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On NOT Hiring an Editor (Interview)

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Philip Overby, Sep 26, 2013.

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  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I understand what Scribble is saying. Even if it's not life or death, writing is so ingrained in some writers' lives that failing at it is akin to breaking their spirit. For some, they love their job. If they lose their job, it can be a pretty soul-crushing experience. So while it may not physically kill you, failure at writing can definitely make you feel next to worthless.

    That's one reason why putting the best possible product out into the world is paramount. Whether you believe hiring a professional editor will get you there or just using your own resources, it has to be the best you can make it.
    Scribble likes this.
  2. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    So then a question: could it be possible for the author highlighted in the OP article to 'make it' in a genre outside of erotica? Let's say he decided to write fantasy. Even if he surrendered to an editor, would his bad reputation follow him and prevent his success?
  3. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    Part 1 of that question is, how many people would recognize his name and associate it with writing erotica?

    Part 2 is, what is Twilight except vampire erotica?

    I think if he wanted to turn to "modern romantic fantasy" and went to a Big Name Publisher and told them he was an erotica writer, they'd sign him in an instant in the hopes of him writing the next Twilight.
  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Most erotica writers don't use their real names. Is this true? I don't know, but it seems right? :)

    So technically I could be writing erotica right now and no one would know unless I told them my pen name. From the OP it was interesting that the writer wouldn't let the interview use his or her name. I think that was because it was pretty obvious the interviewer wanted to bury the writer about two questions in.

    I do think writers can jump genres, but it's usually not a good idea to use the same name. That's one reason JK Rowling used a pen name for her crime fiction (although she was figured out anyway). You don't want people saying "She should go back to writing Harry Potter books" or "He should only write fantasy." Each genre you work in can be an individual brand so it's good to have a different name for each brand you're trying to sell.
  5. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    If his writing is as bad as the interviewer indicated, I doubt even the best editor could help him...

    It's not just about reputation; it's about lost opportunities. It's incredibly difficult to get somebody to notice your book. When they do, if you don't take advantage of that opportunity, you lost a customer for life, for every one of your future books. You lost the potential of that person recommending them to their friends and their friends becoming your customers and telling their friends and...

    Find readers is hard. Your best bet to become successful is to write well enough that at least some of the readers you do find recommend you to others.
  6. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    But if he's such a terrible writer as all the reviews on him posted...and per the interviewer...would his chances of succeeding be limited even with a name change? You can change your name overnight but the same doesn't apply to your skill level. Unless he really doesn't care about his writing when it comes to telling sexy stories.

    Edit: Nevermind. BW answered my question. :)
  7. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    Your career could though, I think that's what most are saying about this.
  8. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    David Eddings' first book was called High Hunt. It was not given rave reviews.

    He went on to write some of the bestselling fantasy books.

    Yeah, a poor first book sure hurt his chances.

    Edited to add: This article has more info...

    David Eddings, Steven King, Isaac Asimov... yeah, I'd say any author whose first book flops is in good company.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  9. Sanctified

    Sanctified Minstrel

    Your friend is combative, rude and starts arguments for the sake of argument. You seem to realize that, because you acknowledge it up front.

    If you think Newsday is a "liberal rag," then I don't even know what to say to you. Not only does that newspaper have 24 Pulitzers, but it's to the right of every major daily newspaper in New York except the New York Post and the WSJ. Perhaps you're thinking of Newsweek, which is a different publication.

    Newsday is a daily based in Long Island, read by mostly working-class and upper middle class people. I cannot say enough good things about the editors there, and in fact I cannot tell you anything about their political beliefs, because in years of working there I never heard anyone express an ideological opinion.

    The difference between professional media, like the AP, Newsday and WSJ, and the Daily Caller, is that professional media value objectivity, require their reporters to sign ethics agreements, require their reporters to attend ethics training regularly, invest resources in internal training, have protocols and mechanisms for corrections, admit their mistakes, and report to the highest standards.

    Likewise, in a professional newsroom, ideology is NOT acceptable or tolerated. It's treated for what it is -- only one side of the story, an intrinsic bias that colors everything once you allow it to infect your newsroom.

    The Daily Caller was founded by Tucker Carlson, a hyper partisan who pushes ideology, and employs mostly amateurs. IIRC, I remember once reading an ad by the DC calling for resumes, and specifically saying they'd rather not hear from professional journalists because they want people they can mold.

    Now you say you have 20 years in the "community newspaper business," which is another way of saying you worked for weeklies and other small-circulation newspapers. Which is fine. There is serious value in that, and local communities are seriously underserved when it comes to news. But it also explains why you don't understand what libel means, why you think that Newsday and WSJ are "liberal rags," and why you think a blatantly partisan publication like the Daily Caller qualifies in any way as legitimate journalism.

    This is an old thread, but I did not see your reply before, which is why I responded. I will now place you on ignore along with David. FWIW I'm not even a liberal, and I will be voting for Trump. But I am mature enough to realize that ideology is the enemy of freedom and critical thought, and as I deal with the neverending daily grind of politics constantly in my job, I don't have the stomach for it when I'm trying to enjoy my leisure time. Good luck writing for Tucker Carlson.
  10. Malik

    Malik Auror

    Ignoring the politics above, I'm going to chime in here because I've been over on KBoards and holy shit.

    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the American public. That said, Amazon is killing the craft.

    The number of "authors" who think that putting 90,000 words in a row qualifies as a "novel" is astonishing. Post after post after post in the Writers' Cafe about:

    "Just get that magic 1,000 words a day. Four books a year and you'll be making a living wage as an author!"

    Just write! You don't need plot, worldbuilding, character development, backstory, romantic tension, allegory, story arc, or even editing. Grammar, misspellings, repetitive writing? No problem! Just put enough words in a row, buy a cheap cover, and start the next one!

    The concept is what people are calling "write to market" -- learn the tropes (by which they mean cliches, not tropes), and bang out a book every 90 days.


    I seriously hope that the entire indie market implodes under its own hubris. No joke; I hope it goes down like the freaking housing market and takes these idiots with it. IDAGAF if it happens before I get my own book on the market; I'll go back to the trad route.

    Amazon could singlehandedly save the craft if they'd just put in, you know, standards. This wouldn't be hard: keep the indie market -- Amazon is perpetuating this, of course, because they make money on it -- but introduce a top-tier line where you'd have to go through at least a partial beta read to ensure your manuscript met some kind of standard.

    Before you go screaming about this: I can tell in the first page, I'm going to guess 95% of the time, if the author has had an education in writing, or has had their work professionally edited. I can't be alone on this. The occasional gifted amateur would slip through, and more power to 'em.

    Submit the first page plus, say, five random pages in the middle. If you think this would create a massive backlog, consider that it would take an educated reader about thirty seconds to determine whether or not a writer is part of the problem. Amazon hires a stable of people with English degrees to comb through manuscripts and push the professional-caliber ones up to this higher tier line. Sell these books at a premium price; consider it one step down from being signed to a publishing house.

    Discerning readers would have a place to go to find quality fiction, and the gibbering masses could still type vampire romances in first-person present tense with their elbows and people who can't use apostrophes would still support them. Everybody wins.
  11. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Malik, I'm locking this thread because it was revived from years ago to discuss politics. But I'd invite you to open a new thread if you want to discuss indie writers and Amazon.
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