Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to be an Author that Editors Love

At the SCBWI Carolina's Fall Conference last month Atheneum Executive Editor Namrata Tripathi shared ways for finding a good editor. But she also shared the following list of tips for how to be the kind of author that an editor will love working with.

Here are Namrata's tips:

1.) Keep the lines of communication open between you and the editor. (If you don't communicate they can't read your mind. But also don't freak out and call or email them 27 times/day. One call or email should be sufficient. Give them at the least a couple of days to get back to you. They have a lot of meetings every day, and Namrata says "keep in mind that your editor does have other clients too.")

2.) Let the editor know if due dates that are set are unrealistic, early on. Namrata says when editors set publication schedules "there's money attached to that project for that season. If it's not ready in time, there's a big money hole that the editor has to answer for and take the brunt for."

3.) "If you feel like your vision is being derailed, please speak up."

4) Tell the editor what works for you -- what type of editorial feedback is helpful, what type of technology you are and are not comfortable using...

5.) A dream author is their own self promoter, working hard to promote their book. Dream authors try to build support on their own and then have the publishing house suppliment it.

6.) Tell your editor about your special skills/knowledge (contacts, blog skills or other internet presence, authors you know who can write blurbs in your book, etc.)

7.) SAY THANK YOU. (A good editor loves your book as much as you do, but their name won't show up on the cover -- yours will. Thank them for the work they do to get your baby out into the world. Many authors do this by thanking their editor in the front of the book. But thank you's during the publishing process go a long way too.)

And every good list of "Do's" needs at least one "Don't" So, here is one from Namrata. Please...

8.) Don't send rude emails. If you wouldn't want your mother to read it, don't send it. (Act like the professional that you are, and treat the editor like the professional that he/she is too.)

And my favorite quote from Namrata's presentation sums up the editors' loving role as they help authors bring new books into the world. She said:

"We (editors) are midwives to many, many babies. And we have to think that (each one) is as cute as yours."


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great information - thanks so much for sharing!

Shannon O'Donnell

C.R. Evers said...

I'm so mad that I got sick and had to miss the conference. ~sulk~ Thnx for posting the info. It's the next best thing. :0)

Bish Denham said...

Good things to know!

kami said...

I was there and you did a great job recounting the talk. Reading it reminded me that I need to thank my editor. I went away from the conference thinking that and haven't done it yet!

Looking forward to your next post.

George Anthony Kulz said...

Great advice!! Now if only I could get to the point where I could use it... I'll keep plugging away, lol.


Janelle said...

Hi All!

Shannon - nice to meet you. Your blog is great!

Christy, we missed you much at the conference!

Bish and George, good luck on your current novels. I know you're both making good progress!

And Kami, Hi There! I was glad to see you again at the conference. And I do think you're right that the "saying thank you" piece is such an important part of any professional relationship!