Ways to Show Your Editor You Appreciate Them

A relationship between an author and editor is complex, especially when you’ve been working together for a while. It’s very intimate, and as with any close relationship, it can be a lot of fun and very rewarding, and it can also be contentious at times.14590258_10209445044575501_4640772660951395327_n

Authors trust us with something very precious to them, a piece of their creative soul, and a good editor works diligently to respect that trust and do an author’s work justice. Obviously, part of the reward for a job well done is the payment we receive, but sometimes a little something extra is appreciated.

Showing your editor how much their efforts mean to you, whether it’s a prompt, thorough edit, adjusting their schedule for you when you’re ill, helping you brainstorm titles, polishing and proofing your blurb, staying up late messaging with you when you’re having a creative meltdown, or sharing your release day links, a small gesture makes them smile and feel good about the job they’re doing.

Here are some easy ways to show your appreciation to your favorite editor:

  • Send them a testimonial for their website, just a few sentences saying why you enjoy working with them, and why other authors should consider hiring them.
  • Mention them in the acknowledgments of your new book. We like to hear that our work matters and makes a difference in your writing life, and other authors might see our name associated with your well-edited book and look us up.
  • Send us a copy of your book! After the many hours we spend focused on your manuscript, we feel invested in it, and having that signed copy on our desk definitely makes us smile. This isn’t always possible, though, since most authors have to pay for copies, even at a discounted rate, and overseas shipping is ridiculous if you’re in the UK and your editor is in the United States, but if you can spare a copy, we’ll treasure it.
  • Send a small gift that made you think of them. For example, one of my authors sent me a pretty notebook and pen, which I keep on the table where I work for jotting down those strange ideas that always seem to pop up. Another author sent me some dog toys when I got a new puppy, and some ketchup flavored Lays potato chips when she went to Canada, which is the only place these tasty treats are sold. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or special, just some small token that shows you’re thinking of them.
  • Share their information on social media, and pass their details on to fellow authors who are looking for an editor.
  • Stay in touch! Just because your edit is over and your book has been released, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well while working on your project. I probably want to know if your puppy got over her upset tummy, if your husband figured out what was wrong with the dishwasher, and if your daughter liked the painting you gave her for her graduation. Sure, I want to know how you’re doing on your next book so we can start planning an editing schedule, but how was your trip to Aruba?

We tip our restaurant servers, Uber drivers, the guy who parks our car, and the lady who does our nails…why should an editor be any different? It doesn’t have to be a gift or a monetary gratuity. Just saying “thank you for helping me make my story shine” and recommending our services to other authors is priceless!

Editing Isn’t All About the Red Pen

Anyone who has ever been edited has had that moment of panic when they see the corrections their editor has made. Sometimes the many, many corrections. It can be daunting, but even a simple thing like an author not having a good grasp of comma usage or how to capitalize and punctuate in and around dialogue can make a manuscript look like a literary bloodbath.

editing

But there is much more to a good edit than wielding the metaphorical Red Pen of Shame. If you’ve ever raised a puppy or a child or taught a class, you understand if all you ever do is correct or punish when someone does something wrong, you don’t have a very good outcome, and they never truly learn. They will absolutely never be confident or reach their full potential.

As an editor, besides making corrections and explaining to an author what they’re doing wrong so they might improve in their next manuscript, I also like to tell them what they’re doing right.

Margin comments are great for communicating things you want an author to focus on, but they can also be fun. In a current edit, my author wrote “Branches reach out to me, their fingers nipping at my skin the way the chill in the air nips at my hope of spring.” I loved the way that line felt, so I left a margin comment to tell her so.

What does the author do well? Where do they excel? One of my authors writes the best dialogue I’ve ever edited…and I make sure she knows it. I even had her help me with writing up some tips to share with other authors.

Another author writes emotional angst and conflict exceptionally well. She doesn’t resort to cliches, and conveys the battle going on inside a character’s head in a way the reader can relate to so completely that they truly understand how that character feels. I make sure the author knows when I feel this way.

