What publishers really want (in their own words)

What publishers really want (in their own words)
Posted on July 5, 2017

What publishers really want (in their own words)As Valerie Khoo and I head rapidly towards 200 episodes of our So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, our backlist of fabulous – and by that I mean fabulously useful – interviews grows. Thanks to the attention that our recent interview with publisher Marisa Pintado received, I realised that we’ve had some cracking conversations with publishers and editors over the years. So I dug up eight of them for your listening pleasure.

What do publishers want? Click on the episode number to read the show notes or listen to the episode to find out!

Kristen Hammond

[At the time of interview] Kristen Hammond is the senior commissioning editor in the area of professional development, business finance and accounting business for John Wiley & Sons Australia. Today, Kristen is still with Wiley, but she’s now the Publisher specialising in Digital Content Creation, Curation and Solutions for Corporate and Academic Partners. She gives a lot of great advice for aspiring non-fiction authors in this interview. Episode 13

Bernadette Foley

Bernadette Foley has worked as an editor and publisher in the Australian publishing industry for over 25 years. For the past ten years she was a publisher of fiction and non-fiction for Hachette Australia, one of the largest publishers in the country, working with such authors as William McInnes, Gabrielle Lord, Graeme Blundell, Bronwyn Parry and Pamela Freeman. She is teaching a new course at the Australian Writers’ Centre called What Publishers Want, which of course is what we all want to know. Episode 37

Suzanne O’Sullivan

Suzanne O’Sullivan is the Lothian Children’s Books publisher at Hachette Australia. She has worked in the book industry for over a decade and has spent most of that time in children’s books, editing everything from board books to YA/crossover fictionEpisode 62

Brandon VanOver

Brandan VanOver is the Managing Editor of Random House – allocating projects to the editors and guiding books through a busy publishing program every year, managing plant costs, negotiating terms with suppliers, representing editorial concerns at various meetings, steering the company into digital formats (often capsizing on exposed reef in the process) – but he still spends the majority of his time editing. Episode 66

Meredith Curnow

Meredith Curnow is the publisher of the Knopf and Vintage Imprints at Penguin Random House, looking after both fiction and non-fiction, and has been with the company for 12 years. She was the founding director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival from 1998 to 2002. Episode 74

Sue Whiting

Sue Whiting started her working life as a primary school teacher with a special interest in literacy education and children’s literature. In 2005 Sue left teaching to pursue a career in children’s book publishing and until recently was the publishing manager for Walker Books Australia. She’s also a successful children’s author who has written picture books and chapter books and novels for teens, and last year she left her publishing day job to write fulltime. Sue recently joined the Australian Writers’ Centre as a presenter. Episode 109

Louise Thurtell

[At the time of interview], Louise Thurtell [was] the publisher for the Arena imprint at Allen & Unwin. Louise has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. She is a former recipient of the Beatrice Davis Fellowship, allowing her to spend time in various US publishing houses, and established the popular and successful Friday Pitch at Allen & Unwin in 2006. Louise publishes commercial fiction and non-fiction, and her list of authors includes Fleur McDonald, Karly Lane, Therese Creed, and Nicole Hurley-Moore.  Episode 161

Marisa Pintado

Marisa Pintado is the publisher of children’s and YA fiction at Hardie Grant Egmont in Melbourne. In 2011, she launched the Ampersand Prize, which is Hardie Grant Egmont’s annual search for YA and middle grade manuscripts from unpublished writers. And throughout her editorial career she has worked closely with a variety of emerging commercially successful and award-winning authors. Episode 182

So You Want To Be A Writer book by Allison Tait and Valerie KhooAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait and you can find out more about me here and more about my online writing courses here.

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  1. Cathy

    I agree with Josh – thank you for highlighting these particular episodes Allison. I always take something away from each podcast without fail. I was even re-listening to part of episode 184 today to make sure I hadn’t missed out some points that I wanted to note down.

    • Allison Tait

      Glad you find them useful Cathy!

  2. Josh Duthie

    This is great Allison! I was a late comer to the podcast, so I had to skip a number of the middle episodes to keep up to date. Definitely going to dive back into the ones I’ve missed from this list.

    Keep up the awesome and inspiring work on the pod. I know I appreciate it!

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