Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big News!

Hi everybody. I’ve been avoiding writing this post, mostly because it’s a difficult subject to talk about. But I thought I should say something, just so it’s out there and no one has to wonder or ask around.

As of the end of September, I am no longer with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Yes, I’m sad about it. Yes, I miss everyone I worked with. Yes, I am now looking for work.

So what happened? Well I won’t go into details, but what I will say is that it can be very hard when you and your boss are both promoted out of your current roles. Your needs change, their needs change, and things can potentially get very difficult. I loved my job, but it was time to part ways, and while I was sad to go, I’m looking forward to the future and where I’ll be next. Right now I’m trying to find a way to pay the bills while holding out for another editorial position in children’s books. That’s what I love and that’s where I want to stay, though I’m keeping my mind open should other opportunities present themselves.

I will say this---my time at Little, Brown was an amazing and memorable experience. I learned a lot from my boss and I had the chance to work with some truly remarkable authors. And the LBYR editorial team was really like a family to me. We worked together so closely and with such little competition that it was an exciting day when any of us got a good submission in, or won an auction, or got promoted. They were truly a wonderful team to work with and LB was such a great place to start my editorial career.

So now on to the next venture. I haven’t landed anywhere yet, so if anyone hears of any leads, don’t hesitate to lob them my way. In the meantime, I’ll be stalking the job boards, temp agencies and potential freelance jobs and will be blazing my way through my TBR pile to try and catch up on books I didn’t have the time to read before.

And for those who are curious---yes, I will still be updating this blog (hopefully more often, now that I’ve gotten this one out of the way, and now that I have more time on my hands). Stay tuned!

ETA: For those looking to reach me via email, I'm at tsferguson1 at gmail.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Junior Editor Spotlight - the debut: Molly O'Neill

So I know you all have been waiting for this, and I've been procrastinating on posting this because of the formatting, but I figured if I didn't do this soon, Molly was going to kick my butt. So at long last I debut my new feature, the Junior Editor Spotlight, where I interview kidlit folks from Associate level all the way down to Editorial Assistant. Since this will be long, I'll jump right in and let the spotlight shine where it's meant to.

Name & Title: Molly O'Neill, Assistant Editor, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Publishing House: HarperCollins Children's Books

What inspired you to go into children’s books, and what were you doing before this?

I graduated from Marquette University with a double major in Elementary Education and Writing-Intensive English (my university's name for the creative writing version of an English major; those of us who majored in it mostly liked that the English Department's abbrevation for us was WINE majors...). I was fortunate to have an amazing mentor who introduced me to the world of children's publishing which then led to a great internship with another great mentor. At the end of the internship, that editor said to me, "I don't think you want to be a teacher; I think you want to work in children's books!" She was totally right.

After I graduated, I spent two years doing full-time, post-graduate volunteer work as a youth minister, with the great bonus of getting to travel all across the US and Canada. Youth ministry and editorial work don't necessarily appear to have much in common, I know, but underneath the surface, they actually do--both are all about forming and building relationships, about seeing the deeper meaning in things, and about inspiring and being inspired.

I moved to NYC after those two years were up, ready to work in children's books, just as my former boss/mentor had predicted I would. I spent about four and a half years on the Marketing side of children's books, first at Clarion Books and then at HarperCollins, and finally achieved my ultimate goal when I moved over to the editorial side of the industry about two years ago.

As junior editors, our primary jobs often involve assisting a more senior editor, but this also gives us the opportunity to work on some great books alongside them. Who do you or have you worked with and what are some notable books you've worked on with them?

When I was at Clarion, I asked for and was granted the privilege of working on a few projects editorially, in addition to my marketing work. The pinnacle for me there (and it may well be a pinnacle of my entire career!) was getting to work alongside the esteemed, wise, and wonderful editor Virginia Buckley on the early drafts of Gary Schmidt's THE WEDNESDAY WARS.

I've worked alongside three editors thus far at HarperCollins. Brenda Bowen gave me my first real chance to prove myself as an editor when she hired me to assist her at the now-defunct Bowen Press. I suspect I'll spend the rest of my career hoping hard that the books I edit will be evidence that she made a good decision in opening up the editorial doors to me. In addition to working with Brenda on the books of publishing royalty (among them, Virginia Euwer Wolff), I learned much from simply watching the person behind the editor that Brenda is--about how vision and insight and creativity come, in large part, from being someone who is passionately engaged with the world--and the many fascinating people in it--in every possible way.

