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Yeah... 🤨 I doubt it. I read it, and while I get what she is saying, I think it's just a natural thing. People change jobs, and people retire. New people always fill their shoes. I didn't see any reference to them looking for a new editor. Seem like a bit of a leap to me. Not to say it meanly, just that I think it is a conclusion that was jumped to too soon. 🙂 

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So, if hiring a professional editor is something the author should undertake, what services does a trade publisher provide in exchange for taking the majority of the proceeds generated by sales of a book?

 

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I guess it's not hard to see how the publishing industry continues to twist and morph, and retrench, and remake itself at an ever increasing rate.

 

Here's one more example of how some see those changes happening. The wild thing is, there's probably little that's not obvious in retrospect and couldn't have been predicted five years ago, but I don't think anyone did. I doubt we'll be able to imagine what it'll be like (or what will be left) five years from now...

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There is an interesting conflict here.

 

In Jeff's YouTube video about why MS get rejected one of agents (I think more than one actually) state that they reject MS that 'need work on them' i.e. editing either development or otherwise. This contradicts the comment in the article posted by lynn about editors becoming agents. No wondered we are all confused.

 

Reedsy (who I have used) rightly categories their editors in the developmental, line and copy editors. Thus the writer can chose the type of editing they feel is appropriate for their work prior to submission to agents or SP.

 

1stediting also does this as well most professional editors if they supply more than one service.   

 

The takeaway for me is - get your MS in the best possible shape if you are going to sub to agents/publishers so they can't find fault with it and be prepared to have to do your own edits if needed. 

Edited by Shamrock
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9 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

In Jeff's YouTube video about why MS get rejected one of agents (I think more than one actually) state that they reject MS that 'need work on them' i.e. editing either development or otherwise. This contradicts the comment in the article posted by lynn about editors becoming agents. No wondered we are all confused.

 

It might be best not to see these things as absolute laws; that way, we don't imagine contradictions, but see the varying preferences that are really there -- and I think that's really important.

 

J. K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers, before placing her Harry Potter stuff. Think of that... twelve publishers turned down a virtual money-printing-machine, because spotting something with that potential is more an art than a science. Twelve publishers, working with their own best practices, missed out. Twelve acquisition editors own the bragging rights to the statement, "Yaaaas... back in the day, **I** turned down Harry Potter..." No one claims those bragging rights.

 

To make matters worse, for every runaway success like Potter, there could be thousands of books published that don't even earn enough to repay the publishers' investments in them. None of the agents, none of the editors, none of the so-called-experts will have the magical set of right answers that we have to follow to get published.  It would be great if it were like passing the exam to get a driver's license, but it's just not.

 

The agent's video simply shows a set of best practices used by those particular agents. None of them are bad ideas; we just can't look at them as the exact answers we need to pass that driver's test. What they can do is make us better writers and improve our chances, but that's really all.

 

The story about the one editor becoming an agent is just that: one story. It's nice to see an editor doing that, as it shows a job being done for the love of it, rather than just to make a living. But I'd expect this is the exception rather than the rule.

 

In the end, we have to remember that we're working with people, and people can have subjective judgments. None of them want to turn down Harry Potter; in fact, that's probably one of their nightmares. They'll more likely select a book that ends up unable to pull its own weight. As long as there are ordinary humans making the decisions, both errors are gonna happen.

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I thin editors are becoming agents because they realize that if editors are now shackled with having to promote the book, they might as well be an agent, and get it over with.

 

Frankly speaking, this looks like a cost-cutting measure by publishers to reduce costs and risks.

 

From my experience, the skillset required to "fix" a manuscript, and get it ready to publish, does NOT align with the ability to see the potential in a manuscript and an author.  One is highly administrative, the other is entrepreneurial.  The two do not mix.  One requires a fixation on minute details, the other requires big picture skills.

 

That, I think, is a good portion of the problem.

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Wes B said:

To make matters worse, for every runaway success like Potter, there could be thousands of books published that don't even earn enough to repay the publishers' investments in them.

 

That is so true, @Wes B.  That's a side of publishing that writers like @Jeff Potts never look at it, because they are so devoted to their works being special.  And in @Jeff Potts defense, no one is speaking up for that side of the business model.  It's easier to self-publish.  Then they do all the work themselves or hire it out.  But if that's what works for them, more power to them!  

