Caroline Hogg has worked in publishing for almost ten years, at Little, Brown Book Group and more recently at Avon, HarperCollins. She's currently at Pan Macmillan as Senior Commissioning Editor for Commercial Women's Fiction. She knows her stuff!
Today's question comes from a Novelicious reader who asks:
Do you ever/have you ever taken on an unfinished manuscript?
Caroline says: I have just the once – a wonderful novel called The Vintage Tea Cup Club by Vanessa Greene – and I’ve certainly seen lots of other novels signed by colleagues on what’s called a partial manuscript – usually the first third of the book. Ideally you’d always want to see the whole book and know how it ends but if the author has written something unforgettable, totally addictive and has also given some idea of how the rest of the story plays out (usually in a synopsis) you can make an exception. I would stress that the partial should be absolutely brilliant and highly polished if the author wants to submit it before finishing the whole book. It’s a risky move but if your book is particularly topical it can be worth taking a chance.