Interview with the Magnificent Megan Records

Hi all!  I’ve been interviewing industry professionals the last month or so during the countdown for FATED to be released.  As you know, the release date is next Tuesday, Feb. 22nd!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my editor at Kensington is Megan Records.  You also know that her authors fondly refer to her as ‘magnificent.’  Yes, the alliteration works well with her first name.  But it’s also true.  She’s fantastic to work with and even took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us today.

1)      I was hoping you’d share your statistics for 2010.  How many queries did you receive?  Out of those, how many partials and fulls did you request?  How many new authors did you sign?  How many of your current authors did you re-sign?

I don’t keep stats on queries, but my guess is that I request about 50% of the time. I got roughly 300 submissions, out of those I signed 5 new authors. I re-contracted 3 authors.

2)      What makes for an excellent work day for Megan Records?

I have a ratings system. I rate the day’s good happenings from 1-3, and bad things from -1 to -3. Any day that totals 3 or over is an excellent day. Examples of excellent things: a new quote or the promise of a read from someone really big, extra special promo news, making “the call,” reading an awesome new manuscript from one of my authors, etc.

3)      You work with a myriad of different authors.  Do you find your style adapts to each one?  Or is your process pretty much the same with each author?

I have the same general process, and then adapt according to the needs of each author. For example, some authors prefer specific edits, whereas with some, I can say, “This part with the killer? Not buying it,” and they can go in and fix it. In order to maximize the talents of each author, I have to be willing to adapt.

4)       Are you looking for any type of book in particular right now? 

I am always looking for AWESOME. That is all.

5)      How far into a book do you usually know it’s a keeper?

Honestly, I don’t usually know until the end. I can like a book just fine, and read the whole thing, but be able to put it down and forget it. My “keepers” are ones that I think about the next day, and a week later, and then I try to convince other people to read. It’s a necessary distinction…I currently have 600 keepers at home, and that’s not including my own authors’ books (which are all keepers!).

6)      If you weren’t an editor, what career path would you choose?

You mean I should have had a back-up plan?!? I think I’d probably be a computer programmer.  I do enjoy puzzles and have always been good at technical things. 

7)      I notice most of your authors are on twitter, facebook and have their own blogs.  Do you check in with these sites once in a while?

Yes, I follow and friend my authors usually, but I only check out blogs once in a while. Back when I was a baby editor, I was much more attentive, but then I kept acquiring authors and now it’s too overwhelming. I would get NO work done!

8)      Is there any advice you have for new writers?

RESEARCH. And I’m not talking about researching facts for the actual manuscript (which is also necessary). I’m talking about researching publishers, editors, agents, query letters, the publishing process, etc. With all the information available on the internet today, there is absolutely no excuse for sending me a query addressed to “Dear Editor” about a cozy mystery (which I have zero interest in).

Slight tangent: If you are sending me a query about a cozy mystery because you have queried every editor you can find who represents cozies, they have turned you down, and you are now thinking, “Well, it never hurts to ask!”, don’t. It does not come off as daring, it comes off as, “Cannot follow directions,” which, in case you weren’t sure, is bad. Most likely there is something not right with your query, your manuscript, or both. Revise.

Okay, back to main point. Before you even THINK about sending that query, you should be researching which publishers are likely to publish this sort of book, which editors seem to like books similar to yours, etc. If you can’t be bothered to Google my interests, I assume you can’t be bothered to make edits, promote your book, or anything else I would ask of my authors.

Let me put it this way: I am much more likely to forgive an earnest, well-researched query that is a bit unprofessional (e.g. names all the author’s children, their ages, and their schools) than a query addressed to Mr. Records.

Kensington does take unagented submissions.  There’s more information on their website under submission guidelines.   So, thanks everyone for dropping by my blog today.  I hope you’re enjoying the interviews this February!

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35 thoughts on “Interview with the Magnificent Megan Records”

  1. Is it totally uncouth of me to say how pretty she is? I mean, my goodness!

    Great interview. Great answers. To the point. Direct. I loved it!

    Great job, ladies and thanks for the information.

