Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ask the Editors!

We get lots of questions on all aspects of editing, publishing and books in general. We will, of course, be delighted to dazzle you all with our wisdom! So we're going to start a semi-regular "Ask the Editors" column. Just remember that these are *our* opinions based on our own experience and knowledge - there is no collective consciousness or "hive mind" that links all editors everywhere into a single knowledge basis or consensus.

~ No snark, no flames, no generally nasty and accusatory emails.
~ No names - we won't publish yours with the question, and we will convert any specific editor or publisher you mention into generic Editor and Publisher.
~ Pet peeves about publishing or editing are fine, as long as politely expressed and with the intention to request information in order to understand why these things happen.

So send your questions at any time to and watch for our enlightening answers.


Amy Ruttan said...

Resistance is futile.

Oh come on, I couldn't resist with the hive mind comment.

I look forward to this posting. :)

Anonymous said...

Question from writer: How many editors does it take to install a light bulb?

Answer from editors: ... Does it HAVE to be a light bulb? (And PROOFREAD, you're missing a couple of articles in this joke!)

(Tone is playful! Gently ribbing. For your pleasure. ;-)

Glad to see it's a triple shot Thursday. We thought you were mad at us, being silent and all since Sunday... (Pout)

Kimber Li said...

Is an agent necessary or recommended when an author signs with a Small Press or ePublisher?

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with a lot of trite gestures in writing, such as shrugging, nodding, head shaking, looking, etc. What character gestures would you add to that list? My characters are guilty of a lot of "looking" and "gazing" at each other. How can I rid my prose of it when it's necessary to express concern or interest, but they aren't close enough in proximity to start a dialogue? There are only so many ways to say a character is paying attention.

Kimber Li said...

Editors and agents often say they take simultaneous submissions, but want to be kept informed of the manuscript's status. Unfortunately, they all seem to mean something different by that. Aspiring authors are repeatedly told not to be pests, so I feel guilty about emailing either an update (after taking my best guess) or asking for clarification. One agent wants to be notified when another agent or editor asks for a partial. One editor doesn't want to know unless I've been asked for a Full while another wants to be informed within 48 hours of receiving an offer. Is there any general answer to this? Do you want to be updated on the status of manuscripts on submission elsewhere? If so, at what point? Partial? Full? Offer on the table?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have a question. What was the point of asking for questions you aren't answering?