You’ll see lots of posts on publisher sites about “difficult authors.” Don’t be one! Why? Because editing and publishing a book is as much about getting along with the author as it is about working with the book.We have been blessed so far with several really wonderful authors, but have also had to reject authors who had written good books but who were, for lack of a better term, pills.
Here are some tips on how to be a friendly author:
1. Please remember that we’re all volunteers. Most editors small presses work for the love of the books, and maybe an occasional duck egg. We all have day jobs, in most cases difficult ones. If we don’t respond to you right away, please realize that sometimes life intervenes.
2. Believe that editing makes books better. If you don’t want to change a word of your text, then you should self-publish it. Any traditional publisher is going to ask for changes, probably substantial ones.
3. Don’t be paranoid. Many publishers, including BDP, are providing everything DRM-free. If you’re afraid of your work being occasionally copied or pirated, we are not for you.
4. Realize that editorial comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but often are right even if they’re wrong. For example: if you say on p. 20, “Bob ate nothing but watermelon and green tea for 3 months to be able to slip through the bars,” then on p. 300 “Bob slipped easily through the bars,” you may receive an editorial comment “p. 300 Bob is a grown man, how did he fit?” Rather than point back to p. 20 and call your editor a fool, realize that most of your readers may have forgotten the point by then. Consider adding a phrase, “Thanks to his crash diet, Bob slipped easily…” And so on.
5. Please realize we’re on your side. We love it when you’re aggressive with retailers, distributors, and other hard-to-reach middlemen. We will help you out, but we will often solicit your help as well–it’s a tough business.
6. Sometimes things get delayed… sometimes books come out a few days late on one or more distributor sites. We think it’s more important to have the book be perfect than to have it appear the exact day it was promised.
7. Don’t panic!