Ah, our babies. We love them dearly. Most of us wonder how we can ever let them go out into the big bad world all by their lonesome, to be ridiculed and gawked at by those who have no idea how much we love them.
By now, you’re asking yourself if I’m talking about your children. I am, but not your human children. I’m addressing your books.
Ah, yes, those lovely books. We authors love them as much as we do our children and pets. They are as protected as children and pets are too. Nothing will happen to our book unless and until WE the author has approved that occurrence and only after we’ve asked the opinion of thousands of our “friends.” Those friends can be our Facebook friends and fans, our Twitter followers, of the many so-called experts that abound on the internet.
Once someone makes a critical comment about our cover art, we are immediately demanding that it be changed, improved, completely redone. One slur against the blurb and it must be rewritten. If a reviewer says the ARC (advanced review copy) is in horrible shape but they can fix the missed edits and formatting for this “small” fee, we are all over their offer, forgetting in the process that we’ve signed a contract with a publisher.
Hold on right there before you charge into your editor in chief’s inbox, demanding to have this done, at the expense of your publisher, of course. Because, of course, this reviewer would never lie about something so important. They’re only doing this out of the goodness of their heart.
First of all, I seriously doubt your editor is going to allow another edit of your book, especially if you were given the chance to go over the work with a fine tooth comb before publication. Secondly, really? I mean, really? Does this reviewer truly have your interests at heart? Of this individual trying to drum up business and fill in their bottom line, making money?
“Bu-bu-but,” you argue. “No one would ever lie about something so important.”
They would. They can. And they will, but that’s a topic for a future blog post. Back to the topic at hand. You signed a contract with your publisher. That means once you have approved the book and it’s published, you don’t get a second round at edits, unless it can be proven incompetent your editor was unfit. Most editors are fabulous without any issues at all, but like all professions, there are a few who aren’t worthy of the name.
So, take a deep breath and learn a very good lesson from this experience. Once you sign that contract, it’s time to say, “Bye-bye, baby!” and let your little one try its wings.