Still In Recovery
|I'm still recovering from Saints and Sinners.|
One of the worst/best things about being at Saints and Sinners is that it's like a shot of pure adrenaline for my creative side. I can't sleep most of the time I'm there. My brain simply won't shut off. The information download doesn't end at the Master classes or the panels. It's in casual conversations with writers, over lunch, over drinks, everywhere. Things people would never say in an email they'll
tell you in person. Sometimes I know the publishers or editors we're talking about. Other times I don't, but I still pay close attention, because the subject always crops up again months later and by then, it does relate to me.
One of the constant complaints I heard from writers, editors, and publishers was, ironically, the lack of communication.
Editors and publishers are frustrated that writers can't seem to grasp the
simple idea that publishing is a business. Nor can writers seem to understand that submission guidelines exist for a reason. So let me make it simple for you writers out there. If your query letter/submission does not conform to guidelines, the editor is going to focus on the format and not on the content. And that focus is going
to be edged with irritation. Irritation is great for making pearls, but
it doesn't work so well when you're trying to get someone to read your
MS. So stick to the guidelines and allow the editor to focus on what truly matters - your story.
Writers get frustrated with their publishers because they don't know the date their books will be released, or even if the publisher intends to aggressively seek shelf space in bookstores. I can't understand this. A writer and publisher need to be in partnership to help make the book a success. In order to do his/her part, a writer has to know what's going on. If publishers expect writers to treat this seriously as a business, they need to share information with the writers. And yet, many houses seem to believe that the writer has no right to know.
Some editors are very supportive and pass on as much information as they can, but the
publisher withholds information from the editor. Some editors don't want to get involved. And some writers think that once the MS is accepted, it's entirely the publisher's problem to sell it. So everyone is the problem, and I wish that everyone would work on being part of the solution.