I have worked with one author who writes a lot of science fiction and dystopian books, and he can take complex scientific and technological concepts and explain them so even a non-tech reader can understand them, but you never feel he’s dumbing down his narrative or “writing down” to you as a reader.

The current edit I mentioned earlier, the one with the line I particularly liked, is also an incredible world-builder. I was a fan of her work for several years before I became her editor. I edited a dystopian series for her earlier this year, and I thought it was one of the best post-apocalyptic world scenarios I’d ever read, and I told her so. In the current edit, though, she’s done what I didn’t expect…and built an even more complex, vibrant, plausible, compelling world. When I return this edit, she’ll see my note congratulating her on this accomplishment.

How does your editor make you feel as an author? Nobody likes to have their mistakes pointed out, of course, but overall, does your editor make you feel like you’re learning something new? Do they point out your strengths and not only your shortcomings? Do you ever smile or even laugh out loud at their comments?

sneak_peek

I left this cartoon by The Oatmeal as a comment when an author wrote “sneak peak” instead of “sneak peek.” 

It’s like with anything else. If you go to a class or a meeting or a religious service, you should leave feeling more positive, hopeful for the future, and ready to go out there and become even better. If you leave (or finish an edit) feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and less hopeful, something is wrong. You need a new teacher, boss, minister…or editor.

(For more information about my professional editing services, please click HERE, and let’s discuss your next project!)

New Book Page

Managing various online identities can be confusing and time-consuming. I had my previous blog, Fermented Fur, an author page, personal and author pages on Facebook, and a page for my editing services. I eventually discontinued my editing services page, because my work for Limitless Publishing takes most of my time, and I have plenty of long-time indie authors to keep me busy.

My author page has been sitting around not doing much of anything for a long time. While I love writing and care deeply about my books, it’s never been my top priority, and I don’t have anything new in the works.

My author website at loriwhitwam.com was hosted on a friend’s server. He never charged me for it, and helped me set everything up, because he had a lot of accounts on there that more than paid the operating expenses. But as he’s gotten out of the business, I was soon the only one left, so I needed to find a new home for my domain.

I’m not a skilled tech person. So I decided the best thing to do was to redirect my domain to point at a page here on WordPress, so now everything is in one place. Amazingly, I didn’t screw it up too badly.

So, now you can see all the information on my books, including links to them on Amazon, right HERE on Lori’s Books on this blog. Please stop by, take a look, and let me know what you think. Ellen and Quinn and Ty and Seth and Abby would love to meet you.

#GetPublished: Wattpad Authors Win a Publishing Contract

This event is THIS WEDNESDAY! Don’t miss out! This is going to be so fun, so if you or someone you know is a Wattpad author, be sure to check it out. Spread the word!

The Craving Chronicles

WATTPAD CONTEST LPWattpad authors, we want to publish your work!

Enter our contest for a chance to win a publishing contract with Limitless Publishing!

DATE:
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

TIME: 
12 PM EST – 6 PM EST

WHERE:
Twitter! Using the hashtag: #Pit2LPWattpad

Here are the contest guidelines:

~ Submit your pitch to us on TWITTER using the hashtag: #Pit2LPWattpadIf you do not use this hashtag, we will not be able to see your pitch.

~ In your tweet, also include the link to your Wattpad author profile and your book’s GENRE. Below you will find a list of genres. Please include the genre in your pitch using a #hashtag like done so below.
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#P = Paranormal
#PNR = Paranormal Romance
#WF = Woman’s Fiction
#E = Erotica or Erotic Romance
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical…

View original post 162 more words

Contest For Wattpad Authors!

We at Limitless Publishing are holding a Twitter Pitch Party for Wattpad authors, and winners will earn a publishing contract with us! I’ll be one of the team reviewing pitches, which is always very exciting and a ton of fun. While LP focuses heavily on romance and all romance sub-genres, I’m especially interested in dystopian, urban fantasy, fantasy, and paranormal.

Read on for details…

WATTPAD CONTEST LP

Wattpad authors, we want to publish your work!

Enter our contest for a chance to win a publishing contract with Limitless Publishing!

