Slow the H*** Down!
Far too often, I get editorial inquiries. “I’ve written a book that’s all these thousands of words long, and I’m not actually done yet, but I need it edited by tomorrow because I’ve already set my pre-order for the weekend!”
This might be slightly exaggerated, but perhaps not by much.
The world of self-publishing is wonderful and it’s opened a great many doors that were not open before. I’ve availed myself of it, and it’s great. Yet it’s brought with it many plagues as well, and one of them that I hit against the most often is that of Author Impatience. Humans are by nature impatient, and when we work on a project and we have a goal, we want to see it through. We want to see the fruits of our labor!
But writing is not a fast thing. If it is, you’re missing a step or two.
Why are you setting a pre-order date before the book is even done and before you know how long it will take an editor to edit it? Do you know the stress is causes an editor when you ask them to bend over backwards because you’ve already set deadlines and they’re about to happen now? I don’t know about the other editors out there, but I have a hard time saying no.
I hate to say no because I worry if I do, authors might decide to go without editing, and that’s not good if you can avoid it. And secondly, I do have bills to pay and a kid to feed. I like to eat on occasion myself, so I need the work, and I’ll try to meet an author’s deadline. But I can’t tell you how aggravating it can be to know that a book is having to be turned around that fast.
When I get a book that has to be edited that fast and was only just finished, I know that it hasn’t had any type of development edit or even beta readers. Seems like there’s not even time for the author to read it over again themselves, and it’s very rare for a book to come straight from the author’s hands to perfection. Most need a few readers to make sure everything works right before it is ready to be edited and published.
But too many authors are too impatient to get their books published, and it leaves out some crucial steps in the process to making a good story.
So, come on, guys. Slow down. It’s really not a race. Try finishing the book and getting some read-overs first, and find out how long an edit may take before your start setting pre-orders, release dates, and tours. Aim for the best story, not the fastest.