Lake Union’s Danielle Marshall drew capacity crowd

Danielle Marshall, executive editor for Amazon’s Lake Union Publishing, drew a standing-room-only crowd for our June 13th meeting and ended our season with a bang. Not literally, of course, but she gave a great presentation and generously talked one-on-one to several members until it was time for Third Place Commons to close!

First Danielle explained that the books Lake Union publishes are termed “book club fiction,” with most titles falling in the commercial, women’s, and historical mystery genres. This focus is different from the mystery and crime books from Thomas & Mercer, another Amazon imprint, which publishes, as Danielle says, “the stabby books.”

She went on to discuss the working relationship between author and editor as well as author and agent, and the dangers of writing to suit the latest fad. (Is domestic suspense dead? Have readers tired of the unreliable narrator?) 

Danielle also acknowledged that Lake Union and other Amazon imprints have a unique position in the publishing world, because they have a direct line to the reader. That influences the tools they use to promote their books.

Lake Union’s list today comprises 85% returning authors and 15% new. When asked what kind of books she is looking for, Danielle said, “My dream book is the best book you’ve ever written.”

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