Working alongside Anne Hoppe, I've gotten to see the sheer genius and the invisible-but-brilliant creative force that helps guide and shape the books of Terry Pratchett, Melissa Marr, A.M. Jenkins, and many other books that avid readers count among their favorites. Publishing is an apprenticeship kind of business, in the way that I think few industries in our modern world still are, and I'm lucky to be apprenticed to a true Master Editor. Working with Anne is the equivalent of having that English teacher or professor who grades your papers HARD, because she knows you're eternally capable of MORE. She demands that I become a better, smarter, sharper, wiser, and more sensitive editor with every passing day, and I'm certainly trying to live up to the expectations.

I’ve just recently started working with Katherine Tegen on a new novel by Patricia MacLachlan, which is one of those experiences that makes me pinch myself to be sure that I'm not dreaming. Katherine is wonderfully supportive and encouraging of me as an editor. I know that same support and encouragement is part of what her authors and illustrators love about her, too, and part of what makes them want to continually out-do themselves in creating new masterpieces for her to publish.I look forward to continuing to grow as a part of her imprint.

Talk yourself up. Tell us what you’ve acquired and what you are looking to acquire?

I'm proud to be the editor of Kathryn Fitzmaurice, author of THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY. We're working now on a companion to her first novel, and it's a book that I already can't wait for all of you to read. Right now I'm also working on a Christmas picture book by Laura Godwin that I think is perfectly wonderful, and I have high hopes that it will be a Christmas favorite, year after year.

I acquire everything from picture books through YA, but right now, most of all, I'm looking for middle grade--a vivid voice and inventive storytelling are the thing I'm hoping for every time I open up a manuscript. In YA, I'm a sucker for a good romance, and for stories about connectivity and the choices that we make and the way they trickle down to affect others--and the person we ultimately become, too. Other sweet spots: ballet/theatre/other artsy, backstage stories; a strong setting and a sense of place that shapes a story; and my inner 10 year old reader wants me to tell you, "Orphans! Anything with orphans!"

I know this is an evil question to ask a book person, but I’m going to do it anyway. What is your favorite classic children's book? What is your favorite contemporary children's book?

Well, if you're going to be that evil, I'm going to cheat and split this into categories. Classic picture book would be BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL. Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerplunk. Classic novel would be A LITTLE PRINCESS. As a child, my mother took away my copy of it, because I read it over and over and insisted on acting like, I, too, was a put-upon princess-in-disguise. ;)

Contemporary (as in, recently-published, not setting) picture book would be a knock-down, drag-out fight between THAT RABBIT BELONGS TO EMILY BROWN (Cressida Cowell & Neal Layton) and DIARY OF A WOMBAT (Jackie French & Bruce Whatley). Contemporary novel would be a three-way battle between LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY (Gary Schmidt), A NORTHERN LIGHT (Jennifer Donnelly), and a quiet little novella called I HAD SEEN CASTLES (Cynthia Rylant). I re-read all three about once a year to remind myself what good writing looks like and how it makes me feel.

Loving a book cover is very important to me as a reader. If I don’t love a cover, I find it hard to pick up the book and get into it. What are some of your favorite book covers?

Oooh, this is a good question. I was totally suckered in by how haunting the cover of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is. In fact, I think that's a good way to describe the YA covers that really resonate with me--there's something haunting to them, a clear story deep beneath the cover image, waiting to be discovered: like the covers of A NORTHERN LIGHT and WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED and 13 REASONS WHY.

For middle grade, I love a cover that shouts that there's a story unfolding inside: like the original hardcover jacket for A PRINCESS ACADEMY or THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY or the forthcoming DANI NOIR.

In picture book covers, I like bold, spare, graphic, and utterly lovable. Like DIARY OF A WOMBAT, or I'D REALLY LIKE TO EAT A CHILD, or SPLAT THE CAT, or A GOOD DAY.

Assuming you have a life outside of children’s books (a bold assumption, I know) what are some of your other, non-book-related interests? Be as specific as possible so that we can all stalk you on the weekends. Just kidding (or am I?).

I knit. I drink far more coffee than can possibly be good for me. I spend way too much money shopping on I wander through Prospect Park. I see plays and go to the ballet and opera as often as possible. I frequent the Greenmarket and love cooking. I people-watch. I avoid cleaning my apartment in every way imaginable. I occasionally manage to read a book that's--gasp!--not for work. I ponder ways to take over the universe that involve making more money than publishing, but I always come back to the fact that I passionately love kids' books and the publishing world, and that it's pretty hard for even a single day to go by without that love weaving into whatever else I do.

