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Have you heard what’s hot at HarperCollins? It’s HarperImpulse!

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Kimberley Young Editor

Today Kimberley Young, Publishing Director at Harper Fiction is in the interview chair!

Welcome Kim, fabulous to have you here! There are so many questions I’d like to ask, but I have to start with the big one:

HarperCollins is one of the largest book publishing companies in the UK. It’s also one of the publishing companies who are pro-active in grabbing opportunities and embracing change. So I think our first question has to be – what’s next? Any exclusive news you can give us the scoop on?

Oooh, exclusive news! Go on then, you can be one of the first to know.  We are launching a brand-new romance imprint and about to start our call out for new writers & stories. This will be a digital first imprint celebrating the best of romance – so whether you’re writing short stories or full on epics we would love to take a look!

If you’re a writer email me at

Or spread the love and tweet the news @Harperimpulse

More info will be on our HarperImpulse facebook page soon.

The inbox is open!

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We hear all the time about editors being inundated with manuscripts just how many land in your desk in a week?

I’m heading up the women’s fiction team here at HarperFiction and we are a team of 6. We mainly work through agents so between us we probably look at 12 submissions per week but that increases around the London and Frankfurt book fairs.

With our new digital first imprint though we want to hear from everyone and hope to increase that number!

What makes you sit up and take notice?

A fresh and original idea – or a voice that captures your imagination. A combination of both is of course the holy grail.

I do believe in the x-factor. Sometimes you turn page one and you just know that you have stumbled across a bit of magic. That doesn’t mean that the story is perfect just that you know there is something special in the pages that you can help shape. That’s what gives me butterflies!

And I also believe in an author doing one thing brilliantly. Find your strength and start from there.

Any predictions for the next big trend after 50 Shades?

New Adult – I’m obsessed and think some brave new storytelling is going on in this genre. I am definitely looking to read and publish more New Adult.


Kim hanging with the royalsAs an editor do you still long to pick up a book to relax or does it feel like an extension of work? What genres do you love to read?

I’m commercial women’s fiction for Work, Rest and Play! I do sometimes switch off with a sporting biography or a weekly women’s mag. But there is still nothing like curling up with a good book!  Sometimes it’s tough to turn off your inner editor, and I’m probably more ruthless about putting down a book that doesn’t captivate me than I used to be – but I think a lot of readers are like that. Time is too precious not to use it wisely.


How important is it for you that an author has their social media platform up and ready? Does this make a difference to a yes or a no?

It can help, for sure. In fact I would actively encourage any new writer to reach out to their readers – whether that be through social media or their local library. But there are no quick fix answers to making a best seller or building an audience and a million twitter followers doesn’t translate into a million sales… though of course it can’t hurt those sales either.

If you are really asking whether it influences my decision to take on a project or not then it’s yes and no – it depends on the genre, the platform, the project, the author. What it does show is that the author is keen to promote herself and combined efforts are always stronger than flying solo. It is a partnership.


What are your favourite up-and-coming releases?

I can’t have favourites as there are so many amazing releases on the HarperFiction list! It really is a dream come true to work with such amazing storytellers as they are all so different – total “incomparables”.   I work with debuts like Lucy Clarke whose debut novel The Sea Sisters is a mix between Rosamund Lupton’s Sister and Alex Garland’s cult classic The Beach.  And Josephine Cox who releases her 50th book next year. Barbara Erskine is an author of my heart, and out now How They Met by Katy Regan feels like a book written just for me!

Also… one other sneak peak:


Sssh, I can say no more!


Life and business is changing at a fast pace, and none more so than publishing. What one piece of advice would you give to a new author determined to make their mark?

Write for you first. If you love your writing, chances are someone else will too (hopefully 1 million others!) But always write for you.

And in the genius words of Take That… Have a little patience… Success doesn’t come overnight.

Q. It’s an exciting time and a lot of opportunities are opening up. What do you see as the biggest challenges for the year ahead?

I’d love to be able to predict what will sell, which story readers will respond to in their millions. It’s a cliché but publishing isn’t a science – that’s what is so fun about it but also means that every day is a rollercoaster. Things change so quickly – so the biggest challenge for me as a publisher is to move fast but not leave anything behind. It’s a good job I like roller coasters ;-)


EoN coverAre you excited by the diversity and high standards coming through with new authors who are self-publishing but hoping to be signed by a big publisher like yourself? What do you look for when signing someone new?

