Charlotte Ledger is a Content Developer at HarperImpulse, a new digital first imprint at HarperCollins. Here, she tells Emma Smith from BookMachine about how they collaborate on a global scale, the excitement of working in digital romance – and her love of Dawson’s Creek.
1. Can you tell us a bit about HarperImpulse and what you do there?
HarperImpulse is a brand new digital first romance imprint from the women’s fiction team at HarperCollins. My official title is Content Developer and I edit the manuscripts, manage authors and freelancers, buy new authors for the list, generate the epubs, support social media and marketing, and generally coordinate the imprint!
2. Why was it set up as a digital first imprint? And what are the benefits of that?
That’s a really important question and I’ve asked Kim Young for her input too, as the publishing director of both women’s commercial fiction and Impulse. The retail market has undeniably changed and we’re looking for new ways to get great stories to the reader. Digital is incredibly exciting because there are so many different and exciting opportunities to do this – from mobile shorts to even a choose your own erotica (look out for that in future ). Although this definitely doesn’t mean we publish with less dedication for excellence as some people might think!
3. You use social media a lot to find and talk to writers – do you have any hot tips for how romance authors should be getting involved?
I’ve heard it being referred to as a ‘virtual watercooler’ – and that’s exactly what it’s like! Use it to chat to other authors, talk to readers, spark up a relationship with bloggers and journalists in the area. Get to know what your followers are interested in and talk to them about it!
4. Being an international digital imprint, has it been necessary to collaborate with other departments or publishers at all?
Yes absolutely, especially in NA where romantic fiction is such a huge industry. We’ve already been working closely with Harper 360 in particular, which is the global publishing program from HarperCollins and its affiliates in the UK, Canada, Australia & NZ and India.
5. Working in a genre that’s soared in popularity in recent years, what was it that first got you into romance?
I would have to say Dawson’s Creek! No one writes a love triangle like Kevin Williamson. Pacey Witter stole my heart and my life it seems…
6. Finally, can you tell us your favourite character from a HarperImpulse story and why?
I would have to go with Zachary Collins from Angela Campbell’s On the Scent – he’s the ex-TV star of ‘The Psychic Detective’ turned street-wise private investigator. He’s doing press up in his office when you first meet him and after a bump on the head he starts hearing animals talk … sounds mental but the author’s witty, sharp voice really pulls it off. Seriously. Think The Mentalist meets Dr Dolittle… but he looks like Henry Cavill. The book is pure fun!