Kensington and Megan Records

Hello everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 RWA National Conference where I got to meet several people including a few from Kensington. I had already met today’s guest in March and knew instantly that I wanted to be published with Kensington, but now after meeting Alicia Condon I know I HAVE to keep trying to be one of their authors. I attended a workshop where five of Kensington’s top people spoke about what happens between you, your book, and them. I learned so much about the “behind” the scenes workings and the people who really get your book sold. I’m amazed and have so much respect for those people. Today’s guest is an editor of two of my writing friends and one that I enjoy twitter stalking cause she’s just fun. One day Megan will either block me from everything or I will be a Kensington author. I’ll keep you all posted and yes I’m open for you all to take bets on which will happen 🙂

But for now let’s get down to the interview and give Mrs. Megan Records a huge thank you for stopping by and participating today.

What made you become an editor?

It was a very logical thought process, actually. I wanted a job I really loved. What did I love to do? Read. How could I get paid to read? Become an editor.

 

How did you go about becoming an editor?

I did the typical track—English major. I got an M.S. in Publishing (not necessary at all, but it was a relatively “safe” way of getting to NYC…no immediate panic over jobs and apartments). I had a great internship at Harlequin that solidified for me that I wanted to work in romance. My first job was with an educational publishing house. Oh, the nightmares. It was just the wrong job for me—copyediting math problems is not fun for an English major. And then I landed at Kensington.

 

Did you ever think of becoming an agent?

No. As a kid, I couldn’t even go door-to-door in our neighborhood to sell fundraising things. I am just not the “outgoing salesman” type. Ironically, as an editor, I have to “sell” my books to the editorial board and to our sales team, but it seems less daunting when you are making a salary and not working on commission.

 

How many authors (currently contracted) do you edit? How many do you feel is too many at one time?

 I think I’ve got about 14 currently under contract. I don’t mentally have a number that is too many in total, but sometimes I‘ll read a sub and think, “Do I really need another paranormal author writing this creature?” or “Do I have room for another historical author writing this time period?” It’s all about how the group meshes, not how big it is.

 

If you get a manuscript on submission on you like it but just don’t love it do you ever offer any advice on what would make you love it?

If I can. Most of the time, when I run across a “like not love” manuscript, I can’t pinpoint what would make it jump that fence for me. I mean, I did like it. There was nothing “wrong” with it. It just didn’t have that je ne sais quoi that would have me begging my ed board to let me buy it. More often in this situation, I ask if the author has any other projects in the works.

 

I’ve heard you say that you contract around five new authors a year. With your promotion has that number increased?

Yes and no. My promotion didn’t create any more spots on our list, and it didn’t make any of our other acquiring editors invisible so I could take their spots. But it will give me more attention from agents, who will start sending projects that they hadn’t sent here previously, and I will also have a little bit more leeway in my buys (i.e. they might allow a riskier buy that they wouldn’t have allowed before). So while I don’t have an annual quota of manuscripts I must buy, I do expect to buy more this year than I have previously.  And remember, after a certain point, it’s bad if an editor keeps picking up a lot of new people. I want to get to the point where I am constantly renewing the authors I have, and therefore picking up fewer projects.

 

What is the next step in editing for you? What are your future plans?

I plan to discover many bestsellers and become a legend in the world of publishing, of course. :]

 

I can say without a doubt that I truly believe that Ms. Records is well on her way to becoming a legend and I’m convinced that she has at least two Best Sellers in her catalog now. Especially since I am a critique partner of one, I mean really it has to happen 🙂 Thanks again to Mrs. Records and all her hard work  in the publishing industry and to the others at Kensington who work so hard to make the publishing industry the best field to work in. Thank you all.

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8 Responses

  1. Great post Megan. Love it. Missed seeing you at RWA. Glad to hear you’re expecting to acquire more this year. Heck, I may even send ya something.

  2. Excellent interview Megan. As a reviewer of several of your pickups, I say you are well on your way.

    Yay on the promotion!!

    Ann

  3. Congratulations again on your promotion, Megan! Really appreciated your presence at the Silken Sands conference.

    Editors have my utmost respect. The only outside writings I’ve had to monitor lately are school essays of my grandchildren. While both enjoyable and frustrating, after just that simple experience, I can’t imagine dealing with other people’s serious work on a daily basis. But I guess it makes the gems you mine out of the slush pile all the more precious! Hope you’re rewarded with many.

    Thanks for sharing with us today!

    Oh! lol Put me down for ten on Sayde being accepted!

  4. Excellent interview! Always glad to read “do expect to buy more this year than I have previously”. It gives pre-pubs hope.

    Congrats on the promotion!

  5. Greetings Megan and congratulations on your promotion! Thank you for visiting our blog. I haven’t twitted you to death like cough someone else, but my mentor publisher is you, so I know I need to improve to perk your interest!!,!!!!! Thanks again for being here!!!!! Wishing you much success!!!
    Paula Hardin

  6. Lol, she likes my tweets 🙂 I help her kill time while she’s working toward the weekend 🙂 Not to mention that today she gave out interesting recipes! Y’all are missing the tweets if you’re not following her.

  7. I’ll have to check and see, I’m not a tweeter but I guess I need to do more.. winks.. recipes? I love to cook.. Hey Megan, I have some New Orleans spicy recipes… winks

  8. You ladies are so complimentary! Thanks for inviting me, saydegrace :]

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