This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Caroline Hogg has worked in publishing for almost ten years, at Little, Brown Book Group and more recently at Avon, HarperCollins. She's currently at Pan Macmillan as Senior Commissioning Editor for Commercial Women's Fiction. She knows her stuff!
Today's question comes from a Novelicious reader who asks:
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What are the common myths about being an editor?
I would like to blame Jude Law in The Holiday for perpetuating the myth that editors lie around in bed with a stack of A4 pages, drinking wine and chewing on the end of their wire-framed glasses in moments of deep reflection. (Which is not to say this never ever happens.) There is reading involved, of course, but not just reading. In fact, so much of an editor’s working day is taken up with meetings, running costings, negotiating deals, working with the sales, marketing, publicity, design and production teams, writing copy, talking to authors, checking covers, checking out competitors and more besides, that it’s quite rare you have enough time or peace and quiet to read submissions at your desk.
I think another myth is that we read a novel, discover we love it and call the author the very next day to offer a contract. The reality is that, yes, editors fall in love with books and want to publish them but they need the support of pretty much everyone else in the company to do so. It’s never one person’s decision to sign up an author. So there are meetings and discussions, and costings to calculate, so it can be a good few weeks before the editor gets the OK to offer.A myth I wish were true is that all publishing business is conducted during boozy lunches. Save for a very special occasion now and again, most of the publishing lunches I have are rather tame! Sparkling water and no pudding. And people have a 2.30pm meeting to get back to, half the time. But great ideas and working relationships start at these lunches, so as well as being a very nice perk they are definitely useful.