My Editor is Doing What?

Always remember, even though the sun is shining and the chickadees are singing, Everything Can Still Go Wrong.

This is a writer’s mantra.

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I was reminded of this recently when, amid drafting and cover art discussions and title changing, I received an email that my editor was leaving.

As in LEAVING.

As in FOREVER.

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(Memes ensure my posts will lose relevancy quickly. YOLO.)

Remember the thousands — millions — of rejection letters you received? Remember that one mean editor who literally questioned your fundamental grasp of the English language (true story)? And remember how, at long last, your fabulous agent (who was NOT the one who contacted the editor in the last sentence) connected you with a fabulous editor who loved your work? Who championed your story in her own house and the scary world outside? Who felt the same way you did about most things?

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. . . most things.

What happens now????

If you’re me, your brain explodes all over your agent’s inbox. What will happen to my book? Are they still going to publish it? Do I still get paid? Do I have to start from square one with revisions? Do I have to sign a different contract? What about my second book? Do they still want it? Who’s editing it? Can you call me? Can you bake me cookies and bring them over? Should I be baking cookies and bringing them down to the publisher? WHY ARE THESE CATS CONSTANTLY JUDGING ME?

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“You didn’t REALLY think you could be successful, did you?”

Luckily, internet friends, I have lived to tell the tale, and here’s what I have learned.

1. This happens a lot. It takes a long time to get a book from contract to launch. During that time, people can move from company to company, get promoted, burn out, change fields, or get abducted by aliens. It’s not your fault. It is VERY RARE that an editor leaves publishing altogether simply because your book was so terrible it caused him to despise humanity and head for the Yukon to live as a big-horn sheep.

2. If your editor loves you (she does), she will try her hardest to leave your book with someone who will champion it as much as she did.

3. If your agent loves you (she does), upon receipt of your brain explosions in her inbox, she will call you and calmly talk you through What Happens Next, which is probably pretty similar to What Was Going to Happen Before.

4. Do not listen to your cats. (This is also just a good rule of thumb.)

Also, if you’re going to panic, consider watching A TOWN CALLED PANIC instead of actually panicking.

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15 Comments

Filed under Agents, Anxiety, Editor, Panic

15 responses to “My Editor is Doing What?

  1. Oh, gosh, Adi, I’m so sorry! Your editor abducted by aliens–poor you!

    Seriously, I’m glad you’ve lived to tell the tale. So I assume that you’re working with a new editor now, and that your debut is still on track for next year?

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    • Yes, I was lucky to be handed over to a really awesome editor who has been excited about this book from the beginning, so everything is good. Still on track for our Feb. 25 release date! (Still deciding on a title!)

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  2. I never thought this was going to happen to me, and then it did. It was awful. We’d worked together from 2005 to 2012.
    It didn’t stay awful — it got better — it’s still getting better.
    Hang in there, work really hard, keep learning — that’s pretty much all I know. Best of luck with the launch and with the title decision!

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  3. Well…I shouldn’t laugh at the misfortunes of others–and I don’t; I just laugh at the depiction. I’m sorry for the up-and-down here, but I have no doubt that your new love connection will be just as strong. Thank you for the entertainment, though! I wish I knew why your cats were looking at you like that…

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  4. I’m not laughing at you. Really. I’m just laughing at your cats. And the idea of your editor running off to live as a Bighorn sheep.

    Thank goodness you have managed to reach a place where you can share this story with such good humor! I imagine living through the initial brain implosion must not have been fun. Good luck with your new editor!

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  5. I’m really not laughing. Promise. *suppresses giggles*

    This is hysterical and just shows why you will be a Highly Successful Author who can one day tell this tale to an adoring audience of fans and readers. Good for you, Adi. Hang in there.

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  6. Wow. So glad to know you landed with another editor. That’s scary though. And I take it you aren’t pro-Aang/Katara, but are pro-Katara/Zuko? Inquiring minds . . .

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  7. Thanks for the laugh and the smiles this morning. 🙂 Glad it all worked out.

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  8. Stop whining. Get back to writing. For the love of all that is holy.
    Your Mom.

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  9. Wow. I’m sad for your unfortunate situation but very glad you shared your experiences and in such an amusing way. I’m excited for you debut!

    P.S. Zuko is definitely on my all-time favorite fictional character list.

    Like

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