Friday, March 5, 2010

From the Desk of Acquisitions Editor, Randall Payleitner

On this side of the desk, where the potential manuscripts sometimes pile as high as the midway point of my computer monitor, things can seem rather hectic. Recognizing each possible book as pieces of an individual’s heart is a tall task when there are so many pieces of so many hearts lined up one after the other. But it is a great task—never have I been more reminded of this than last weekend…

With my pile-pocked desk behind me, I boarded a 737 headed for Denver and the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild Writing for the Soul Conference. Before you get too jealous, my snowboard stayed at home and I only caught one brief glimpse of the snowy Rocky Mountain peaks between the clouds.

While there, myself and 350 other lovers of the written word heard wisdom on delivering the bread from Max Lucado; creativity and God’s 5-year-plan from Phil Vischer; the importance of editing from Jerry Jenkins; and the joy of story-telling from many others. In between these main floor sessions I met with somewhere in the ballpark of 80 people about their individual book ideas. Half of these proposals were fiction.

I love a good story. I am enthralled by well-thought-out character development. And I am a sucker for a well-timed (non-cheap) plot twist. As I sat across the table from so many people (whose names I couldn’t even begin to remember—but who were all very, very nice), I couldn’t help but get grabbed by their plotlines. One woman had written her novel over the course of 15 years and she just decided to edit it one more time. Another potential author had written his work in 6 weeks—all 120,000 words of it.

Who knows if any of these stories will become books someday? That is for fiction teams, acquisitions editors, and publishing boards across the country to figure out… but I know that the best of these stories, and the best of all stories, pulled me in like a tractor beam.

Max Lucado put it best on the first night in Denver: “If there’s anything greater than writing… it’s when writing connects.” As writers we want to connect to that one reader in our mind, and as readers we want to feel as if this book was written for us.

Randall Payleitner

Acquisitions Editor, Spiritual Growth
Moody Publishers
Follow on Twitter: @Payleitner

1 comment:

  1. We were greatly honored to hear from Jerry Jenkins at the Florida Christian Writers Conference a few days ago as well. He was so funny, honest, humble, engaging, eloquent, and thought-provoking, and...

    Wow, Randall, I see your 80 appointments with potential authors. I thought I was doing something with my 36 appointments at FCWC.

    Grateful for what Moody does. Blessings always to you.


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