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10 Monsters Feared by Book Editors – Part 1

It isn’t Hallowe’en yet but the monsters are coming out of the closet, out to haunt the desks of the book editors and mess with their minds. Most editors will tell you that they don’t often see one of these ghouls but, when they do, it gives them nightmares for weeks. The biggest problem is, most of these monsters start out nice and pie, leading editors to the conclusion that they are dealing with a personable Dr. Jekyll when in fact, as they find out later down the line, they have a Mr. Hyde on their hands instead. Don’t be one of these, your book editor deserves more.

The Ghost

Ghost clients are frightening. Their very first email to a book editor will be so full of exclamation marks that it is difficult to actually read the content. They get themselves worked up into a state of over excitement and can’t wait for the editor to get on so they can move to the next step. Great, an enthusiastic client. One that disappears the minute the editor replies. Vanishes, never to be seen again and definitely no more exclamation filled emails.

The ghost breaks all the rules of working with a book editor including the most important one – communication at every step of the editing process, clear and concise – and timely, not six months down the line.

Frankenstein’s Monster

We all know what Frankenstein’s monster looked like, a very scary-looking creature. And that is exactly the type of manuscript this client will offer to a book editor. It is a horrifying mixture of different styles, different genres, even down to different tones used throughout the story. And as for the plot, well, it’s all over the place. If the editor can’t make sense of it, there is no way any reader will.

Sadly, the creator of this monster will never see any of these flaws. He or she will just see this amazing creation, a fantastic story that shouldn’t really need any editing because it’s already great. The monster has no clue what he is saying but, hey, someone else can make some sense out of it. When a book editor has to do that, they become a ghostwriter.

The Werewolf

This client is all sweetness and light – until the manuscript comes back with some edits on it. Out come the fangs, gone is the reserved polite client and in his place, a snapping snarling beast. In less time than it could have taken to look at the edits, this client will fire off an angry email; you ruined his work, how dare you!

You never know; he might be back to Mr. Reserved in the morning but he or she has forgotten one important thing – respect for someone who is more experienced then they are and has far more expertise. They also can’t argue constructively.

The Vampire Hunter

The vampire hunter lives in the belief that every freelance editor is a bloodsucker, questioning the rates the editor is quoting, believing they have no regard for clients. Chances are, the client is very out of touch on what current editorial rates are and is relying on old information or what others may have said months, even years ago about what they were paying. What he or she should be doing is talking to their editor about the value they get for paying that rate.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds