Publishers and Editing

Choose your Battles

Getting your Book Published Probably the most angst I hear from authors involving traditional publishers Ė small to large Ė revolves around how the publishers want to edit and change their works.

Every publisher has a different stance on editing - and the same publisher might edit different books in a very different manner. Some publishers use the red pen liberally, completely rewriting a book into the way THEY will feel will sell. Remember, in many ways they donít worry much about what the author wanted to accomplish. Their aim is for the book to sell as widely as possible. So they will use their background and knowledge to make changes - both in grammar and in tone - to accomplish that aim.

Part of the editing process will come down to the state your book is when you submit it. Your book should always be typo free and grammatically correct as a start. But letís say that the way you write is perfectly in tune with their vision of the book to market. They might barely edit it at all. On the other hand, if what you provide is (to them) missing some key element that is absolutely critical for sales to skyrocket, they may want to do that tweaking.

Some authors get really upset over even tiny changes. Some people donít mind. So the impression you get from talking with other authors in the publisherís stable might vary wildly from your own experiences. It could be you heard from authors that the book was barely touched Ė but when changes start to roll in for YOUR book it takes on new meaning.

I know several authors who were sent back their books just REAMED with red-line marks on nearly every line. It put them into tears. One has to take a deep breath and plow forward.

That being said, if you are truly and morally upset by a change made to your plot, itís worth making the attempt to talk with them about it.

Traditional Publishing - main page
Overview of Traditional Publishing
How Copyright Works
Working With A Literary Agent
... My Concerns about Agents
Finding a Publisher
... Writer's Market
Writing a Query Letter
... Query Letter Tips
... Query Letter Issues to Avoid
Getting To a Contract Offer
Negotiating the Contract
Working With the Publisher or Agent
... Publishers and Editing

Submitting to Magazines
Tips for Submitting Short Stories

Getting Your Book Published
Writing Tips and Online Books

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