It’s Just Business Tuesday
Regarding editors: would you say it’s best to utilize the same rules as pertains to agents? Example: I worked with an editor recently; she made suggestions, suggestions in the context of, “This is how I want the book written.” When I wanted to discuss and comprise on some of her suggestions I was told, “No.”
Well, that response seems a bit extreme to me. But, I will say this up front and elaborate a bit: Editors, good editors know their shit. Some editors edit, some don’t, and then there is everything in between. I am very fortunate that my Pocket editor is probably one of the best in the biz. As many of you may remember, she didn’t have revisions for MASTER OF SURRENDER she tossed the entire book and made me completely rewrite it! She doesn’t just say, “I hate it,” then skip off. No, we have many long conversations about why and how to fix. Sometimes, as in that case, a completely new story was in order. There was nothing much to salvage of the original. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a few battles, but my editor will say, “Convince me.” And I do my damnest. I haven’t won very battle, and in the end my editor was right. But, I am learning, and I also know everything is negotiable, to a point.
Now, does that mean good editors have the final say? Well, I happen to trust my editor and I would have to say I would more than likely acquiesce to her experience and intuition then fight for something she is adamantly opposed to.
I think to work successfully with an editor there has to be simpatico, and harmony. The editor, as your agent, should love your voice and your stories. Your editor is your advocate in the publishing house, and if she is excited about her author then she will garner excitement from within, and that is a very good thing.
Look, I’ve heard the horror stories about how some editors are unbending, and while I believe it, I wonder if the author may be as unwilling to compromise, which brings us to an impasse. If you get a label as difficult, especially if you are staring out, you may just kill a good thing in the making.
Now, as far as acquiring an editor, it isn’t the same as agent shopping. When you sell to a certain house, you sell to that particular editor. But, let’s say you have a Cracker Jack agent and she says, “I know so and so at such and such publisher will snatch this up,” and you cringe because for whatever reason there has been no love lost between you and this particular editor. My advice? Let your agent know right up front what happened, and with her experience she will decide what is best to do.
There are lots of bad author editor fits, and again, a good agent will know best how to deal with this situation.
Hope that answered your question. Anyone else?