This week we have author Mickey J Corrigan. She talks about Dealing with Editors. She also has a new book out, The Physics of Grief.
Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes tropical noir with a dark humor. Novels include Project XX about a school shooting (Salt Publishing, UK, 2017) and What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, UK, 2019).
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How to Deal with Editors
Disclaimer: I'm an author, but I also work as a professional editor. So I'm on both sides of this question. Even though I think my clients should not be afraid of what I might say about their manuscripts, I understand how concerned they are when they hand over their work for editorial input. After all, I can feel the butterflies flitting about in my own belly whenever I submit manuscripts to publishers for editing. So I get it.
However, I love editing and being edited. It's rewarding to be able to help someone improve their drafts, and to see my own work reshaped so that it reads better. This is why I quiet my butterflies and hand over the draft. I just suck it up. Because I know the truth is: editors rock.
Well, most of them. I have worked with a few editors who wanted to rewrite my text in their own voice. This doesn't work. Once or twice a bumbling editor screwed up my manuscript. But those experiences have been rare. Most of the editors I've worked with were eagle-eyed and generous. They caught my errors and gave me gentle structural suggestions that really improved my drafts. Some became my friends.
We all need an editor prior to publication. But these days, we are fortunate when a publisher assigns an editor to help prepare the manuscript. Some presses these days are more like Amazon or a digital printing press and will provide you with zero editing. They take your manuscript and convert it for digital print, then it's print on demand from there. In such cases, you will need to hire an editor. In fact, you really must. This is an added expense, but without an editor's keen eyes, your manuscript will have errors. Guaranteed. The book will not present well and it will appear unpolished. Unprofessional.
Some bestselling authors work with editors before they hand over a manuscript to their publisher; then they work with their publisher's editors as well. They know from experience that you can't have too many eyes on the page.
The best publishers use the following format in editing a manuscript: they assign an editor to take you through the process, and with this skilled professional you work together to prepare the final draft; the manuscript is passed to a copy editor who will format the book and correct errors, then you read over the draft; the manuscript then goes to a line editor who looks for typos, then you read over the draft; a proofreader goes over the final final draft and you read it one more time. Along the way, you can reject the editors' changes. It's your book so you always have that option. You don't have to abide by everything your editors suggest.
As uncomfortable as it might feel, it is essential for authors to work with editors. They want what you want: a book without errors that readers can enjoy. So don't be scared of your editor. Keep in mind their changes are suggestions. You are still in the driver's seat, but they are right there next to you on the long journey to a published book.
Latest book from Mickey J Corrigan
When Seymour Allan loses his girlfriend, his depression is as dark as a South Florida thunderstorm. He hides out in a retirement community, drinks too much, and hangs with a feral cat. But when he meets the mysterious Raymond C. Dasher, Seymour's life changes as he embarks on a new career: professional griever.
Seymour's depression lifts when he spends time at the wakes and funerals of some very unpopular people. He cares for a dying criminal who loves T.S. Eliot and refuses to pass on, and he attends some unique burials that may or may not be legal. He also meets Yvonne, a sexy redhead dealing with the loss of her mobster boyfriend. Out in the Everglades, he has to face down a group of armed mourners and an alligator in attack mode.
Nothing like sex and danger, guns and gators, to make a man remember how good it feels to be alive.
The Physics of Grief is a unique, quirky crime novel presenting the upside of funerals and a hopeful look at second chances—and at death.