Sunday, June 24, 2012

Don’t be scared by R&R letters

Most authors and aspiring authors have heard horror stories about Revise and Resubmit letters. And yes, authors have obediently spent weeks crying over their precious manuscript while deleting a character or theme and rewriting to a publishing house or editor or agent’s specifications, only to have the book rejected anyway.
When you get an R&R letter stop and think.
Read the letter carefully.
What is being asked of you? Is it really such a major change? Or is it more cutting out some dead wood, tightening the plot, making your book sharper, better, more saleable?
Ask yourself, “Do I really want to work with this publisher/agent/editor?”
If the answer to these questions is yes, suck it up and revise the book. But keep the original. Do the revisions on a new copy so if the manuscript is still rejected you still have your original book to submit elsewhere, or self publish.
Often the changes requested are not all that major. It’s more the publisher can see this is a good book, but unless you straighten out those head-banging POV changes (or whatever they’ve mentioned) their editors won’t want to work on the book with you. Effectively you have a foot in the door with this company. Act professionally, present your book properly, and you’re in. Pout and throw a temper tantrum and you’re out.
Your choice.
A busy editor has taken the time to explain why they’ve not contracted your book. Even if they’ve hurt your feelings don’t disregard their advice. It’s totally your decision whether or not to change your book. It’s your book. But what this editor has said may be just the information you need to go from aspiring to published.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.


anny cook said...

Or it may be something that needs to be fixed to meet their guidelines.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Exactly. So if the author wants to work with that company they need to fix it.