What is your favorite movie/song/non-children’s book?

Again, you have asked an impossible question, leaving me no option but to cheat further (or should we call it editing your questions?) You say favorite, and I choose to believe you meant that as the plural variant of the word, rather than the singular. ;) Ergo:

Movies: Ocean's 11. Once. Anne of Green Gables. My Fair Lady. Love, Actually. Newsies. Pan's Labyrinth. Playing By Heart.

Song: Whatever it is at the current moment, it's probably been on repeat for at least a month—when I fall in love with a song, I wear it out! Right now, I'm crushing pretty hard on a band called Fictionist (especially their song “Set Me on Fire,”) which I was introduced to by author Sara Zarr; on an indie artist from Texas named Lee Alexander, whose song “Union Street” gives me chills; and on the song “Blindsided” by Bon Iver, (from the album For Emma, Forever Ago), who I found via my colleague Jordan—it’s the perfect rainy day music.

Non-children's book: I sob openly over THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, and I love a poetic literary novel called IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS, by Jon McGregor, about the ways that the events of a single day connect the residents of a street in England. I also love the deeply ponderous Crosswick Journals of Madeleine L'Engle. And I wouldn't say "favorite," but a non-kids' book that I'm currently reading and fascinated by is called THE WORLD IN SIX SONGS: HOW THE MUSICAL BRAIN CREATED HUMAN NATURE by Daniel Levitin.

What is your favorite part of the job? What is your least favorite? Answer carefully…your boss may read this blog. :-)

Least favorite: Filing! Also, production requests (and other tedious paperwork); reviewing royalty statements and other math-related activities; staring at the pile of manuscripts to-be-read and feeling guilt; saying "no."

Favorites: the split second between opening a manuscript and starting to read, where the possibility that you could be reading something great is 100% alive. Sending the very first copy of a book to an author and imagining their face when they open it up; the moments when you know you have the vision to help guide a book into the direction it needs to go; writing killer flap copy or a kickass [Molly censored herself but I uncensored her --T.S.] acquisitions memo that makes you feel like you've really done justice to an author or artist's work; working with and being inspired on a regular basis by insanely talented, creative people.

Everyone should know I’m a karaoke nut at this point, and it seems like it’s becoming an industry-wide phenomenon (or maybe I’m just more and more aware of it). What is your #1 karaoke song specialty?

(Karaoke? Really? This must be a Little, Brown thing.) In any case, my karaoke specialty is coming up with brilliantly embarrassing song ideas for everyone else to sing while simultaneously managing to make people forget that I haven't gone up to sing anything myself!

And finally, the most important question of all – are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Team Jacob!

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for having me as a visitor on your blog, T.S. Getting to know my great colleagues is one of the best parts of the business, not least because they sometimes send me advanced copies of books I'm dying to read. Also, I hereby declare a Secret Bonus Round Question to this interview, where the question-ee gets to ask the question-er one question of her own! So. Ahem. When do we get to see your answers to all these same thought-provoking questions, Editor Ferguson?

Well, to answer Molly's question, I may post my own Spotlight some day (probably some day when I need something to post and I have nothing original to give). In the meantime, Molly's given me a great idea. From now on, I'll be adding one last question to the interview, but it will be the editor's chance to ask me a question of their choosing.

Stay tuned for the next Junior Editor Spotlight, which should be coming down the pipeline shortly, as well as a few actual posts directly from my brain, once I've had the chance to write, re-read, edit and rewrite them. I guess you never really stop being an editor, huh?

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Desk: A Photo Tour

While you're all waiting patiently for my next blog post, I thought I'd tide you over with a photo tour of my workspace. Or rather, the parts of my workspace that keep me happy during stressful days/weeks/months. Hopefully these pics aren't too big---I'm trying to keep them fairly small but clear but I don't have the right software to resize them without messing with the clarity much. So here goes:

First there is my Zac Efron corner. Zac and I are dating, though he doesn't know it yet. And folks around the office just love to give me pictures of him, especially publicity when they find him in the teen mags they have subscriptions to. And I can't bear to throw him away. So he has his own corner. I should note that there are actually two other pictures of him around my desk. Yes, I'm really that crazy about Zac Efron. He's who I always pictured as Edward Cullen before Twilight was even on the bestseller list, if that puts it in perspective.

