D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Writer Wednesday: 10 Ways to Tick Off An Editor

I've been posting writing tips on a fairly regular basis. Most are how-to or explanations of writing terminology. I suppose I'm feeling a little snarky today, but I've decided to give you all some tips. Hold these tips dear, for I've can vouch for every one of these first hand (as an editor, not an author).

1) E-mail an editor asking about guidelines that are clearly stated on the website. Make sure when you do, that you got the e-mail from the publisher's website. Extra points if the guidelines are far easier to find than the editors e-mail!

2) We like e-mail. We like it so much, that we want to spend all day doing nothing but replying to e-mails. Heck, we have nothing better to do. So when you want to e-mail repeatedly over the same thing within a handful of hours, go for it! Especially if it is during hours that sane people sleep.

3) OR e-mail us without invitation asking us to review a piece you are working on that you have absolutely no intention on submitting to us or our publisher. Bonus points if you want us to "give some brief suggestions or edits".

4) Act offended if you submit to us and we send you an acceptance letter. Editors adore finding a manuscript worth accepting, only for the author to turn us down.

5) Other authors? What do you mean we have other authors we are currently working with? No! Absolutely not. We live for your manuscripts alone and shall return edits within a matter of a handful of hours. Always.

6) When our guidelines clearly state story over a certain word count amount, send us a small poem you expect to get published. We totally understand that you need no boundaries for your artistic expression.

7) Do NOT format your submission according to guidelines. Guidelines is just really another word for "unnecessary boundaries" anyway. Promise.

8) Spell check is for college papers and secretaries. Never reread what you've written in an attempt to self edit. This applies to your manuscript, synopsis, and especially query letters.

9) When an editor tells you how they like you to apply edits, ignore them. Do it your way, or better yet, the way your old/other/first editor used to do it. 

10) Fight your editor over every single comma, spelling change, or content suggestion they make. Your work is perfect the way it is and our skills will only kill your darling.

~ D. F. Krieger

Disclaimer: These rules, in no way, apply to any of the authors I've worked with. My authors are spectacular people that I adore working with. These rules apply to people that I have never worked with and that, after the above stunts, I'd rather not work with them. Ever.


An Open Book said...

Oh man, DF...really? You mean editors don't have their emails open 24/7 just for us- lol

Great post today and authors really should read this and take heed in the advice

Angelina Rain said...

Great post! I for sure thought that one of those rules will be about me. Something along the lines of an author who can't think for herself and has to ask her editor's advice over everything. Then again, you haven't worked with me that long. I'm sure after a few rounds of edits you will be adding rule #11.

PS: I'm guilty of doing #10 with a different editor. I really clashed heads with my old editor over deleting the four Petra scenes, or reminding the reader 10 times that Jordan was taking a walk in the first 6 pages of the story.

Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

In all fairness, if it's a simultaneous sub, SOME editor(s) will have #4 happen to them. An author is trying to find the best home for a manuscript. Sometimes it's with one editor, sometimes it's with someone else. I do know I've made decisions on simultaneous subs based on: how enthusiastic the editor seemed, how big of a sales base the house had, and how the publisher has treated me in the past.


D. F. Krieger said...

Seleste- True, but that isn't the situation I was speaking of. ^.^ It's one thing to withdraw if it is a simultaneous submission. It's a whole different ball park when you get rude with the editor because you aren't interested in publishing the book. (I've had that happen.)

Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

Okay, now that is FUBAR.