Thursday, July 16, 2009

What do you want? Make it known.

This one is really going out to all of the published (or soon to be) authors, however, I do think a lot of this extends to all of the writers out there.

I hear a lot of time, either sitting at conferences, or reading on line, about authors that are frustrated when things simply did not go as they had planned, or that they simply wondered why they didn't get something. In many cases, this is not a matter of an editor or agent playing favorites, or someone not doign their job; it is, in many cases a simple case of lack of communication between two people.

As a writer, it is important that you keep that line of communication open between you and your editor and you and your agent. Have a concern? Express it. Have an idea? Express it.

I talked to one writer at a conference and she was complaining about her latest book cover. She hated it. There was simply nothing right about it down to the characters that had wrong hair color and in outfits that didn't even match the period she was setting the story. Did she tell anyone? No. Not her agent, not her editor. But she was given the chance to do so. In the end, this was a big mistake.

How about if your editor frequently comes out with an anthology and you are wondering why you aren't in the anthology? Did you tell anyone? Does your agent know that you have an interest in this so that he or she can push for it with the editor?

You have to understand editors and agents are not mind readers. We have to assume things are fine if you say nothing, or even worse, if we ask you something and you tell us it is all fine, just because you either don't want to hurt someone's feelings or that you feel it might make someone angry. THe worse they can say is no, but if you do it politely and professionally, there should be no problems.


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