And speaking of Edward Cullen, don't you just love my horrendously amazing Edward action-figure? I keep him in the original packaging because on the back is the best typo ever. It says "Special Powers: Ming Reading." Love it!

And completing the Twilight portion of this tour, here is the entrance to my cubicle. In case you can't read what that sign says below Team Jacob, it says "WWJD: What Would Jacob Do?" For a few seconds I had dreams of making that slogan happen, but I never got around to telling anyone about it...aside from coworkers. Maybe this blog will be it's launching point. It's especially timely, what with New Moon coming out...whenever that is. I can never remember movie release dates.

Here is my bookshelf. As you can see, I'm spilling over onto the bookshelf in the cubicle next to me. There used to be an intern there and she let me encroach, and now there's nobody. I'm all alone with my books. :-( Zac Efron, come sit near me so we can fall in love!

Also, if you're curious, the two pics next to my bookshelf are my little sister, Elisabeth, and her boyfriend at their junior and senior prom.

This is the bookshelf that is above my desk and as you can see, I collect String Dolls (aka Voodoo Babies). That's only a portion of my collection. You'll also see one of my LOLcats (love 'em) which also tells of my love for bacon. And there's a picture of me with my sisters, Marissa and Elisabeth (I'm the oldest). There's also a great (and by great I mean HILARIOUS) quote that I photocopied from Eminem's book, The Way I Am.

I also want to pay shoutout to a decoration that didn't make it into either this photo or the one with all the Zac photos. It's a print out of a picture I found on the web and clearly shows (as well as my Jacob love) how much of a werewolf fan I am. This is the pic (stolen from google images):

This is the top of the cabinet in my cube (if you're looking at it from the hallway). You'll see a few of the books I've worked on with my boss, as well as my Popple (you all remember Popples, right?) and some of the many Jo Chen Runaways covers that I've wallpapered my area with. I absolutely LOVE her work AND Runaways and I was in the throes of that series when we moved to this new office a few years ago. Thus the wallpapering.

On the side of my cabinet that faces me, I have more art hanging up. These pictures are Wizard of Oz characters as interpreted by an artist I enjoy named Mike DePetrillo. To the right of that is my "comics that are coming out" schedule that I keep current but can never manage to look at before I go to the comic store every Wednesday (that's New Comics Release Day for you non-comic folk).

And just above that is some art by my BFF and favorite artist, Jessica DeCormier. She did this series of art a few years back while working a really boring office job, where she drew on post-its. The larger one is a print-out of a post-it piece she did with nothing but highlighters. The other two are actual post-its (ORIGINAL ART!!!) I stole from her (with permission) and were done with highlighters and marker. She's amazing and I'm always trying to pimp her out while also encouraging her to finish her portfolio so she can finally go to art school and make the connections she needs to get a job in animation and move away to California (why am I helping her again?).

This completes the photo tour of my desk. There's much more to see, but it's all just work and unorganized mess, and also I'm dreading my phone bill now since those were all taken and sent from my camera phone and I still don't know how much it costs to send pix messages. LOL! Hope you all enjoyed that and that it tides you over until I (a) get the OK that my latest blog post isn't going to get me fired when I post it or (b) get my first Junior Editor Spotlight interview in from the interviewee.

Until then...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The One That Got Away

I've been wanting to post about this for a while, and I'm not just doing it. Not by any specific event, but really I have been chomping at the bit to update with a Junior Editor Spotlight and am awaiting answers from my first guest (there've been some delays due to vacations and pretty much an insane amount of work at the office right now).

Anyway, I wanted to write about "the one that got away." That is to say, those manuscripts, and every editor has them, that they loved but just couldn't buy for some reason. I wanted to talk about it, both because it is a part of the business that is really sad for us, but also to show those aspiring authors out there that sometimes you're not the only ones who are sad when an editor can't buy your book. And that is something to remember - not all rejections mean the editor didn't like your book. Sometimes we loved it but there are other factors.

Editors of all levels do A LOT of reading and it is a constant struggle to keep up with the seemingly neverending piles of potential published books. Most of them we just won't connect with for some reason - either they need way too much work, or they aren't right for our list or they aren't really a children's novel. So when we find those projects that really call out to us, it is a really exciting (and scary) time for us. I say scary because there are a lot of steps (I won't bore you with the details, since I've described them in previous posts) and at any one of those steps, we could be given a reason why we can't take this book any further.

