I recently read this great post at Writer Unboxed on editorial feedback. It caused me to think of some exchanges I have had with authors who asked me to read their manuscript, but who came away shocked that I dared to suggest that the manuscript might require some changes. Yet their goal was to be traditionally published. (If you went to VCFA, I’m not referring to you. Please go directly to the next paragraph.)
Those who were shocked about suggested changes were authors new to writing who also had, I’m guessing, a preconceived idea not only about manuscript quality but also about how much time the manuscript process “should” take. If you’ve written a book and revised it to a polished stated, you want to be done with it. I get that. No one relishes the thought of going back through a manuscript yet again, especially if you’ve lived with it for some time. But agents may request that you make changes, even if your manuscript already is highly polished. Editors certainly will. Changes take time and energy. The route to traditional publishing is sometimes slow and fraught with people asking for manuscript changes.
Even if your book has sold to a publisher and you spent years writing and revising it, that will not exempt your book from being edited. Many editors have edited authors who have won the gamut of awards: Nobel, Pulitzer, Newbery, Printz, National Book Award—you name it. Their subsequent works are edited. Yours will be also. That’s a given!
And with that said, it’s time to reveal the winner of Shari Swanson’s book, Gertie, The Darling Duck of WWII. Lyn, expect a copy!
Thank you to all who commented.
Editing illustration from clker.com. Author photo courtesy of the author.