2/1/12

Editors and Why You Should Stalk Them


Sure, they know the business, trends and market but what do you really want? Them.  Because getting an editor means you’ve sold your book.

At a lot of these conferences I’ve attended, I seem to run into more editors than agents.  I guess it’s mainly because they’re not hiding. Writers usually don’t see them as a direct line to publication, therefore may or may not talk to them.  If they do, they are most likely not to suffocate the editor with their presence, like they do agents.  Having the scales tip heavy with editors instead of agents at these events used to bum me out.  But now I realize the error of my ways. 

Now let me stop you.  I know what you’re thinking, some editors take on unagented writers.  Yes, but that’s not the norm nor is it an easy window to get in.  Think of the skinny rectangle window in your shower.  Sure, you could probably squeeze your lumpy butt through, but it’ll be tight.  Like wearing your old prom dress, it’s not going to be pretty.

Jordon Brown, an editor at Balzer and Bray (imprint of Harper Collins) talked about building your team.  He said, as a writer you are a team of one.  Then you find an agent, you become a team of two. Then an editor, team of three and so on.  (Kind of like a one man wolf pack, “and it grew by one. So where we were two…so there was two of us in the pack. I…I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later.” 20 bonus points if you guess the movie.) 

Sorry for the detour. But that movie cracks me up.

Anyway...your agent will help you find an editor but wouldn’t it behoove you to do a little recon prior to needing an editor? If you could share with your agent some personal connections you’ve made with editors, you might speed up the process of finding one.  Several agents mentioned during the conference that they usually asked their clients if there’s anyone in particular they’d like to work with.  “Why yes, my dear agent, there is.” And also, getting to know these editors will give you a good idea if you could work well together. 

Does all this mean if you’ve met an editor, think you’d work well together that they will join your wolf pack?  No.  But everything you do to help yourself, will get you to your goal faster. PUB-LI-CATION.  So stalk away! (Hope that doesn’t get me banned from the pub world. :D)  Don’t go stalking all willy-nilly.  Be smart and stalk the editors who rep your type/genre of book.

4 comments :

  1. I have also realized that there is one particular editor who has worked on several books I didn't like at all. It's helpful to know that info as well.

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  2. You crack me up, Dana! Love the prom dress analogy, along with the skinny shower window! So true that editor taste is super important.

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  3. Hangover - I got in on one man wolf pack. Prob says a lot about me too.
    Also wished I even needed an editor...

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  4. Jessica - Excellent point! SOme books I read I wonder how some authors snuck that flimsy reasoning in. Not solid editors.

    Ara - I'm glad someone sees my humor. SOmetimes I feel like tapping the mic and asking if this thing is on.

    Lina - Yay! You get twenty bonus points! (Bonus points to what I don't know but it sounded fun.) :)

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