Fabulous Interview with Kensington Editor Esi Sogah, Who is Senior Fiction Editor
Kensington editor Esi Sogah is a warm, generous, engaging woman who spoke to our local New York chapter of RWA.
She began her talk by explaining the importance of proper spelling, formatting, and construction of the cover letter.
The cover letter should clearly say what the book is about, and not be mysterious like a movie advertisement that intrigues but does not detail what the story is about.
Whatever you’re pitching should be ready to send. After you query, Kensington editor Esi Sogah says follow up within a few weeks to make sure it has been received.
If you have other books, you can send a synopsis. Kensington editor Esi Sogah says they want to build careers, not just one offs. She also likes a synopsis of what she is querying so she can look at the manuscript and jump to synopsis to see what happens and make sure things do not fall apart. She says she read a partial manuscript once and a quarter of the end, there were aliens – so she was quite surprised.
Esi says the house is supportive of writers but reminds us there is a long lead time, so be prepared for this.
During Q/A Kensington editor Esi Sogah says is open to agented and non-agented fiction, the house does all genres of fiction, so know who the appropriate person to query is a key thing. In the query explain how long it is, the setting.
You can also say what else you do besides writing and why you want to be with the house.
Personally, Kensington editor Esi Sogah is looking for commercial fiction, and mystery romance hybrids, romantic suspense, contemporaries and 1900 – 1930s America (gaslight era).
In terms of social media, I ask if it makes a difference if an author has thousands of followers. She says it comes up often in internal meetings. She says the company has a great social media team that can guide authors through the process, but yes, if a writer is sm fluent mention it in the pitch letter.
Another participant asks about series – Esi says if you write a series, mention it in the pitch letter. A series is important for marketing. It can be helpful for publicity/marketing people.
When asked about trends, Kensington editor Esi Sogah says we might be at tail end of contemporary trend, she’s seeing more funny books, less that everyone is “dark and damaged” and came from abusive homes. Fun, higher concept books are “in.” More ‘recent history’ historicals are a trend. Also books set in different places, such as 16th century Prague. She uses the Prague example of why their ebook division offers more opportunities for writers.
Kensington Editor Esi Sogah Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, @esisogah