Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Silence isn't always golden

If I could say anything to the aspiring author seeking advice for forging a successful relationship with an editor, it would be this:

Silence isn't always golden. You may be new to the arena, but it doesn't mean you have no voice, or that you have to jump through hoops to earn one. During any part of the process, should you feel uncomfortable, speak up. The longer you hold silence, the more others around you are apt to think you are not bothered.

If you are offered a contract, it means somebody found value in your work, and you should be proud to know that. When an editor is assigned to work with you, it's with the belief that this person is best qualified to assist you in polishing your voice so it resonates. Note: polish, not change. If you are not comfortable with a major change in your work, and no explanation is given behind the change, ask for one. Editing is not one-sided. Don't think you have to accept every change for fear your contract will be voided. The process of publishing is a team effort, where everybody on the team has input. To go along with changes with which you do not agree does a great disservice to yourself and your creation.

The longer hard feelings fester, the more you wait and hope things will turn around, the more difficult it can be to recover from a blow. This is your writing, your work. You are allow to steer.

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