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10 Monsters Feared by Book Editors – Part 2
If the last five monsters didn’t leave you shivering, these will.
The zombie is hardly alive and really doesn’t want to do too much of the work. In fact, they may not do anything! The zombie takes a long time to accept changes and doesn’t rush to reply to any communication that may be time sensitive. What the zombie must realize is that his or her editor’s brain is not there for dining on, for them to consume the knowledge without the experience and the work. They must also realize that book creation involves work all the way through. Once the book has been given to the editor, the work isn’t done; it’s just beginning and they need to realize that they must be involved all the way through.
Witches want magic. The witch knows they have turned in a manuscript written in awkward prose but, hey, the editor can wave their magic wand and make it right. It may be that the witch needs to magic herself off to a writers' workshop before attempting to submit a manuscript. Or at the very least, get some beta readers to see if that manuscript is anywhere near ready for the editor.
The shapeshifter will agree to something, then ask for something completely different. He or she may, for example, request the contract for copy editing and sign it but then ask for a read through too. The shapeshifter needs to understand that there is more than one type of editor; they should understand what kind of editing they need and what their chosen editor offers. All this should be done when choosing the editor in the first place.
The mummy is so wrapped up in themselves and their own world that they take forever to respond to calls or emails. Similar to the ghost, the mummy fails to understand that communication is the key to working with any editor.
The (Copy) Cat
The copycat is quite happy to use plagiarized content throughout their book in the hope that the editor, or anyone else for that matter, will not notice. Plagiarism is not tolerated; a good editor will find it immediately and, even if they don’t spot it straight away, they do use online tools to help them double-check manuscripts. If you use only a little plagiarism, your entire manuscript comes into question and you won't get any deals from the editor in the future. And, don’t forget, editors talk amongst themselves…
The blob is a monster that just won’t stop growing – more and more content gets added to the manuscript, even while the editor is working on it. Worse, they add more after it has been edited. The blob must learn when to stop. The manuscript should be complete before it goes to the editor; if there are to be any changes, the blob should communicate with the editor.
This is not meant to be a complaint about editing clients; it's meant as a glimpse into what some editors have to deal with – naivety, underprepared clients and those who think they know better than the editor. This is meant to show you what not to be, what your editor doesn’t want to work with. Most editors are more than happy to help a new writer out, to use their years of experience to guide them, so long as the client is receptive to being helped.
Do yourself and your editor a favor, don’t be a monster.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds