Ask the Editor

Understanding the editors to which you submit may increase your chances of getting “the call.” Although it’s no substitute for quality writing and a fantastic story, knowing who you submit to is one of the pieces to securing your work with a good home with a small press.

It’s all about the good match.

Like a romantic relationship, you can use a “shotgun approach” (dating a multitude of people/querying by the numbers) or a “sniper approach” (honing in on that one hotty/querying only the editors you think are a good match). If you’re going to sniper it, you have to do your research. In a subjective industry, the more you know about an editor, the better chance you have of finding “book love.”

This week, let’s get to know Filles Vertes Pub’s, C.L. Rose.


  1. What is your favorite part of being an acquisitions editor?

My favorite part of being an acquisitions editor is the opportunity to make an aspiring writer’s dream come true. It’s an amazing process to read a submission, talk with the author, sign the contract, edit, market, and release someone’s baby…all to see the final product hit shelves. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.

  1. How do you measure success in the writers with which you work?

For me, success isn’t measured by sales alone. Is the writer happy with the book they have their name on? Are they proud? Did we produce a good book for readers? If I can answer ‘yes’ to all those questions, it’s success for me. Being a small press publisher, we can give an opportunity to stories that traditional publishers or agents may not touch for whatever reason. Maybe the subject matter is too controversial. Maybe the genre isn’t the hottest at the moment. Maybe it just doesn’t fit with their image or want list. Whatever the reason, as a small press, we have the chance to give voice and help to those authors whose stories don’t fit into the traditional market.

  1. What are some consistencies you see in your submissions inbox? Good and bad. What is the top thing you look for?

I can’t say there is a “top thing” or “top genre.” I want good writing and good stories. If a reader isn’t hooked within the first five pages, they aren’t likely to finish reading, and I find that true with submissions. If it hooks me in the first five, I usually end up requesting the full. Now, as for good things I consistently see in submissions, good comp titles are on the top of the list. I love that aspiring authors are taking the time to know their target audience and know other books within their demographic. On the bad side…query letters that don’t hook and are confusing. Query letter writing is a difficult art to master, but is one that every writer needs to take the time to learn.

  1. How do you maintain interest in even the most mundane aspects of editing – proofreading, fact-checking, etc.?

I don’t have trouble maintaining interest at all. This is a passion for me. A passion that I was blessed enough to get to do professionally. Few people get to say that they actually get to work their dream job. I’m blessed in getting to work mine thanks to FVP and Myra Fiacco.

  1. What is one technique you recommend to writers for improving their craft?

I have a weird trick for improving my craft that I still do when I have time. I will look up the text books that are being used at different colleges for their English/Writing classes and read them; as many of them as I can. It’s amazing what I’ve learned and improved by doing just that. Getting back to basics. Also, get good Critique Partners. They’re invaluable. The best resource for improving your writing, editing, and support that you will ever have as a writer.

  1. Every editor needs a break. What do you read in your spare time?

In my spare time, I read everything. From reading CB and MG with my kids to E.L. James, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and William Shakespeare. I just love reading.


For more about C.L. Rose, visit her at


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