Podcast #39: Ginjer Buchanan

Podcast #39 is now available for download here.

Ginjer Buchanan, editor-in-chief of Ace and Roc, was a guest lecturer at Odyssey 2009. In her lecture on how to get published, Ginjer explained how the book publishing industry works. In this excerpt, Ginjer provides tips on how to create and execute a smart submission strategy. She explains that there are no magical shortcuts. First, you must write a novel to completion. Next, target your submissions. Find other authors writing in the same sub-genre, find out who their agents and editors are, and target your submissions to those people. Ginjer stresses the importance of selling yourself and your work to the agent or editor, and of knowing what is happening at the different publishing houses. Ginjer lists resources that provide information about the publishing industry. She also describes what belongs in a query letter and what doesn’t, and what you should include with your submission.

Ginjer Buchanan was born in Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a Sociology degree from Duquesne University, and a master’s in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She was employed as a social worker in Pittsburgh for two years, and then moved to New York, spending 13 years working for a foster care and adoption agency. She eased into the publishing world in the ’70s by doing freelance work for various SF publishers, including a stint as consulting editor for the Star Trek novel line at Pocket Books. In 1984 she accepted a job as a full-time editor at the Berkley Publishing Group (now part of Penguin USA). She has had several promotions over the years, the most recent in January of 2007, when she was made editor-in-chief of Ace and Roc, the SF/F imprints of Berkley and NAL. She acquires and edits mostly in those genres but also has several mystery, horror, historical fiction, and non-fiction pop culture writers on her list.

For more information about Odyssey, its graduates and instructors, please visit our website at http://www.odysseyworkshop.org.


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