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.