This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I recently got the news that my editor was leaving my publishers. She’s going on to an amazing new job and opportunity, but as a newbie author I selfishly wondered what that meant for me and my books.
I’ve only been with my publishers since June, so I am still in the formative stages of building a relationship with my editor. I imagine if I’d been working with her for years this news would have hit me a lot harder. Having said that I really enjoy reading her notes on my work. I feel that she gets me as an author, and that she can see what I was trying to do. I also have a huge respect for her professionally – so she’s going to have some big shoes to fill.
It’s a bit scary losing an editor – I know that it’s only one person in a team of people that work on your book, but the editor was your first cheerleader at that publishers. It’s the editor that first gets the manuscript from your agent and it’s them that decides whether the book should go to the wider team in the publishing house for consideration. From then on it’s a team effort, and it has to get through the acquisition meetings in so you know that other people have to like it too. But it’s got to make it past the editor to get to that stage in the first place.
That means that your editor becomes your biggest champion, and that’s one of the main reasons I’m really sad that mine’s leaving.
Amongst the sadness is also a slight fear of who her replacement will be.
Although the publishing industry seems huge, and I’m sure it probably is, there’s going to be a relatively small pool of editors that the replacement is going to come from. After all they are going to have to come from either within the organisation or another publishing house. It’s not like that they’re going to parachute someone in from a completely different industry. Which means that potentially the editor that gets the job will have been working at a different publishing house whilst my book was on submission. I started panicking that what if my new editor was one that rejected my book as they didn’t think it was conceptually strong enough or that it wasn’t for them? If that was the case how difficult would that be for them to now champion my work?
I’m also slightly nervous as I’m writing a series of three books as part of my book deal. I’m lucky in that two of them will have been edited by the time I get my new editor, which only leaves me to worry about the third one. What if my new editor hates the concept for the final part?
I think really I’m more daunted than scared. I’m only just getting a handle on how this industry works. I’m just starting to understand what an editor does and what my relationship as an author is with them. This is the first of probably many changes that will happen to me on this publishing journey. I think I need to man-up and embrace it.
Have other authors lost their editor and got new ones half way through contracts? Was it an easy transition?