    Note to self: Do NOT send draft of query of cozy vampire mystery to Ms. Records, she WILL reject and will not take prisoners.

    : )

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hi Bonnie! Megan is always direct, which comes in so handy in this business! She’s a blast to work with. Thanks for dropping by today! 🙂

    2. Megan Records says:

      Bonnie, I cropped this photo from one of my wedding photos. Had my makeup and hair professionally done. Trust me, I don’t look even close to this good every day :]

      Plus, I figured it was a camouflage of sorts…if crazy people find my picture on the internet and then see me at a conference, they be able to won’t recognize me and commence stalking.

  2. Chris Bailey says:

    Thanks for inviting Megan, Rebecca! Great slices of info. And she sounds like so much fun to work with! Enjoy–

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hi Chris! Thanks for dropping by today. And you’re right, Megan is fantastic. She has a wonderful sense of humor. 🙂

  3. danicaavet says:

    Great interview, ladies! There’s a lot of great information here that I believe aspiring authors should read. I really like how Megan adapts her editing style to suit each author she works with. That seems vital in the editing process.

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hi Danica! Yeah, I know several of Megan’s authors and wondered how she worked with all of us. Makes sense. 🙂

  4. Lynn Rush says:

    Love it. Great interview. Megan sounds like a great editor to write for. Enjoy the journey, ladies.

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hi Lynn! Good to see you. 🙂 Megan is pretty great – I finally get to meet her in person at RT. Should be fun. Thanks for commenting today!

  5. Cynthia Eden says:

    Great interview, ladies!

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hey Cynthia! Thanks for dropping by and the retweet today! Have a great one. 🙂

  6. Great interview–thanks to both of you!

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hi Suzanne! I’m glad you found some good info!

  7. nitethyme says:

    Megan, thanks for the tips. Sounds like your authors love you!

    1. Rebecca Zanetti says:

      Hi Nite! Yeah, we do. 🙂

    2. Megan Records says:

      I require complete and utter adoration from all my authors. I brainwash them very early on :]

      1. I think that was in the contract, wasn’t it? 🙂

  8. Dren says:

    Great interview! I follow Megan on Twitter and she’s always sharing great tips and “please don’t” info!

    1. Hi Dren! I think Megan enjoys the twitterverse! I’m always wondering what to tweet. Thanks for dropping by today!

  9. Lisa Kessler says:

    Great interview Rebecca!!! 🙂

    Your book comes out on my daughter’s 20th birthday!!! That’s gotta be good luck, right? LOL

    Megan seems like an amazing editor! I wish you both much success!!!

    Lisa 🙂

    1. Hey Lisa! Best birthday wishes to your daughter! Ah, 20. I remember those days! 🙂

      1. Lisa Kessler says:

        I still feel like I’m 20! LOL How can my kid be turning 20???

        Scary! 🙂

        Congratulations on your book’s birthday too!

        Lisa

  10. Very meat and potatoes. Great information. Thanks!

    1. Hi Julie! Thanks so much for dropping by! Have a great one!

  11. Ciara Knight says:

    Great interview. Megan sounds like a fantastic editor to work with. Good luck on the release, Rebecca. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ciara! She is fantastic. I can’t wait to actually meet in person in April at the RT convention! Thanks so much for dropping by today. 🙂

  12. Sayde Grace says:

    Wow,5o% requested is amazing! Congrats to you both!

    1. Hey Sayde! Thanks so much! 🙂 (I think you owe me something to read…where is Chet?)

  13. Megan Kelly says:

    Thanks for the straight-shooting answers, Megan. I hope every aspiring author reads this and takes it to heart. Writing is work. Hopefully, it’s work you’re driven to do and work you love (or why are you doing it?), but those who want to take shortcuts are cheating themselves. Glad you had her, Rebecca.

    1. Hi Megan Kelly! Thanks so much for dropping by today – I’m glad you found the info useful. 🙂

  14. Brooklyn Ann says:

    Wonderful interview! LOL on the wedding photo! Getting ideas….. 🙂

    1. Hi Brooklyn Ann! It is a great idea, isn’t it? Thanks for dropping by today. 🙂

  15. Another fantastic interview..Great info as well for an author.