Melissa Manlove is a senior editor at Chronicle Books in San Fransisco. She has been with Chronicle for fifteen years. Melissa acquires books for all ages in nonfiction and ages 0-8 for fiction. When acquiring she look for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her.
Chronicle is an independently owned published, but a traditional publisher.
"Being an editor is a really great job." It's very clear Melissa love to be part of the book creation process.
"There's a lot to understand about publishing." When it comes to self-publishing, you need to know how do a lot of things very well. But there are also a lot of times when self-publishing makes a lot of sense. "It's a decision to make with all of the information...and you know why you're doing which form of publishing you are doing."
Emma Dryden (moderator) offers that she often sees self-publishing in order to "hurry-up" the process and this not the reason to choose self-publishing.
As a midsize publisher, what do you offer that one of the bigger publishers might not do?
There's a lot of creativity and a lot of trust at Chronicle. They've changed the way they do acquisitions, with sales now absent from those meetings. (Though Melissa says their sales people are amazing.) But for acquisitions, sales often would say, "We can't sell that." But, they found that when they took them out of acquisitions (allowing them to take bigger creative risks), the sales team could sell "that." This is all so much of what Melissa loves about Chronicle, with them there is a lot room to take risks, follow passion, and they are a really tight team.
Final thought: "We are here for the passion of making art...and getting it out to people...find your way. Your way is going to be different from everyone else is. Your work isn't go to be like anyone else's. That's part of the fear of it, but that's also part of the magic."