. Most recently I read Fair Game by Patricia Briggs and Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison. I’m looking forward to the release of the latest J.D. Robb book, and I’m currently reading an older fantasy series by Jennifer Roberson.
4. How do you utilize Twitter? How do you believe it has changed the way we go about publishing books?
Twitter is a fun place for me, so I don’t consciously have a plan for it or use it ruthlessly for just one thing. I do a lot of things with purpose, but Twitter, for me, is a place to hear about the world, interact with people I like, and sometimes be a little silly. I do the occasional promotional tweet, but more often I’m talking about other people’s books. The one way in which I do use Twitter for work is to do a hashtag called #editreport where I give authors insight into what editors are thinking as they read the slush pile.
I don’t know if it’s changed how we publish books, but I do think it’s influenced how we promote them. All social media definitely has had a dramatic impact on how we market and promote!
5. If you had a crystal ball, where do you think (or hope) publishing will be in 5 yrs?
Let’s see, in 5 years I think the digital format will be at least 50% of publishing sales. I believe we’ll have seen a calming of the incredible rush of everyone and their dog to self-publish a book. Digital royalty rates at traditional publishers may be somewhat higher. Advances will be lower, as will print runs. And, sadly, even more brick and mortar bookstores will have shut their doors. But on the upside, readers will have an even more expansive selection of books to read, at a reasonable price!
Thanks so much Angela! For my readers, what are your thoughts on the future sales #s for ebooks? And what have your experience been regarding social media and how books get published today? Angela will be answering questions, so you can be as specific as you want. The winner will get to select two digital ARCs of the March/April Carina Press titles. The last day is March 1st.