1) Does it matter if a writer has a literary agent?
  No.  We take submissions that are not represented by an agent.
2) What is the best way for a new writer to obtain a literary agent?
Agents, like publishers, receive submissions.  It is best to look at an agency website to understand their requirements.  Personal referrals are the best introductions to an agent.
3) What are you looking for in a poetry book submission and more importantly what do you hate seeing in ones submission?
An original voice, perspective and writing.  A submission that is derivative or similar to another poet is frustrating to receive.
4) How important is the cover letter or query letterover the actual book itself, if the content of the book is exceptional but the cover letter falls short would that make or break a potential book deal?
The cover letter is helpful in introducing the work and making it stand out from the pile.  A writer who can describe their work succinctly and present the works unique qualities will get read first.
5) I noticed you have attached a social media link and number of followers for the book submission form, how important is someones online social media presence?
 With the type of poetry we publish, someones online social media presence is important because it is an indicator of the popularity of the writer and their work.
6) How has the publishing industry changed in the last 5 years, since the death of printhow would one become a writer in todays day and age?
The biggest challenge is not the death of printbut the growth of online retailing ahead of physical retail stores.  The ability to find a book through browsing in a bookstore has been lost and that makes it harder for books to be discovered.
7) Andrews McMeel publishing company is known for poetry with Lang Leav, Rupi Kaur, Michael Faudet, R.H. Sin, what do you love most about poetry and what makes someone a good poet?
 I love the impact of poetry.  Poetry moves readers and provides meaning during these challenging times.
8) Sometimes publishers are known for being conservative, do you believe it is better for writers to play it safeor do you feel there has been a possible shift in the publishing industry and it could be better to be more controversial and out of the box?

 I think a poet should write whats in their heart and not create their work to be controversial or out of the box.  Publishers respond to good writing and in the end, support work that is distinctive and written honestly.

9) How important is someones resume(ie their education, writing experience, blogging, etc)?

Life experience that provides context for a reader to know or understand a poet, is most important.


10) If you had to break it down in 5 easy steps what would be the processof getting your book published?
Submitting a manuscript, being made an offer to publish, editing, design and production, shipping and distribution.
11) Aforementioned Andrews McMeel obtains many popular poetry authors, how do you know if an author has a best-selling factor?  
The magic of publishing is that you never really know if an author has a best-selling factor.  A big social following is helpful but in the end, without a special and unique, well-written book, the following may not make a difference.  Publishers are like test pilots.  We put lots of planes in the air but not all of them make it.
12) When you are looking into a potential writers social media platforms, is there something you are specifically looking for or more importantly something you would be disappointed in seeing that could possibly jeopardize their chances?
 These days an engaged following is what we look for.  Having a large number of followers is not as meaningful as having fans who constantly engage with the writer and their work.
13) What is the most tired/overdone subject that you are annoyed reading about?
 Bad writing is annoying but any subject, expressed and written about with thought and care, can be exhilarating.
14) What are the most common mistakes you see in writers submissions?
Typos.  A cover letter or manuscript with mistakes will immediately be put to the reject pile.
15) What are you looking for in a new writer?
 A distinctive voice, story or style of writing that is unique to the writer.
16) Is it more important for a writer to be relatable or different?  

It is more important for the writer to be relatable and true to themselves.
17) What makes a book submission stand out?  
Well written cover letter that makes me want to read the submission.
18) How would one network in the publishing industry?

Attend writers conferences, network with other writers, agents and editors who often attend, even virtually.