The most difficult thing for a new writer to figure out is where to draw the line in the sand. You know that line. The one where you take your stand about what you will—or will not—change in your book.
In the five years since I was offered my first contract, I’ve had eight editors at four publishers. They’ve ranged from the excellent to the truly awful. In an ideal world, your editor will do all he/she can to make your book a success. Most editors fall in that category. However…there are some who are not.
Signs that you might want to discuss a change of editor with your publisher:
1) If your editor is ever denigrating of you as a person. If your editor tells you that you’re dumber than a box of rocks, it might be time to move on. Publishing is a business and all communications should be business-like.
2) If your editor fails to respond to polite, business-like email after five days. I once had an editor quit in the middle of editing my book. The first I knew about it was when a totally strange woman emailed me about how thrilled she was to be working with me.
3) If your editor ever tells you “because I said so” when you ask why something has to be changed. Any editor worth her salt should be able to provide a valid reason—even if it’s simply because the offending material doesn’t meet the publisher’s guidelines.
Now the caution. Be very sure, very sure the reason you’ve drawn your line in the sand is worth the possible cost. If you truly cannot come to an agreement, you may lose your contract. A few things are absolutely worth taking that stand. Most are not.Anny Cook