 

I don't think most people realize what size of a pool of self-published authors there are, though--literally hundreds of thousands of people self-publish every month.   When you add that to the number of traditional and indie publishers, it gets to be a big pool to swim in.  The same is true for traditional publishers and indie publishers.  Writing is a tough business.

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27 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

I don't think most people realize what size of a pool of self-published authors there are, though--literally hundreds of thousands of people self-publish every month.

 

That is why I would prefer not to SP.  I can see my work getting lost in the swamp unless I can really put the time and energy into developing a robust reader base on my own. Which I am not confident at doing  - yet.

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2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

That is so true, @Wes B.  That's a side of publishing that writers like @Jeff Potts never look at it, because they are so devoted to their works being special.

 

He's gonna do what he's gonna do... as do we all. I do sincerely wish him well, and who knows? He may end up doing just fine. Not everyone's looking for advice though, and sometimes you back away, and let things be.

 

2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

 And in @Jeff Potts defense, no one is speaking up for that side of the business model.  It's easier to self-publish.  Then they do all the work themselves or hire it out.  But if that's what works for them, more power to them!  

 

There's a Christian writer's conference I attend every year, and there's always plenty of discussion on traditional vs. self publishing. It's enlightening to see the plusses & perils of each path laid out as the publishing landscape continues to shift. Lots of interesting insights from publisher's reps, agents, and multiple people who self-publish: some quite satisfied, and others struggling, perhaps. It's actually pretty great that there's more than one set of options open to us. There's so much more to it than just putting words on paper though, no matter which way we decide to turn...

 

2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

I don't think most people realize what size of a pool of self-published authors there are, though--literally hundreds of thousands of people self-publish every month.   When you add that to the number of traditional and indie publishers, it gets to be a big pool to swim in.  The same is true for traditional publishers and indie publishers.  Writing is a tough business.

 

Hundreds of thousands per month? So, millions per year, then. Talk about a small fish in a huge pond...

 

I did know that the quantity of self publishing was all but out of control, but had no idea it was as huge as you'd mentioned. I've so far kept the idea of self publishing only at the periphery of my planning for the same reason that I've never bought a lottery ticket, but you've just given a much deeper perspective.

 

Nonetheless, lightning does strike somewhere; Fifty Shades was originally self-published. Setting aside the somewhat surprising subject matter, the actual quality of the writing in it is beyond terrible. I don't think I've ever seen anything so rough and in need of rewrite on a printed page. But what do I know? Apparently, if you strike the right chord, however crudely, people will listen... in droves. The Real World is truly stranger than anything we could write about...

 

 

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11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

That's a side of publishing that writers like @Jeff Potts never look at it, because they are so devoted to their works being special.

 

You know, you've made these sort of swipes at me before.  Out of deference, I've bit my tongue.

 

You know nothing about me, you don't know my history, or my view towards my book.  You, one hand, encourage me, then on the other hand make these back-handed comments like I'm some fifteen year-old living in Fantasyland.

 

I don't, in particular, like thumping my chest about it, but I've published before.  A long time ago.  I've written articles and gotten paid for them.  And when it came time to write a book, I didn't have to query publishers or agents, they came to me.  

 

It's the reason why you described my sample chapters as being written by a "studied hand." Because that hand has  done something like this before.

 

There are reasons why J. K. Rowling is a billionaire, and tens of thousands of books wander off into obscurity, and it isn't either "luck," or capturing "lightning in a bottle."  It's a combination of vision, talent, hard work, and persistence.  I aim high because I am ambitious, and have done - and accomplished - ambitious things in the past.  I've got some 40 years of private sector business experience, grew up in a family business (a very successful one at that), and deal with systems that process tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  You don't work on that level by being a blithering idiot. 

 

Oddly enough, you learn a few things along the way.  The one thing most people don't learn is, when you aim low, you hit low.  Period.

 

There is nothing in the publishing industry that makes a it special or unique from any other business, outside of the fact that it's being strangled to death by people who are more interested in advancing an agenda, than entertaining readers.  And it's not the only industry where that is happening.

 

So please, stop with your commentary on me, what I think, or what I know.  Thanks.

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