Em’s Bubble Bursting Blog

Okay, so this post may not be as exciting as naked men jumping on trampolines, but it’s still important.

There are so many things about publishing authors need to understand. Cherie covered several the other day. Today let’s talk about professional etiquette during the editing process. 

If you aren’t aware, I have edited for several publishing companies over the years, and I freelance my ass off. Currently I am working with five authors on six full-length novels, most of which are going to be self-published, some by authors who have dozens of self- and contract-publications behind them. The rest are contracted through various publishing companies.

No matter what route you are taking or how many books you have out, everybody needs an editor. However, not everyone seems to understand this.

It never ceases to amaze me how some authors are so damned disagreeable, aggressive, rude, and sometimes just downright childish during the editing process. I know the process isn’t easy, but some authors seem to forget it is for their benefit.

My list of Authors to Reject is almost as long as my Authors I Love list (yes, we do keep track). The sad thing is my Reject list consists solely of authors who have been assigned to me through various publishing companies. Authors who I’d expect to have some level of professionalism if they’ve gotten this far.

So why do self-publishing authors have such a high tolerance when it comes to editing while so many contracted authors are toddlers about it? I expect it is because self-pubbed authors have come to understand the value of a good editor—a few one-star reviews based on grammatical or continuity errors will do that—whereas some authors going through a publishing company seem think they are…I don’t know…special.

Perhaps they don’t realize editors work with published authors every day. Or maybe they don’t understand that even though they are a good writer, they aren’t a perfect writer and someone needs to iron out those imperfections. Maybe some don’t realize how very small the publishing world is and how quickly you can get a bad reputation with publishers.

Or maybe some of them are just assholes who think if they kick hard enough doors will open for them.

Whatever the reason, I’m going to lay a hard truth out there and possibly burst a few bubbles.

The amazing achievement of being a published author isn’t so amazing when everyone else is a published author too.

Yes, editors are excited for their authors, we are proud of our authors, but when we finish editing a book, we push it aside and pull up the next author in line who we are excited for and proud of. And then the next, and the next, and the next.

It’s nothing against the author or their work, it’s just that…well, nobody here is special because everybody is special. Nobody ranks higher or gets treated better.

And absolutely nobody gets to treat others like shit without ending up on a few Reject lists.


13 thoughts on “Em’s Bubble Bursting Blog

  1. Good topic. 🙂 And you’re currently working with five different authors on six full-length novels? That is impressive – I don’t know how you find the time to write. Great job!


    • It’s true. Once an author starts getting nasty, my desire to go above and beyond for them plummets. They’ll get edited to the best of my ability, but they certainly won’t get it done with sunshine and roses and I definitely will not promote it when it is released or suggest my reviewer/blogger friends check it out.


    • I definitely thing it’s an ego thing for most of the writers who are difficult. No one wants to be told they didn’t do something right. But that’s the editor’s job. If your editor hands you back a clean copy and says nothing needed changed, you better find a different editor.


  2. It’s good to know that even multi-published authors get a thorough treatment, whether they appreciate it or not. Yesterday, Monette Michaels and I went page by page through my first ever Romantic Suspense manuscript. I am so very thankful to her… and the thirty years of good, bad and ugly editors I’ve had in the world of journalism. I think Moni was afraid I’d cry, and from what I hear it wouldn’t be the first time she’d handed an author tissues. So I’m about to start through 264 pages of edits that will make my book great! Thank you Moni and all the wonderful authors/editors who take the time to help those of us new to Romance publishing. You’re some of the best people I’ve met!


  3. I had a REALLY hard time getting past the first sentence of this post. I mean, it was really hard. Just sayin’.

    Eventually, I kept reading and as a rabid fan, may I just say thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to get good work out there.


  4. Em – Truer words were never written. All authors need editors.

    I love my editors, because they catch the stuff I totally read over, especially that one word I overuse every book. And, of course, it’s a different effin’ word every damn book.

    KaLyn gave me a nice compliment, and I thank her for it. Yes, I really was afraid she’d cry or need to bury her sorrows in booze — both were close by, if needed. But anyone who is willing to drive 6 plus hours to my house and then back home again for my dubious pearls of wisdom is serious about her craft — so kudos to her for making the effort. The point is — writing is a craft. The author as craftsman must continue to do and learn with each new project – and editors — and critique buddies and beta-readers — are a part of the process.

    Oh, and I think you are the best also, Em. 🙂


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