How To Win Editors And Impress Marketing Staff

August 24th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Looking for an etiquette primer for authors? Or just looking for a few behavioral guidelines? Or just wondering what makes the editor/author relationship work? Elizabeth Spiers spoke with a few editors about how things work in the real world (note: the real world bears no resemblance to what you see on television). First item of note relates to the editing part of editing:

“The worst sort of person who, when they give you a manuscript, is so exhausted and spent by it, they’re upset by any sort of changes you want to make,” says one editor. “They accuse you of not liking their book despite the fact that you paid money for it. They view the editor-author relationship as sort of a customer service relationship.”

It turns out that communication is important. Also, please dispense with the notion that you’re an artiste, all frail and requiring smelling salts. You get to be fragile when you’re writing. The moment your book sells, you enter the business side of the business (yes, that is a rut we’re in this morning):

“I’ve shared some unpleasant news that something was not acceptable and first I tried to call and when they weren’t available, I emailed,” says one editor. “The next I heard from the author was a phone call from his wife, complaining that because of his fragile emotional and mental state I needed to be less demanding on him.” If you have a problem with something that’s happening, talk directly to your editor. Having someone else call to avoid confrontation or having your agent call with a set of demands is not productive for anyone.

There’s more! Stuff about how publishing is a business. How authors need to educate themselves. How maybe it would be a good idea to learn the process. Oddly, it sounds like something we would say. Hmm. It sounds like something we have said. Go figure.

File Under: Tools and Craft