There have been several times when I've really loved a project and couldn't buy it. Once I brought a project to my weekly editorial meeting to get extra readers. They agreed it was a great story but that it needed a lot of work. So I offered to do a revision. When I got the revision back, we discussed it and decided it still needed too much work to take on as-is, so I offered to do another revision. Unfortunately, at that stage, another editor had made an offer on it and it went somewhere else. Another time, I brought this great project to editorial meeting and my readers had positive feedback but thought it needed work. I did the revision with the author and thought it turned out great, but when I brought it back to edit meeting, my team just didn't think it was working and I had to pass. I've also seen books go all the way up to the Publications Committee meeting, with multiple editors really excited about a book and the Editorial Director's support...and they just don't like it, or get it, or think we can publish it well...and you can't argue with the Pub Comm team. They know they're shit.

It's quite sad when you lose a project, either having to reject it or seeing it go to another house. But those are also the projects that can become your "I toldja so" books. Those books that go somewhere else, do well, and you can forever say, "I toldja so" to your team. I have a few of those, none that have hit the bestseller lists or won major awards yet, but we'll see. And when you lose those books, no matter how they do, it's always great to see how that other publisher handles that book and watch it come to life from an outside perspective.

So for aspiring authors who think every rejection means we don't like your book---just remember, sometimes it hurts us as much as it hurts you and sometimes we really don't want to reject it either. But publishing is a team effort and if the team can't get behind a book, it's better off somewhere that will know how best to support it or that believes in it more. And that editor who had to reject you will be out there, rooting you on as an industry cheerleader, and probably bugging your agent or editor for an ARC when they come in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Also, I can't believe I didn't post about this when it happened or even the last time I updated, but I got promoted. I mentioned it in in the post below, but I wanted to call it out because it's exciting. I am now an Assistant Editor. YAY!

And in other news, stay tuned for another series of blog posts from me. This series will be called the Junior Editor Spotlight. I wanted to give a shoutout to some editors out there in the kid lit arena who are in the range of Editorial Assistant to Associate Editor, since we're the younguns, the ones who don't necessarily get as much credit or as much recognition, despite doing a lot of work behind the scenes. And mostly because we're all trying to build our careers and build our names and it'll be a fun way to show readers who is out there that you might not have heard about yet. I have the first few interviews already planned, but I also want to mention that if anyone has any suggestions for junior editors they'd like me to interview, feel free to leave their names in the comments section or email me. It's ok if you don't have their contact information - I'm good at tracking people down if I don't already know them. >:-) *evil laugh*

Editor's First Acquisition | Buying the Book

I think now is a great time to post about the experience of buying my first book. This time next week, it will have been exactly a year since I found out I had won HATE LIST at auction. Before I tell you about how that happened, I want to share the cover, since we're finally able to share it.

What do you think? I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

As I've mentioned in a previous blog, the events that led up to the agent sending me this manuscript feel like real networking destiny. When I got it, I thought the idea sounded interesting. It was a Friday, so I put it in my e-reader and told myself I would start looking at it over the weekend. The agent, Cori Deyoe from 3 Seas Literary, had sent me 50 pages and told me to let her know if I wanted to see more and I had sent an immediate response and asked her to please send me the full (why not - I have the e-reader, it won't break my back). I started reading Saturday night before bed and Sunday I decided to come into the office for some reason unknown to me. I finished the first 50, walking down the street, as I got to my building and I was really upset that I had hit the end. Luckily, Cori had sent me the full after I had left and it was waiting in my inbox when I got up to my desk. Now again I feel like destiny was in play, because I decided that I did not want to stay at the office and do whatever it was I had decided to come in I went home and kept reading (what, at the time, was called) HERO. I finished it before bed that night, came in the next morning and told my boss "I have to have this book!" Now I think it's interesting because, had I decided to stay and do work, I might not have finished it in one sitting, but had I decided earlier that I didn't want to do work, I might not have come in and picked up the full manuscript either. Destiny people. Proof of destiny.

So once I was in love, it was my job to get others to fall in love, which they did. And that was when I got the call. There were offers on the book. Oh no!! Soon after, there was enough interest to merit an auction. But oh no again! I was about to leave for a library conference in Minneapolis and I hadn't even received approval from the Editorial Director to bring this project to our Acquisitions Committee.

