A mostly new author, my fist book was published in 2005, I'm amazed at so many things about the publishing business. One of the biggest things is the hardly seen editor.
After a book is accepted by a publisher, the editor assigned can make or break an author. Seriously! It sounds melodramatic and pompous. It's so true! I'm currently thinking of renaming my EC editor, Supreme Empress Goddess of ________ I donno what, but I'm working on some magnificent word to slip in there.
Why is this a huge deal you ask? Lovely, that's what I wanna explain!
The public sees a stinker of a book and rightfully paints the author as a poor writer. Not wrong at all. Overlooked is the fact that the book should never have made it past a responsible editor. Editors have the hard job of telling authors the manuscript submitted is OR is NOT publishable. I know it's not easy to tell a hopeful author the work is not good enough, BUT IT'S PART OF THE JOB OF BEING AN EDITOR.
Editors who refuse to "edit", for whatever reason, are the cruelest creatures of all. They throw unsuspecting, usually new, authors into "the lions den". That's right, when a book is published its fair game for the public to judge. So if the book is poorly written it will come under fire for all its faults.
What is more cruel than a public forum being the first time a writer's faults are discussed? In that harsh light every little blemish is exposed and ridiculed. The public has a perfect right to do this, the book was offered to them.
This is why I'm unbelievably grateful to the woman who gets a manuscript from me and picks it apart like an Avenging Angel stamping out sin. Her zeal and dedication are my greatest defense, my armor when I hopefully offer a new book to the public. That fierce editor, Mary Moran, has saved me from certain death over and over again.
So, the cautionary tale is: Young Writer, hope for the scariest, most demanding editor possible. You want an editor still steaming from stepping out of Hell’s Gate to welcome you to the publishing world. If your editor is the toughest sell, you'll probably survive publish day.