Leis Pederson, Berkley Heat Editor – The Editor Life

This is a continuation of my notes from our recent RWASD chapter meeting. As you can probably see, I am a copious note-taker.

Editor

THE EDITOR LIFE

These questions were related more to Leis as an editor than to submission/query questions.

When reading a book, who would you rather be the heroine or her best friend?

Greatly depends on the book. Haven’t you ever read a book where you thought, “Wow, her best friend is really more fun than she is?”

What are your favorite and least favorite things about being an editor?

Her favorite part is the fact that she gets paid to read.

Her least favorite thing is when she likes a book and wants to buy it and isn’t able to for a number of reasons, such as a) someone
else bought it b) the rest of the committee doesn’t agree c) someone else just bought something similar, etc. It makes her very cranky.

What’s your opinion of romances written in the first or third person?

Depends on the book and the writer. If a book is done well, either works. It depends on the Voice and POV changes.

Someone from the crowd said: I heard that readers like to see the development of the romance from both the hero’s and the
heroine’s perspective. Leis agreed, but again, it all depends on the book and if it’s done well.

Which do you read first, the sample chapters or the synopsis?

The sample first. If what she reads intrigues her enough, then she’ll read through the synopsis. And she’ll usually read the entire
thing, unless it’s awful.

What’s a typical day for you?

She works in an office, so considers it a normal office job. She doesn’t do her reading or editing at the office; that happens at home.
A typical office day for Leis consists of filing, emailing, calls, meetings, etc. She sits at her computer all day long.

What was your path to where you are now at Berkley?

She was enrolled in the NYU Publishing program where she had to intern at a publishing house as part of her graduation requirement. She ended up interning under Cindy Hwang and the “rest is history.”

Who is your favorite among all your authors?

She adores all her authors with equal love and affection and could not choose one over the other.

With your psychology background, how much does it come into play while you’re reading a manuscript?

Not that much, unless it has some sort of psychological element to it. She has been known to call out a couple of inconsistencies or red flags in a couple of novels, but not much.

What is the ratio of what you review to what you actually acquire?

Off the top of her head, she supposes that if she sees 100 manuscripts, she will acquire only 2 of them.

Do you acquire Inspirationals?

No – she does not personally acquire Inspirational romance novels, however there are some books that Penguin has put out that fall into that category. It depends on the acquiring editor. There is no line at Penguin that’s slated for Inspirationals at this time.

Next time – I’ll have my notes from her on the Publishing Industry. IMHO, those were really interesting. Stay tuned . . .

Publishing

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2 thoughts on “Leis Pederson, Berkley Heat Editor – The Editor Life

  1. Wow! You are a great notetaker! Thanks for posting so all of us (me) who forgot to bring a notebook to the meeting can still retain the As from her awesome, marathon Q and A session.

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