We’ve all gotten those types of responses; the ones that make us go. . . HUH?!?
In the course of seeking endorsements for my debut release last year, I heard a lot of “I would love to, really, but I’ve got all these crazy deadlines. . .” and “Sorry, but my publisher/agent is really choosy about who they’ll let me endorse. All the best!”, but there was one response that I never saw coming; one that made me stop and go:
Wait. . . WHAT!?!?!
“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way – I feel that your story isn’t quite ready for publication. I hope your publisher has provided you with a good editor, but if they haven’t, you should invest in hiring one. Having a trained editor’s opinion can make a world of difference in the quality of your writing.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! I have been helped by some of the best authors in the business in my publishing journey, and I’m always willing to provide the same for others.”
Is it just me or does that sound like an advertisement – wrapped up in a dig, hidden behind an apology?
The good news: I am now immune to such nonsense.
I might not be. . . except that:
- I have been published—quite successfully—under a pen name for years!
- When I handed this manuscript to the woman who, at that time (God rest her soul), was considered THE agent for Amish fiction, one of the first things she asked was who handled my editing, because it was “flawless”.
- When I sent the story to the agent who later signed me, she told me the book read like it had already been published. . . it was “that good”.
The bad news: Other authors are going to ask this person for their endorsement…
I’m certain of it, because of who the author is. And, if they are not as experienced as I happen to be, they might actually be taken in by it. And my guess is that they would panic and beg her to help them get the manuscript ready before it is published imperfect and they end up a laughingstock.
As for me, I’m not worried. The book was edited by my personal editor before an agent or publisher saw it. Then, of course, it went through extensive editing through the publisher.
Not to mention, even THE BIG FIVE publish books with mistakes. I don’t just mean typos either. I mean big, huge, glaring mistakes that you wonder HOW on Earth they ALL missed. And. . . yes, I’m certain there are one or two of those in my book as well because. . . no matter how many eyes see a book, we’re all human and imperfect. In fact, one of my beta readers caught a mistake that, when I went back through my past documents, the only conclusion I came to was that the computer actually made it. Darn autocorrect.
So, to newbies, debuts, first-timers: BE VERY CAREFUL whose advice you take! DON’T just automatically assume that one person’s opinion is the be-all, end-all, last word. . . especially if you happen to have compelling evidence the other way.
This novel has been “quite ready for publication” for over two years. And now I must get back to work on the next one.
©Rachel L Miller 2017