Tuesday 21 September 2021

Communicating with your publisher and editor


Tin Can, Speak, Talk, Microphone, Can

We’re not unusual in putting our writers through three stages of editing and their texts a further three proof-reads. I go into more detail about this elsewhere. To summarize:

  • Edit 1 is a sort of global edit, picking up structural faults, inconsistencies in characters and also a writer’s common faults etc..
  • Edit 2 is getting closer to the text, challenging clichés, awkward phrasing, instances of telling where showing would be better, purple prose, making sure dialogue rings true etc..
  • Edit 3 is checking for typos, grammatical awkwardness etc..


Then we have the three proof reads.


It’s really important that you don’t keep sending material to your editor between edits. You then get into problems of version control. You have to be careful as well that you are not undoing what has already been established.


Proof reads are even more critical. You really should only pick up on typos, formatting mistakes and spelling mistakes that have been missed in other edits or proof reads. This isn’t the time for altering structure, adding in extra material or altering the basic text in any way.


When you communicate with your editor or someone else within the publish company, it’s a good idea to have the name of your editor, the title of your book and your name in the subject line. You might even add a word about what you wish to discuss. And please change the topic in the email header if you’re changing the topic in the email.


Please take the time to craft any email carefully. Please don’t send three or four in a row adding a little extra detail each time. We are dealing with several writers at any one time and we have contact with over 400. We receive about 200 emails a day.


Please be patient. Le t everything take its course as outlined on your contract. Please don’t start talking about launches etc until we raise it. Wait until we can have a proper discussion about the cover before you start sending ideas to us. And note, not every publisher will involve you in that process. We’re just generous that way.


We have a particular way of writing blurbs. You can have some input into this but please discuss it with your editor.


We know you’re getting very excited about your book – we are too, believe it or not, but everything must take its course. Please let us get on with that.                 


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