I'll admit it. I'm spoiled. For the last few years I've had some really good editors, one in particular. But every once in a while I'll have to deal with or hear a story from a fellow author about some really ridiculous requests/orders/edits they've had to deal with from their editor.
And I'll also admit that one of the reasons I self-published my previously released books was I was exhausted at the idea of having to go through yet another editing from another editor on a book that was already fine the way it was.
Case in point. I just heard from a friend of mine who has been in the business about as long as I have. She has gone through a few publishers like I have...and has had the same dealings with a previously published book going to another editor.
The book in question was one I absolutely loved the first time I read it and it was edited quite well. None of the horrors you see with some small publishing houses, I enjoyed every page of it. Yet, when she sent it last month to another publisher, deciding not to self-publish like I had, while it was accepted, they told my friend that it would need a total revamp. Not content--they LOVED the idea of the book--but they did want her to change things around so completely, it would be like a different book. When she asked why, the editor had the gall to tell her it wasn't anything untoward. Every publisher would do it.
God, I hate that excuse. I totally understand if a book doesn't fit a publisher's needs, but don't give this type of excuse. It's like telling someone to do something because everyone else is doing it. Really? Like that makes it right? What are you, three? Are you going to jump off a cliff next?
I've had some doozy editors in the past. One that refused to use contractions (I
will not won't even go down that weird road), one who admitted they'd signed me on because I had a large and loyal following, yet they actually disliked my writing style (wow...just wow), and one that wanted me to do "writing exercises" each day before I started to edit. (Not a bad idea, except these exercises consisted of using a special kind of "toy" rather than a keyboard. Ewwww....)
Yeah...it takes all kinds, I know.
So, take it from me. Just because an editor says it is the right thing to do, doesn't make it so. That's why you have to be so careful when signing with a house. I've learned that if your styles don't sync you'll wind up unhappy. Fighting an editor on every single thing isn't only a PITA, it steals something out of your soul.
And as Bob Marley says...
Don't gain the world and lose your soul.
Wisdom is better than silver and gold.
Until next time...