He's smart and very interesting. I'm learning a lot from his experiences in the publishing world.
And hello, he's a redhead! That makes him even smarter.
Chad Allen is the editorial director for Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
He blogs about writing, publishing,life and creativity at www.chadrallen.com.
You can follow him on Twitter @chadrallen.
Here is a photo.
So, how did I persuade Mr Allen to visit TRTR??
I asked him AND he said yes!!
I know right!? How nice is that?
I sent him a few questions about publishing and his views of things, I hope you enjoy the Q and A session.
1) Besides the obvious challenges of publishing becoming much more of an internet venture, what do you see as a new challenge to writers and publishers that was unthinkable ten years ago?
A shrinking number of bookstores, which of course is related to a burgeoning number of online “storefronts.” This change, as with most changes, I expect, comes with liabilities and opportunities. One liability is that people are less likely to stumble upon your work in a bookstore. One opportunity is that it’s a lot easier to make sure the right people stumble upon your work online.
2) With the onset and growing influence of Amazon, is the global publishing experience erasing literary borders? Do you see more international writers' work coming across your desk?
It’s not erasing literary borders, I don’t think. A genre is still a genre regardless of which country you’re in. I am not seeing proposals from other countries very much; that’s likely mainly due to the fact that I work so much with agents, and agents recognize that authors who do not have a presence in the U.S. are by and large still a tough sell in this country, with some very notable exceptions. Still, globalization has meant that a part of our list is devoted to matters of international concern. For example, I just finished working on a book by Chinese dissident Bob Fu, and we are about to reissue a book on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict called Blood Brothers.
3) How has your 9-5 job changed how you see the world when you're travelling? Do you pay more attention in airport or local bookstores, or newspapers, keeping an eye out
for new authors?
I am an acquisitions editor, so I’d like to think I can’t help but notice an up-and-coming author or a hot topic. The reality is I’m sure I miss these all the time, but I do my best, and being a Christian acquisitions editor, I have faith that God leads me to the authors and topics that he wants me to pursue. Books are cultural artifacts; I’m endlessly fascinated to learn what our culture values as evidenced by what we read.
4) If there was an opportunity for you to try your hand at a completely different career for one month, no holds barred and you'd magically have the skill set required, what would you do? Cowboy? Astronaut? Disney animator?
Hm. That’s tough, but I think it would involve public speaking—either as a pastor or as an author. I’ve been on the receiving end of public speaking that has had a profound impact on my life, and I like the idea of helping others in this way.
5) If you could re-do one day of your life, which would it be and why?
I’m sure there are many, but the one that comes to mind is the day my wife organized a graduation party for me when I finished graduate school. My ungrateful behavior tainted what was otherwise a beautiful gift of love that she gave me, and I wish I could do that over.