Sometimes, when publishing a book, things happen. Like my newest book from Loose Id, Bayou Loup, and its release date. It was scheduled for January 1st. New Year’s Day. Yeehaw! How cool is that?
Then I get an email from the publisher asking if I’d mind moving the date up to December 25th – Christmas day. They’d had an issue with one of their scheduled books and needed one ready to go, as mine was, to fill the slot. All they needed was my okay and I’m sure, someone else was going to fill in my slot on Jan. 1st. (I don’t relish the job of juggling books in the least. So glad my publishers at Loose Id do all that!)
Of course, I could have whined, or said no, I’d already told everyone the date! I’d sent out promo! But, instead, I said, Sure! No problem!
Because, in this epub business, there is no room for divas. And I’m so not a diva, anyway, but if I was, I’d hope to have enough sense to help my publisher out over my own self-important ideas.
Working with a publisher is a partnership. You both want the same thing – a great book that will sell a lot. That’s why a good publisher will have tough Content Editors. And Line Editors, and Final Line Editors. To insure, as best they can, the book they produce is truly good enough to stand up to inspection and not tarnish their reputation for quality and the reputation of the author.
Because make no mistake, reputations are lost in edits. Readers can see the mistakes and in fact, they often count the mistakes. And tell you about them. Now, no book is ever mistake free, but for me, I draw the line at 5. That seems a reasonable number to me. Any more, especially more than say, 10, and I’m wondering why someone got paid to edit the book. And I’m not talking plot holes or weak characters, head-hopping or telling not showing.
And as an author, when I see tons of mistakes, I’m wondering if I’d ever sign with a publisher so lax about editing. And I’d think twice about purchasing another book there or by that author. Because the final line, the buck-stops-here point, lies with the author. It’s the author’s name under the title. No one else’s.
We might all hate having our darlings looked at, poured over, corrected and most of the time, made better for it, but good, tight editing can make a good book a great book.
No one writes a perfect book – everyone can use an editor. Everyone.
When my books come back from final edits, I read the entire thing. Again. And I can tell you even after 4-5 rounds of edits, I usually find something. A period missing. A word out of place in the sentence. Something little. And I correct it and send it back, because I never want anyone to say “the editing sucked” or “there are so many mistakes” about my books.
They can say they don’t like the book, the characters, the content, and all that subjective stuff, but not the editing.
So when I get my first edits, I gird my loins, pull up my big girl panties, and dive in. I might grumble and growl, but after over 30 books, I’ve learned when to argue and when to let it stand.
Your editor should be your partner, wanting to put out the best book you can, because it’s a reflection on him/her, the company, and you. A team. Because it takes a team to put out a good book.
Frankly, I’m not sure how self-published authors do it – and I salute them. It takes a lot to take all of that responsibility on your shoulders and produce a good book. To be writer, editor, cover artist, formatter, and liaison to the vendors, or to hire all of those people to work with you. I shiver at doing all that. I want to write, not be a publisher. I like the support my publishers gives me, because I know I can’t do it alone. Others might, but not me. I know my limits.
So, tomorrow, Christmas day, my new book, Rougaroux Social Club: Bayou Loup, book 3 in the series will be released at Loose Id. Here’s the coming soon page….
I hope you enjoy it and don’t find too many mistakes. The team worked really hard on it, and for that, I thank them all. From cover artist, to my editor, to the final line editors.
We’re a team.