Treat Them Right

Who is your best bet for an award winning novel? Most authors will say they are, because no one knows their work as well as they do.

Those authors are selling themselves short. They are forgetting the large group of people behind the scenes who ensure their book is publication ready.

Who are these people?

Why they are your editor, proofreader, cover artist, and the staff at your publishing company. These people are as responsible for your book being as good as it is as you are. They put in many hours and a lot of effort to ensure your book is ready for the world.

Many authors I know equate a book going from idea to publication as the same as giving birth to a child. We think of our books as our children, and they are. We care for them while in the process of plotting. The actual writing brings sweat and tears, often times we will do both during intense scenes. Once we finish, we aren’t actually done. We have to go back and parse every word, examine each sentence, and study every paragraph in an effort to make the elements so important to our book better than they already are.

The rare author is the one that acknowledges the staff at a publishing company for having put out so much effort in producing a book. We work behind the scenes, quietly ironing out the wrinkles and shaking out the dust that clutters up the plot. Senior staff is usually seeking places where the author can promote their book, to increase the chances of improved sales. In essence, by signing with a publisher, you have gained a new family—parents and siblings who will be with you for the long haul.

That all being said, you, the author, must remember to treat your newfound family as you would like to be treated. Instead of becoming irritated at the least problem, remember these people are humans too. They have their good days and their bad days. What might seem like a brush off to you could in actuality be an editor dealing with a sudden loss. Curt responses could because your editor in chief or another senior staff member is dealing with a personal issue they’d rather keep private. Instead of going off in a huff, remember the times when you had to interact with the public when you would have rather been hiding, or how you felt lost for some reason or another.