We have just published THE EDGE OF NEVER by JA Redmerski in eBook OUT NOW and in print on the 4th July.  I think JA is a fantastic example of the amazing writers who are self-publishing. This story stood out amongst the crowd for two reasons – breathless emotion & amazing characters – oh, and an ending that…well I won’t spoil the ending! Read it.


We began as and hand-picked our authors. Whilst we were all very ‘new’, we realised it wasn’t just about writing a good story. How important do you think self-promotion and social media is to a new author and also our ethos of one for all and all for one?

Okay, first and foremost as a writer it is your job to write not a good story but a FANTASTIC story! You are storytellers and no-one can do it better.  Yes, self-promo & social media is important… but I have a strong, strong belief that a good story will always come out.


We believe the way forward is in partnership – publishers, authors and the amazing ‘new breed’ of book review bloggers. It’s all about teamwork. Team work requires stamina, persistent dedication and self-motivation. Is this something you see as important for the future?

I completely agree and I’d love to be part of that extended team. So if you ever need anything you know where to find me. And please, if you see me at events – the RNA, Romance Festival or on-line please do say hello! I love to talk about books. Scratch that, I love to talk!

It’s great to meet someone who’s passion for books rule their life – I think you have the dream job Kim, although the amount of work and dedication involved must be second-to-none. Wishing you all the best with this fabulous new imprint and – AUTHOR ALERT – Kim is waiting for your emails!!!



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13 comments on “Have you heard what’s hot at HarperCollins? It’s HarperImpulse!

  1. […] Charlotte Ledger, got what she asked for during their first month of accepting submissions. In an interview with Love A Happy Ending Magazine, Young said, “With our new digital first imprint though we want to hear from everybody and hope […]

  2. This is very exciting news! Thanks for the informative interview and a look at what is to come. How refreshing to see this traditional publishing company moving forward with the times.

  3. Sue Fortin says:

    Hello Kim
    Great to see you here. We met at last year’s RNA Conference in Penrith and you gave me some very sound advice on my WIP. It’s good to see a fresh imprint from a large publishing house. I have no doubt your in-tray is going to be over-flowing in no time!
    Thanks for the interview Linn and Kim.

  4. Harvey Black says:

    Hi Kim. It was really nice to hear from one of the great publishing houses and, in particular, from a publishing director. Self-Publishing must have rocked the boat in the publishing world and it is refreshing to see a publisher that is going with the flow. I find myself more and more trawling through the vast array of new authors and their respective offerings, rather than the traditional authors i have stuck to in the past. The sales split for my own novels, between eBooks and Paperbacks, has changed significantly. Originally it was 90% PB and 10% eBook. Now it is nearer 65%/35%. What is HarperFiction experiencing? HB

  5. Kit Domino says:

    Couldn’t comment earlier but just had to say was a superb interview ladies, and such a scoop for Loveahappyending. I think the emails will be flying! Good luck with the imprint and hope we see and hear more from you in the future, Kim. Exciting times all round :)

  6. Fabulous interview, ladies! Thanks, Linn, for bringing us ‘the scoop!’ and thanks, Kim, for the sharing the inside story. I think The Edge of Never might just get a few downloads. Best of luck with HarperImpulse. Sooo exciting! :) xx

  7. Ian Wilfred says:

    I am really loving all that’s going on with Lovehappyendings website and I enjoyed this interview with Kim, I wish her and her team all the very best with this exciting project x

  8. An exciting opportunity, and an unusual one that will attract a lot of interest, for sure! Great interview Linn and Kim.

  9. Mandy Baggot says:

    Love this interview! Great questions and excitement for the new imprint! Good luck HarperImpulse!

    Mandy :)

  10. Nicky Wells says:

    AWESOME! Oooh I love an exclusive, and what a fabulous interview! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for your enthusiasm and candour, Kim, I can feel the excitement buzzing on the page (and on Twitter, as Linn says). Brilliant ~ can’t wait to see how this develops! Pop that champagne cork and… rock on!

  11. What a fabulous and upbeat interview. Thanks for asking all the right questions Linn and thanks to Kim for the Lovahappyending Lifestyle exclusive explaining about this new Harper Collins venture. Exciting time ahead!

  12. An exciting day Kim – things are hopping on Twitter as the word spreads! It was fab being introduced to you at the RoNAs by the lovely Mandy Baggot. Time for you to crack that champagne cork tonight I think!

  13. The Editor says:

    Thanks so much for visiting us today Kim – it’s such an exciting venture and I’m sure your inbox will be flooded with applications!

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