Editor, Sourcebooks Trade and Sourcebooks Landmark
What I'm Looking For:
Nonfiction: History; quirky historical reference; memoir; current affairs and women’s issues; pop science/psychology; practical nonfiction with a unique hook and prescriptive element; books about food topics (not cookbooks); entertainment/pop culture.
Fiction: Historical fiction set in an unusual time period or place; historical adventure fiction; contemporary women's fiction that offers a fresh, distinctive perspective on women’s lives; commercial literary/book club fiction.
Right now, please don't send me…
Romance genre fiction; young adult or children's books; reference books; cookbooks; health/diet/fitness; home/gardening; business; personal finance
How I got into books:
I like to think I was born knowing how to read because I can't recall a time when I wasn't reading. In college, I fell in love with the publishing world while attending Book Expo America for an internship, where I purposely ignored book signings with celebrities such as Gene Hackman and Jamie Lee Curtis in favor of visiting as many publisher booths as possible. After graduation, I started at Random House, initially editing nonfiction for the Doubleday and Broadway imprints, and then both nonfiction and fiction for Doubleday, now part of the Knopf-Doubleday Group. I had the pleasure of working with such authors as David Bach (NYT bestselling author of The Automatic Millionaire and Smart Women Finish Rich), Louann Brizendine (NYT bestselling author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain), and David Hoffman (author of The Dead Hand, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2010), among others.
Some favorite books and authors I didn't publish:
Alexander McCall Smith (every series!), Anna Quindlen, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan, The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England(and anything else by Ian Mortimer), Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Roald Dahl (who wouldn't love to have a BFG of their own?), the magnificent Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Austen and her piercing wit, and too many more to list.
One of the more important things an editor does for an author is…
There are so many important things an editor does for his/her authors, but these are two of the most significant, in my opinion:
- Help authors craft and hone their works into polished finished products that will entertain and inform readers and (ideally!) positively influence or change their readers' perspectives of the world.
- Be their number one champion and fan.
I love my job because…
I get the opportunity to work with so many different types of people on products that have the potential to make tangible, positive impacts on people's lives. Plus, I learn something new every day. How many people can say their job has taught them about doomed queens throughout the ages, nuclear fusion, and the best patisseries in Paris?
I keep my reading pile…
Everywhere I can fit it! On every device I have (even my iPhone with its tiny screen), every shelf and crevice in my home, in every purse or bag I own, etc. Friends have occasionally offered me shelf space in their places to accommodate my overflowing book collection…
When I'm not reading, I'll be…
Cooking and baking (I love trying new foods and recipes), playing softball, biking, or some other outdoor sport, watching sports (especially baseball and football), playing the piano, traveling and exploring new places, or doing a crossword puzzle (I'm a shameless lover of word games).
I follow reading, writing, and publishing news at:
PW Daily, Publishers Marketplace / Publishers Lunch, MediaBistro, Shelf Awareness, GoodReads, Twitter
Where you'll find me:
@sfbowen on Twitter
Agents can contact me at:
, direct line: 630-536-0588 or on Twitter at @sfbowen