3 S.R. Johannes: Interview with Senior Editor at Dial: Liz Waniewski

Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview with Senior Editor at Dial: Liz Waniewski

The winner of the Oracle books is:

Jaime (who is a guy BTW :)
email your address to me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com.


Today, Liz Waniewski (Senior Editor, Dial) stopped by to answer some questions. I met her when we were on faculty together at SCBWI Carolinas and adored her.

Hi Liz, thanks for stopping by. Can you tell us about yourself as an editor?

I’m a Senior Editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, and have been working here for nine years. I edit everything from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels. The books I edit are character driven with distinct voices and points of view. Some of the books I’ve worked on recently are LADYBUG GIRL AT THE BEACH by David Soman and Jacky Davis, SAPPHIQUE by Catherine Fisher, FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John, and FANTASY BASEBALL by Alan Gratz.

How does Dial support their authors in their marketing efforts? What do you feel is most important in promoting books?

Dial is part of Penguin Young Readers Group, so our authors have the support of Penguin Young Readers marketing behind them when promoting their books.

We offer many different kinds of support, depending on the author and the book project, from sending out review copies and press releases to the major book reviewers, magazines, and newspapers, to linking your author website to the Penguin website, to Penguin’s tweets and Facebook updates about new and upcoming books or author events, to our info packet about how to do effective online marketing, to much more.

One of the most important things in promoting books is an author who is willing to be a self-promoter. There is nothing as effective as an author who has contact with his/her fans, whether in person or online.

During the publishing process, what is the most exciting part of acquiring a book? What is the hardest part about wanting a book?

The most exciting part about acquiring a book for me is beginning an editorial relationship with an author. I sign up a book because I believe it has a ton of potential to make a difference to the kids who will read it, and I hope that the author has written it with a similar thought. It is exciting to be able to help an author get their work out into the world for kids to read and enjoy.

The hardest part about wanting a book is knowing that if other editors want it too, I might not get it. When I’m trying to sign up a book, it is because I love it. It is hard to let something you love go to another editor!

What is Dial looking for?

Dial is looking for books that walk that fine line of being literary and commercial, though if I had to choose one, I’d say we fall on the literary side of that line. We’re looking for excellent writing, fresh voices, interesting points of view, and stories that take us to places we’ve never been before with characters who jump off the page and drive that story forward.

Any questions for Liz?


Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the excellent interview with Liz Waniewski & thanks to Liz for sharing here today.
Is DIAL on Twitter?
All the best,

Kimbra Kasch said...

Great interview. Thanks for the info.

Unknown said...

That was a well done and informative interview. Thanks for posting. Nice meeting both of you at SCBWICarolinas fall conference.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. I can't wait to read Saphique. I loved Incarceron and many of Catherine Fisher's books.

What type of fantasies is Dial looking for? Do you think it is harder for authors to sell high fantasy than other types of fantasy? Thanks.

Rebecca Gomez said...

Thanks for posting this interview. Always good to see an editor's perspective!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Great interview, Shelli! We don't hear enough from editors! I didn't realize Dial was a part of Penguin or that they put out Sapphique. I'm definitely intrigued by Dial, especially since my own work tends to walk that line between literary and commercial. Definitely a publisher to keep on the radar. I'm looking forward to reading Five Flavors of Dumb! I haven't picked it up yet, but I intend to!

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly informative blog! I can see why you have so many followers.

I came over to meet you through Matthew Rush's blog. I'm glad I did. I want to keep in touch.

I love YA literature (read a lot of it when I was growing up, and I still do) and have some ideas for YA novels, so I appreciate this interview with Dial.