Monday, September 23, 2013

Acquisitions: What We Seek - Erin Lale - Biggest Aha Moments in Writing

I'm always looking for the next new thing in horror. Of course we're still open to the usual vampire, werewolf, ghost, demon, zombie, serial killer, apocalypse, asylum, dystopia, bad juju, haunted house, possessed object, elder gods, mutant monster, cursed family line, disturbed graveyard, etc. but I'll be excited about your book if you can write something really different and still write it really well, with an intriguing opening, a satisfying ending, and rising horror in between.

Because I'm looking for the book of the future, I'm open to fairly bizarre books as long as they still have an identifiable horror plot. Even an experimental book must still clearly belong in the genre, because genre fiction is what we publish. We don't do literary fiction, so including a chart of your book's symbolism in the cover letter is off target. Also, when describing your book in the cover letter,  please don't review your own book. Calling your own book "a tour de force" does not impress me.

I'm looking for books that will crack the bestseller list. That means I'm looking for the highest quality in either new ideas or old standbys, and it means I pay attention to the author's marketing plan. Sometimes authors forget about that part, but it's extremely important. When I'm considering several equally good manuscripts which are similar to each other, I'm likely to choose the one for which the author has a clear and impressive plan to sell a lot of books.

Erin Lale, Acquisitions Editor
Damnation Books

Kim Richards, CEO of Damnation Books, also said there are a couple of good sites with newsletters that are useful. She pointed out that Author Marketing Experts,, has a great newsletter they send out regularly. She also recommends for a forum and weekly chats where authors get to talk about writing, ask questions, etc. Wednesdays are open chats; Sunday's have a guest author coat. Lastly, she said Book is aimed for self-publishing but that it has some practical advice for any author.

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