DATE:
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

TIME: 
12 PM EST – 6 PM EST

WHERE:
Twitter! Using the hashtag:#Pit2LPWattpad

Here are the contest guidelines:

~ Submit your pitch to us on TWITTER using the hashtag: #Pit2LPWattpadIf you do not use this hashtag, we will not be able to see your pitch.

~ In your tweet, also include the link to your Wattpad author profile and your book’s GENRE. Below you will find a list of genres. Please include the genre in your pitch using a #hashtag like done so below.
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#P = Paranormal
#PNR = Paranormal Romance
#WF = Woman’s Fiction
#E = Erotica or Erotic Romance
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#W = Western
#WR = Western Romance
#T = Thriller
#SF = Science Fiction
#F = Fantasy
#S = Suspense
#RS = Romantic Suspense

~ You should have numerous variations of your pitches available to post during the event.
~ You can pitch several manuscripts.

Important information:

If @limitlessbooks favorites your Tweet: CONGRATULATIONS! Your pitch captivated us! Please submit a manuscript to submissions@limitlesspublishing.com

Follow submission guidelines when submitting your manuscript. You can read more about those here: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/submissions/#guidelines

Please DO NOT favorite any pitches. Only @limitlessbooks will be doing so.

WINNER:

After the contest closes, all entries will be evaluated objectively by the submissions team. The winning author will be notified via email upon being chosen and then a public announcement will be made.

Don’t forget…

Your tweet should include #Pit2LPWattpad + your pitch + your genre using the hashtags explained above + the link to your Wattpad author profile.


Be kind. Be courteous. Be professional.

Have fun and good luck!

Submission Call For Romance Stories

Are you a romance author…or would you like to be? Crave Publishing has two anthologies currently open for submissions. The deadline for the first is coming up fast, though, so don’t wait! My email is in the submission calls posted below if you have any questions.

27858935_2030471557226120_7453036474086062007_n

We are looking for stories featuring a couple in which one (preferably the male, but not required) is insanely rich, possibly famous, powerful, and lives a dynamic, luxurious lifestyle. Think of how they meet, in a funny, dramatic, traumatic, or even adversarial way, leading to an unlikely romance with lots of heat and indulgent details.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:

• Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
o 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
o Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
o Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
o If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
• Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

DEADLINE to submit the story is 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, APRIL 6, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)
Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about APRIL 21, 2018 if their story has been selected.

Release date is planned for JULY 24, 2018.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

 

its-back-2

Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: Forbidden. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

Sometimes there’s the one person everyone thinks is totally wrong for you. The one with whom you have nothing in common, or the one your friends warn you is sure to lead straight to disaster. We are looking for stories featuring an unlikely or slightly scandalous couple. Maybe it’s a boss or professor, someone from the opposite side of the tracks, an ex you swore you’d never speak to again, or your best friend’s brother. No step-sibling or step-parent stories, please.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:
• Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
o 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
o Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
o Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
o If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
• Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

DEADLINE to submit the story is 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, JUNE 8, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)
Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about JUNE 15, 2018 if their story has been selected.

Release date is planned for SEPTEMBER 25, 2018.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

Good Things Lost In Transition

2013-05-15-wordcloud

I want to talk about a book series I used to love and recently rediscovered, but first, some background…

Back in the pre-Kindle, little internet days, the book world was dominated by a few large, New York-based publishing companies. Their process was rigid and slow-moving, though, meaning even if you were a fast writer, you’d have one, or possibly two releases per year.

For avid readers, this was problematic, especially due to no internet. Back then, I kept a book journal, divided by month, and recorded author, title, and a one-line summary of everything I read, which could be anywhere from 10-20 books per month. I would periodically review the journal, note which favorite authors hadn’t released anything lately, make a list, trek to the library, look up to see if they had a new book in or on order, place a reserve, and wait for it to come in.

Yawn. Carving hieroglyphs in stone tablets and floating it down the Nile would be faster.

Then, yahoo and yee-haw, along came the internet in all its literary glory, and the world changed.

Authors had websites and newsletters and libraries were online. Perhaps most significantly, publishing itself changed. More and more small presses appeared, giving authors options they never had before.

