Welcome to Book Editors: Close Up at http://www.authorlink.com . This Authorlink column provides an intimate look at important book editors in New York and elsewhere. Interviews focus on editors as real people. The columns study their likes, dislikes, preferences, prejudices, and why they buy the books they do.

Nancy S. Miller
Senior Editor at Pocket Books, New York
Director of Washington Square Press, New York
Imprints of Simon & Schuster

January 1999


Recent acquisition:


Q. How did you first become involved in publishing?

A. I started in the Contracts Dept. at Farrar Straus & Giroux and then went on to become an editorial assistant, hoping I'd be an editor someday.

Q. What did you do before occupying your current position?

A. I was freelancing, having just had my third child. Before that I was executive editor at Addison- Wesley Publishing Company.

Q. What job would you do if you could do any job in the world?

A. Probably this one.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?

A. WAR AND PEACE–probably the greatest novel ever written.

Q. What categories do you acquire for?

A. Non-fiction for Pocket; Literary fiction reprints (no original titles) for WSP.

Q. What do you want to see in a query? How long?

A. I prefer a letter first–or a proposal that comes to me via a literary agent.

Q. Do you accept email queries?

A. No.

Q. What advice, if any, do you have for the new writer trying to break in?

A. Persevere–and find an agent if at all possible.

Q. What was it about the last three manuscripts you've acquired that caught your eye? Made the decision for you to buy?

A. There have to be common- sense reasons to acquire a manuscript–that it will find its market, that there are creative ways to reach that market–but I also feel I have to fall in love with it on a gut level, or there really won't be a way to make it work. I can say that I have that gut feeling about almost every manuscript I acquire.