Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What is an Acquisition Team?

For someone who works on the inside of a large publishing house, the language of their world is as familiar to them as grass. To an outsider, the language of their world is about as clear as the mud under the grass.

I asked a new question yesterday. What are acquisition editors and what are acquisition teams? Naturally, the acquisitions editor is part of the acquisition team, but other people are as well. And one leads to the other. Our manuscript is not going to make it to an acquisition team unless the acquisitions editor wants to acquire it first.

The reason it's important to know which acquisitions is being referred to is because one is still slush-pile stage and the other is farther along in the process. At the latter stage, your manuscript is discussed between colleagues and in editorial meetings. There are formal and informal meetings going on. As the process moves along, more people are involved and more departments are brought in, such as marketing and sales teams. While I researched this yesterday, I was staggered by all that goes on inside that big publishing house. (I imagine the process is similar for small publishers.)

There is a lot involved in getting a book out of the slush. Once an acquisitions editor decides (s)he likes a manuscript, it is passed to the next person. They read and decide if they like. If it succeeds at these early stages, proposals are drawn up and it becomes a subject of meetings. It's easy to see that every moment they spend with your manuscript costs them money. More people read it. In fact, it seems to be read by a lot of people--people who know books and know the hard, cold, dollar facts of publishing. It's the subject of meetings where pitches are made by complete strangers for your story. Their efforts for your book may succeed or fail. Even if they fail, what a thing to consider that they tried! They invested in you.

If you want to know about what goes on inside a big publishing house when they consider your story, then these are the articles. 

Five Publishing Hurdles (And How to Clear Them)

The Acquisition Process

What's an acquisitions editor? How can I help this editor?

What leads the acquisition team to say no, even when the editor says yes?

How to speak publisher - A is for Acquisitions

Harlequin Shivers asked for a Revise and Resubmit for CLIFF HOUSE. The news is even better, though. I was asked if I wanted to work with an editor to take my writing to the next level. Absolutely, positively yes! (Update: I have decided not to move forward with this kind offer. I want to move away from secular fiction and focus on Christian fiction and non-fiction books in the future.)

Here's another article. This one is about R&R. Very interesting.


Have you ever wondered what an acquisitions editor is? Or an acquisition team?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doralynn, that's great news! Despite not being able to go to the conference or the lack of an agent, she's obviously still really interested. Hope you make it through all of the stages.
Want to send Nessie through my cloning machine?

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hey Alex, I love to see you here. Thank you. I've been in a daze since July 5th. Maybe this is the break I've been waiting for. Can I just e-mail Nessie or does this require FedEx?

Luanne G. Smith said...

Woohoo! Good for you. It's a step further along the chain, so that's encouraging news no matter the outcome. Means you wrote something they think they can sell. Fingers crossed for you!

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi L.G., always great to see you, and thanks for the woohoo! And the crossed fingers:)