1.28.2006

Writing editors

What about editors writing books? In their own lists or outside of it, say, a fiction editor writing a nonfiction book (for their own house? another house?) or vice-versa?If you got a query that said "I am an editor at XYZ House" and (it's not an editor you submit to, of course) what would you do?I think it happens pretty frequently (from what I read in PW) but I'd like the Snarkalicious take on it.


I look at the writing of course. Being a good editor does not correlate to being a good writer. Lots of writers get jobs in publishing to learn about the industry so it's no surprise that I get queries from these folks all the time.

Where it gets a little strange is if you take the book on, and you want to pitch it to the same house where the editor works. That's always touch and go. It also almost never works.

I don't object to editors writing books cause they can't acquire their own stuff, and mostly their own companies won't acquire them either. Agents are a different matter. And book reviewers.
That's where I shriek and wave my arms in the air.

9 comments:

magz said...

sounds like a good place for a 'nom de plume' hehe

Anonymous said...

There's Russell Andrews, who is really Peter Gethers, an editor at Random House. Having read one of his suspense novels, I can't help but think he wouldn't have ever been published without his day job.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark,

Interesting topic! I'm wondering why agents who are also writers raises a flag for you. Evan Marshall comes to mind--he writes and also reps mysteries, but I understand that he has an agent who handles his work. Is the concern that the agent would be competition with his own clients? Also, what's the concern with reviewers who are also writers? Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Never mind. I see you answered these questions already in a prior post. Thanks!

Crisi said...

What about in small presses? It seems like I've heard a few stories about author's self publishing and going on to start a small press and accepting other writer's books. Is that a red flag too? I hope not, becuase that is something I would like to do.

Cheryll said...

I was for many years a typist/editor, mostly for academia. Then I opened my own office (because self-employment allows for tax breaks!) Just as the computer age was arriving in our rural area...I became a small publisher, with two imprints, even.

Sounds grander than it was, LOL. Copy shops had arrived, but most folks didn't even have typewriters, (toldya I was old!) so they paid me to transcribe and edit their materials. I produced camera ready copy that they could have Kinko's print up for them.

So it is possible for you to go that route. But I can tell you that most writers (myself included) really DON'T like the marketing and distribution end of the bidness.

It's really way more fun to write...and let someone else do the selling and contract negotiation...to a publisher who has staff to do market research, cost analysis, book and jacket design, not to mention flog tardy illustrators, wrassle distribution, keep the accounting, and store the extra copies.......... ach und himmel!

Brady Westwater said...

Your editor forgot to double check how to spell.... 'correlate'... so no gin for Killer tonight....

Miss Snark said...

ya, and I missed acquire too.
Spell czech only works if you push the button.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little puzzled by assault on book reviewers who are also authors, since this is common practice. Indeed, some novelists argue it is almost a duty to be out there reviewing.

I wouldn't, the nature a of karma being what it is. But, boy, is it common practice.