So what did I do? I set up a meeting between my boss, the Paperback Director, and the Editorial Director, prepared all of the memos and materials JUST IN CASE I received approval to bring this to the Acquisitions Committee, and off I went to Minneapolis. Luckily I have a great boss who represented me in my absence and really made sure to express my enthusiasm. And it was unanimous, across the board…yes we have to have this book! Awesome! Of course, the stress didn’t go away just yet...what if someone outbid us? What if they don't outbid us, but the author and agent decide to go with them for some other reason? Getting on my flight back, I knew this: we had a bid on the table and I'd hear back on Monday. Oh weekend, you dirty tyrant!

When I received the call on Monday that they had decided to take our offer, I was like a tightly coiled spring trying not to bounce around like an idiot (too unprofessional). My mother screamed in my ear excitedly when I called her, but my boss was more reserved in her elation. And I still have all of the emails of excitement from the Acquisition folks when I told them the news.

And now it's been a year, a wonderful year, since that day. So much has happened since then---the title has changed, the ARCs are in, my boss is now the Editorial Director, I've acquired a few more books and been promoted, and I should be seeing a proposal and sample chapters for Jennifer's 2nd book soon. I can't believe it's been a year, and I can't believe there's only another half year (short in adult years and in Narnia years) before the book is out. I'm so freaking proud of this book and sometimes it's difficult to control my elation. And because I can't control my elation, thus negating any sort of proper conclusion to this post, I'll leave you with this link, to Jennifer Brown's blog, where you'll find pictures of her receiving her ARCs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Books and Dating

I have lots of reading to do (as per usual) but I have some time while my turkey burgers are cooking, so you get this lovely blog post to read. It's not any of the blogs I promised, but those are coming. Eventually. For now, you'll have to make do with this little ditty that keeps coming up in my mind.

I was joking with one of my colleagues today about the guy she's dating. Things aren't working out and she wasn't sure what to do. I said, "we write rejection letters every day. Why don't you just write him a letter to tell him you're passing on the relationship." We laughed at the time, but it brought up a thought I've had in the past. The publishing process, from an editorial standpoint, is a lot like dating. So here is a list citing the similarities. It's was meant to be humorous, but it really ended up being not as funny and really very true. It might provide some insight for those looking to go into editorial or maybe even for authors aspiring to be published. And maybe it'll help me gain some perspective on why I seem to be perpetually single (no seriously - put the A.P.B. out. I'm single and ready to mingle, if you'll pardon that old cliche).

Without further ado:

#1 ~ You're going to meet a lot of guys/read a lot of submissions before you find the right one.
-----#1a ~ In the beginning, this is partially because you need to figure out what you're really looking for.
-----#1b ~ It's also because there are just a lot of options and it's part of the experience. Not every guy or project is going to be right for every person and it's all about finding the one that fits the best.

#2 ~ Sometimes you're going to find the guy/author you think is absolutely perfect for you and they're going to think some other guy/editor is a better fit for them. That's life. Just be happy for them, wish them well and move on graciously. You'll find someone else to date/work with and who knows, maybe that other guy/author will come back sometime down the road if things don't work out.

#3 ~ This kinda goes with #2 a bit, but sometimes things just don't work out. There could be many different factors, but in the end it just doesn't happen. It can be sad for one or both parties, but it's just life.

#4 ~ Networking works, whether it be through already established connections, the internet, or other means. For example, I made friends with a woman at a book signing who later became a coworker, who introduced me to an editor she worked with who edited the books I loved to read. She introduced me to the editor who sat next to her, who introduced me to agent she knew when I eventually got my editing job. That agent later suggested me to the agent for my first acquisition. So far internet dating hasn't worked for me (I met one guy and it didn't work out, but we're still friends - but two of my former roommates met their significant others on and one of those roommates is now married to the guy she met).

#5 ~ There are going to be times when your friends/colleagues don't think this guy/project is the right fit. If you see something they don't, it's OK to keep pushing to try and find a way to make it work, but if they're right and it's not going to work out, it's best to just listen to them and not drag things out.

#6 ~ Sometimes you need to work on things before you're ready to establish a relationship. If the relationship is worth it and the work is reasonable, it's often worth it to put the time in beforehand. It can lead to great things in the future.

#7 ~ Sometimes it takes negotiation and compromise before you can settle into a relationship. The key is to know what you want, what your deal breakers are and what you're willing to sacrifice to establish this relationship. Again, sometimes it doesn't work out, but other times you can come to an agreement that you're both happy with

#8 ~ Once a relationship has been established, it takes a lot of work to maintain. There will be a lot of criticism, a lot of compromising, and probably more negotiating. But this is true throughout more than just dating and editing - the more work you put into the relationship (and the book), the better the outcome.