What a publisher/editor wants to hear.

kkk 006

1. I write well.
2. I’m willing to edit my work.
3. I’d like to be a lifelong conversation with someone I can learn from.
4. I’m aware that I have a lot to learn.
5. I am committed to selling my book and being an advocate for this press in the world.
6. I like this press and I respect how hard you work.
7. I’m not just writing one book, this is my life.
8. I am willing to spend money to travel, to promote the book.
9. I’m willing to go anywhere and to be charming when I get there.
10. I feel grateful to have ideas and be able to write them and to be talking with you.

What we often get instead:

1. I’m cool? Don’t you think so?
2. I need to make money as a writer; you can make that happen for me.
3. You are going to make my dreams come true.
4. Here is a list of what you can do for me.
5. Here is a list of the ways in which I am cool.
6. I have read all the books that are important.
7. I know everything that’s important to know about writing/publishing.
8. My work doesn’t need any editing; I did that already.
9. You are going to be so glad you published me.
10. You are going to make a lot of money off me.

For some reason those last two strike me as the funniest. Why am I going to be glad I published you? Really? The fact is that YOU are going to be glad I published you. The last one is really a laugh riot. Publishing isn’t an industry where anyone makes a lot of money. In my case, we are a non profit, so no, we’re not going to make a lot of money and my life is not going to change at all as a result of publishing you. But even at the Big Five level, I don’t see any of the editors buying an island as a result of publishing a book. Twilight maybe. Harry Potter? Sure, but most books are not changing anyone’s lifestyle.

I think that writers could do themselves a favor by going into the whole relationship with the right attitude and that attitude is to understand that

1. It’s a privilege to have anyone read your work.
2. It’s a huge privilege to have anyone be willing to foster your work.
3. Being edited is a privilege.
4. Publication is a privilege.
5. It isn’t all about you.
6. When you do get something published, work at marketing and promotion.
7. Plan on selling the books yourself. You must advocate for your work.
8. Work with whoever is doing publicity at the press.
9. Do not act like you know more than these people, you don’t.
10. But then, this is good advice for all of us—act and live with grace.

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Published in: on March 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on Miriam's Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond and commented:
    This says it all! Thank you, Kate. I know my readers will appreciate this.

  2. Ha! You know I could not read her whole post until I logged back in so it changes my view slightly. …Hard to say how much until I digest her full post!

  3. Nice views thank you for sharing…..


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