Short, but sweet today, guys, as it’s one of those “over-stuffed plate” kind of weeks.  I wanted to take this opportunity to add my thoughts to Anna’s post about her latest round of revisions.  I have to tell you that every time a B&M author receives a marked-up manuscript from their editor, I hold my breath until I hear from them.  Anna met with her editor on Friday and it was all I could do not to call her over the weekend asking “So, what did she say?!?”  I’ll admit, I’m exaggerating slightly. I wasn’t really worried.  Anna has an amazing editor and part of an agent’s job is to match their clients with editors who will challenge them to become better writers.  Francoise is one of those editors, so I know that Anna is in good hands.  I also sleep well knowing that they have developed a good working relationship, one where Anna isn’t afraid to voice her opinion and one where Francoise wants to make All Unquiet Things the best book it can be.  Still, receiving criticism on something one has worked on for any length of time can be difficult and there is always the possibility that ideas will clash, so I can’t help but get nervous.  In a way it’s funny because the fact that an editor bought a book should be validation enough that everyone is on board, but that isn’t always the case for me. Maybe it’s because we work on manuscripts in house so in a minor way, editorial comments trickle down to us, or maybe it’s because Browne & Miller has never been the type of agency to submit something without thinking about the long term goals associated with any project (great sales, more books from the author, a great and committed publishing home) so every step is therefore analyzed, either way I was anxious to hear Anna’s thoughts on this latest round of comments. 

 

We encourage our authors to interact with their editors as much as possible during the editorial process. We want them to feel comfortable communicating with their editors and don’t want them to think of their editors as faceless, mysterious people in high rises in New York.  The fact that Ann and Francoise get to meet face to face to talk about edits is wonderful for this very reason.  Of course, if it gets to a point where an author doesn’t think their being heard or understood, we’re more than happy to step in and act as intermediary.  We’re all about asking the hard questions and sticking out our hands for money!

 

There’s always an initial shock when seeing a marked-up manuscript for the first time and I know Anna needed some time for it all to sink it, but I was super excited when I read that she found Francoise’s comments helpful and felt they made AUT that much better.  More so, I was excited to read that this latest round of edits got Anna thinking of the mechanics of her writing.  There’s nothing that agents like more than authors committed to being the best writers they can be.  This is the type of experience I wish for for all our authors!

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