Saturday, February 3, 2018

Editors' Panel:Tiffany Liao

Tiffany Liao is an editor at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.

"What I love most as an editor is discovering stories that I would have loved as a kid and stories I wish I would have had."

In terms of acquisitions, Tiffany has a "subway test." If she's on the subway and misses her stop, or if she's waiting for her train and misses it, it's a book she has to try to acquire.

When reading manuscripts, Tiffany is looking for a transformative experience. She reads to escape. Sometimes it's a great voice that creates that escape. Tiffany has a term for it: a velcro voice, because it sticks to you.

If a manuscript is close but not ready, Tiffany will often ask for a "revise and resubmit." It doesn't happen often. It requires a leap of faith from both sides. There's no guarantee that the agent/writer won't take the manuscript elsewhere, or that the writer will receive an offer.

Even though editors say no, it doesn't mean a book is bad. Tiffany uses a dating analogy. If one is looking to date and a particular person ticks off all the boxes, it still requires sitting down with that person and having that right feeling for it to work.

It takes a lot of time to create an author/editor mind-meld, and as an editor, Tiffany says she doesn't want to lose that. The relationship is important.

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