I abandoned print books for my beloved Kindle (always named George, and I’m on George IV right now), which meant I could now be reading the second book in a series seconds after finishing the first one. Perfect for an impatient, immediate-gratification person like me.

Near the end of the pre-Kindle days, I came across an urban fantasy series–a favorite genre–at the library. The Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman. It was dark and gritty, but threaded with a fabulous dry, sarcastic, witty humor I loved. The world-building, mythology, and lore are second to none, and the powerful, complicated relationship between brothers Cal and Niko Leandros is indescribably wonderful. If you love the depth and breadth of the Supernatural universe and brothers Sam and Dean, this is right up your alley.

Thurman-Rob_Cal-and-Niko-Leandros_01-06

I devoured the first five or six books as they came hot off the presses. In 2011, I got my first Kindle, how I followed the book world changed, and I lost track of Rob and Cal and Niko for a while. Around that time, Rob was in a serious car accident, which is when I learned she’s actually Robyn, which surprised me. The brother relationship was so profoundly rendered I totally accepted the author must be male. Nope. Maybe this caused a hitch in her big-NY-publisher schedule. But for whatever reason, the series sort of fell off my radar.

Recently, I think due to a feature in Book Bub, I remembered the series. I was ecstatic to discover there were three books I’d not yet read, so I downloaded them all. I read Slashback last week, am currently reading DownFall, and Nevermore is up next. I’m loving getting reacquainted with Cal and Niko and Robin and Promise and the Auphe. (Okay, maybe not the Auphe so much…)

15808602

The hitch is Nevermore, the most recent release, came out in 2015. That’s an eternity in today’s publishing world. I was also disturbed to discover on the series Wikipedia page that book 11, Everwar, is shown as “uncertain” with a notation it was canceled by the publisher, and the author’s website doesn’t appear to have been updated in some time.

Why? Maybe the author is retired or semi-retired from writing, and that’s fine, though I’d love more books. But as someone who works in publishing and is an author myself, I think it has to do with the shift in the publishing industry.

It used to be okay to release a book a year. But now, with so many busy small presses who can work with an author and release books much faster, readers expect that. Those lumbering dinosaurs that are the “big” NY publishing houses have failed to adjust to this, plodding along the path that worked for so many decades. It hasn’t hurt mega-authors like Stephen King, but the lesser-known but still solid authors like Rob Thurman suffer.

Was book 11, Everwar, canceled because it wasn’t good? Highly doubtful. Was it canceled because interest and sales had dropped off? Much more likely. But whose fault is that? In this case, not the author’s. Reading the last books in the series, I know they’re as strong and compelling as they ever were.

One of my all-time favorite series is the Arly Hanks (“Maggody, Arkansas”) series by Joan Hess, which came out from 1987 to 2010. Several years ago I looked for these in e-book format so I could read them again–they are quirkily hilarious–and found only a couple of them. I was heartened to see when I checked today that they were all released in e-book in 2016 and 2017. But they’re not selling well because publishing now demands a constant stream of new material. Readers have short memories these days. Hess also doesn’t appear to have a website (the horror!), only a minimal listing on her publisher’s website.

I’ve been thinking about Robyn and her Cal Leandros series a lot over the past week. I wonder how much of her MIA situation is personal choice (publishing is exhausting!) and how much lack of vision and support by her publisher.

If it’s the latter, I wonder what the future is for Everwar and any potential future volumes in the series. I have no idea what her contract terms are, of course, but if we’re just “done” with a series and decline to sign the latest volume, we will often return the rights to the full series, so the author can re-brand and market it themselves.

It appears a couple of years ago the author attempted to gather support to self-publish, but for reasons that boggle the mind, the fans didn’t come through. I was unaware of this campaign at the time, but would happily support one now.

Whether it’s lack of support from her publisher in the changing publishing climate, fans who have “moved on,” or a change of priorities in the author’s own personal and writing life, I just know I’d like to see more of Cal and Niko and the gang, and I hope, if she’s still on board, she’ll continue to explore ways to keep telling their stories.

Hell, if Rob Thurman wants to stage a comeback, I’ll edit the first book for her for free.