Monday, March 25, 2013

My editor quit and didn't tell me!

It has been a long time since I last wrote a blog entry. That's what happens when you work far from where you live. Our homestead is wonderful, but the long commute is a real time killer. Worth it, though. I have only one more year before I can retire and work only part-time while writing novels full-time. Nice!

I do have a new topic to write about for today. That is, my editor for my upcoming release up and quit her job as editor and didn't tell me. Weeks of nothing went by before I realized too much time had gone by without a word from her. Last time we corresponded, we were doing pretty well together. We had a mild disagreement about how a book that involved altered memories needed to make good use of the past-perfect tense (she wasn't a fan of past-perfect), but otherwise, I felt she was doing a great job.

We were about half way through the book when she told me she couldn't possibly get it done by the date set by the publisher. I had two choices: ask for a new editor, or agree to have my release date pushed back. Because I liked her, I chose the latter. Unfortunately, the publisher pushed the release date back by months instead of a few weeks. Disappointing, but I can be reasonable.

I wrote a few time to the editor asking when we'd get back to editing it together. She told me she had another project to finish up and she'd contact me in a few days. Well, I regret that I let a lot more than a few days go by without reaching out again. This is what I get for not focusing on my writing life sufficiently. I knew we now had months to finish it, so I wasn't worried or in any great rush. But then I finally realized that more than a month had drifted away. I wrote to the editor and ...

You can imagine my horror when she told me that she'd quit the job weeks ago and figured my publisher would tell me. Ack! I quickly reached out to the publisher, who said they'd been told that the editing on my book had been completed. They thought they were just waiting for the final to be uploaded, ready to go to the next step. At least the publisher seems equally frantic about the mix-up, so I'm hoping this will all work out. I have sent over the latest editor notes and am waiting (again) to see what the next step will be. You can bet I won't let weeks go by this time!

Oddly, this isn't even the first time this has happened to me. With my very first book, there was something up with my very odd editor. Toward the end, she simply quit her job. This was after she changed the title of my book to something I hated (it was a movie title she chose) without telling me. In the end, that worked out, because the publisher felt sorry enough for me to change the title and then went on to publish more of my books. Yay! But, sheesh, I could begin to wonder if I'm a difficult client somehow.

To my relief, many fellow-authors have come forward to comfort me with their own stories of someone abandoning them in the middle of a project. So I'm feeling better about the whole incident. And I've learned a valuable lesson. not only about staying more on top of what's happening with my book, but also about choosing the editor instead of my original release date. I need to remember, against my nature, that the book is the most important thing in this business, not the individuals who may wander in and out of getting it published.

Do any of you have similar stories to share?

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