re: My Editor Doesn’t “Get” My Project — What Now?

posted 10/3/14

Dear Editor…

I’m worried about stepping on toes. I have an editor, and have published a number of books. She’s not quite “getting” my latest project, though. I have her revision suggestions, but I don’t agree with them at all. She hasn’t acquired the book, so I want to try submitting it elsewhere. Do I tell her? Will she be angry with me? What’s the protocol?

Trying to Tread Carefully


Dear Trying to Tread Carefully…

Tell her. Communication has a better chance of preventing future tension. Imagine the awkwardness you’d have explaining the book suddenly popping up on another house’s list? She did take time and care to make revision suggestions, so thank her for sharing her ideas, then tell her you’re not ready to break away from your original vision yet and want to try the project elsewhere before you try changing it. Editors understand that happens. And she’s likely aware that you two aren’t connecting on this one, in which case she won’t be shocked. Be sure to include that you look forward to working with her on your other projects and, who knows, maybe this one, too. Editors know authors publish with many houses and she’s acknowledged that the project isn’t working for her yet, so the air should stay clear.

Happy writing!
The Editor

P.S. For more on this topic, read Creative Process, Publishing Biz, Submissions
posted by: The Editor
under: Creative Process, Publishing Biz, Submissions
Comments to "re: My Editor Doesn’t “Get” My Project — What Now?" | Add a Comment
    1. Teresa Robeson wrote (on 10/03/14 at 10:45 am) :

      Love your excellent (and reassuring) advice! It meshes with my policy to always come clean with people I deal with.

    2. The Editor wrote (on 10/03/14 at 8:47 pm) :

      In general I it’s better to have the tricky conversations up front than let them fester or risk having them become even more problematic.

    3. Natasha Yim wrote (on 10/03/14 at 11:50 am) :

      Thanks for the great tips, Deborah! It’s always good to know how to tread these tricky waters in a professional, yet respectful and courteous way.

    4. The Editor wrote (on 10/03/14 at 8:46 pm) :

      Glad to give ideas, Natasha.