Annette Pollert-Morgan is the editorial manager of Sourcebooks Fire, the young adult imprint at Sourcebooks. She acquires teen fiction and nonfiction, and loves complicated, engaging protagonists, and intense, heart-wrenching books that leave you feeling more than when you started. Annette has worked with NYT bestselling authors L.J. Smith, Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié, and Thomas E. Sniegoski, National Book Award Finalists Carrie Arcos and Deb Caletti, Stonewall Honor recipient Brian Farrey, as well as Jennifer Echols, Miranda Kenneally, Jason Myers, Lisa Schroeder, Jeri Smith-Ready, K.M. Walton, and others. Before joining Sourcebooks, Annette was an editor at Simon Pulse, a contemporary, commercial YA imprint at S&S. You can follow her on Twitter at @annettepollert.
1. Why did you choose to become an editor?
I’ve always loved books and reading, so knew I wanted to do something that let me spend time with both “when I grew up.” I fell in love with editorial work during an internship at Scholastic Inc. Editors get to see a book from acquisition through publication (and beyond!), so they really play a role in each stage of the publishing process. And I found that to be really exciting and rewarding. I was hooked!
2. Are there any projects you wish you could have worked on?
There are many books that I wish I had acquired and edited. Some are manuscripts I read on submission that got swooped up by another editor. Some are books I admire and wonder what the editorial process was like with the author. Some are books that I loved when I was younger and now look back on, imaging how amazing it would have been to be the first in-house reader. It’s a long list. So I tend to focus on what I’m going to fall in love with next. And I’m grateful to editors who ushered novels—such as Joy Hensley’s RITES OF PASSAGE, E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS, Meg Rosoff’s HOW I LIVE NOW, Lois Lowry’s NUMBER THE STARS, and others—to the shelves so I could enjoy them.
3. What are you reading right now (for personal reading, for fun)?
At the moment, I am between books. Next on the list? Herman Koch’s THE DINNER. My personal reading has more adult than YA of late. I enjoy variety.
4. How do you utilize Twitter? How do you believe it has changed the way we go about publishing books?
Twitter is a fantastic way to connect with authors, agents, and editors. It’s very conversational and you can learn a lot from the exchanges there. I follow a wide range of folks. Personally, I go through phases of lurking and tweeting. And I tend tune in when I’m on the bus, the subway, and waiting in line to pick up lunch. It keeps me entertained and engaged—but keeps it from becoming a distraction. I’ve met agents, learned about new submissions, connected with potential authors, heard publishing news, and discovered new books that I wanted to read on Twitter. It’s a useful tool.
5. If you had a crystal ball, where do you think (or hope) publishing will be in 5 years?
It is exciting to see how much publishing has changed over the past few years, and I’m looking forward to the future. As a YA editor, I hope that the enthusiasm continues for that category. It’s important that we grow new readers. If you’re not reading when you are younger, it’s not as likely that you’ll want to read when you’re older—so there need to be different kinds of books to appeal to teens. Whatever the format, whatever the delivery, I’m looking forward to more engaging, innovative storytelling that leaves readers feeling energized and connected and wanting more.
Thanks so much for being part of the Red Sofa Chats! For our readers, Annette is hosting a contest for this special chat, of which a comment or question will enter a person’s name to win copies of Rin Chupeco’s THE GIRL FROM THE WELL and Virginia Bergin’s H2O. The winner’s name will be randomly drawn on December 1st. Let’s do it!