Publishers Lunch and mediabistro reported that Sean McDonald was promoted from senior editor to executive editor at Riverhead last week. According to a Publishers Weekly article, Penguin Group president Susan Petersen Kennedy complimented McDonald for “greatly to Riverhead’s success.” Kennedy also pointed out that the new exec’s “range of editorial interests is broad and compelling.”
McDonald, who edits writers such as George Saunders and James Frey, told mediabistro in an August 2005 interview that what grabs his attention in a submitted manuscript is “a pretty vague collection of things: a voice that I find compelling and engaging, usually characterized by a sense of honesty and authenticity; a sense of literary confidence and a willingness to push words, sentences, and stories in new and unusual directions; a feeling that this is not just one book, but the work of a real writer; and, finally, a conviction that this is a book that deserves and somehow needs to exist.”
So here are congratulations to a great editor, hopes that some Slushpile readers one day get to work with him, and a plug for both the excellent mediabistro and the informative Publishers Lunch. Those two sites are well-worth the subscription fees.
There were a whole bunch of changes in the publishing and magazine world last week. Big names leaving positions, big names starting new gigs, changes all around.
That is in fact how MediaBistro spelled it, but I’m assuming (always a dangerous propostion, I know) that they mean Harlequin, the romance publisher. But anyway, the website is reporting that Demetria Lucas was named associate editor at “Harelquin.” Lucas was previously an assistant editor at BET Books/Arabesque.
So all you folks out there quit trying to write the next Fight Club and let go with a good old fashioned bodice ripper. Take one pirate, named Blade or Thorn or Steed or Steele, add one damsel in distress, a spooky castle overlooking some dangerous cliffs and you’re off!
There has been a number of press items about editors and agents moving here and there. Here’s a roundup:
MediaBistro reported that Maureen Graney has been named executive editor of The Globe Pequot Press. The website also reported that Steve Zeitchik is leaving Publishers Weekly after a tenure of nearly seven years in order to join Variety.
A number of outlets such as MediaBistro, Publishers Weekly, and Publishers Marketplace reported that Bill Shinker was promoted to president of Gotham Books, a Penguin imprint. Shinker retained his title of publisher, but got a promotion to senior vice president. One of these days, I’m going to track down an explanation of exactly what the publisher position does as opposed to the various editors and presidents and what have you. I think the publisher is like the CEO of a company, but I’ll find out for sure.
Publishers Lunch reported that Kate McKean was hired as an agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and that Doug Jones joined Putnam and Riverhead as vice president/marketing director. He was previously a sales director at Random House.
Meanwhile, the graffiti outside my apartment in Baltimore reported that Crackhead Carl has accepted a new position on a different corner. He will now be featured doing the dope-fiend-lean on the corner of Pratt and Calvert.
Someone recently asked me “if I’m supposed to target editors or agents because their personal tastes are so different, then what’s wrong with sending my manuscript to multiple people at the same publishing company or house? Why can’t I keep trying until I find someone who wants my book?” I didn’t have an answer, but I told my interrogator I would try and find an explanation for him.
A couple of sources are reporting moves at Regan Books. Elizabeth Bewley has been named associate editor and Maureen O’Neal has been named senior editor.