Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Skip to My Lou, My Editor

Lost my editor, what do I do?
Lost my editor, what do I do?
Lost my editor, what do I do?
Skip to my lou my darling!

I'll get another one, prettier too.

I'll get another one, prettier too.
I'll get another one, prettier too.
Skip to my lou my darling!

(Wait...shouldn't that song be "Skip to the loo, my darling?" As in, skip to the bathroom? I mean, who is "Lou" anyway?)


I’m teasing. But editors have lives just like everybody else—and sometimes they jump to a new publishing house, become the unfortunate victims of downsizing or mergers, decide to stay at home and parent kids, take up copper mining, or whatever. So occasionally authors who have worked with a particular editor for months or years get the news that he/she is no longer the contact on the book anymore. This can be very disheartening, and even a little scary. Sometimes editors take a book along with them to their new house so it suddenly has a new publisher, which has happened to some authors I know. And sadly, other times the book may be orphaned and possibly even be pulled from production. Most of the time, a new editor picks up the baton.

I’ve had three editors for Bedtime at the Swamp, and just learned my third editor is now leaving to work for a different house. This particular editor I actually got to meet in person, which is a rare thing indeed. She had traveled down to my area for a writer’s conference and I re-arranged a family vacation just to attend and meet her. Only a few months prior I had lost the second editor for mysterious reasons. That was hard, because we had worked together for several years, and really hit it off. She was very excited about the book and was responsive, complimentary, and eager to help in any way she could. It was almost like chatting with an old friend. Suddenly she was gone, and I wasn’t even able to say goodbye.

Now editor number three, the one I met in person, has also moved on. Fortunately I got a reassuring email from the original editor who acquired my manuscript (editor number one), and so I’ve come full circle. Are you confused yet?

My Putnam editor for COOL DADDY RAT and THE MIDDLE CHILD BLUES had been with me all along, and that does make things less bumpy. She’s been a delight to work with.

Still crossing my fingers on a manuscript which is being seriously considered by a publisher I haven’t worked with yet. It’s a long, agonizing wait…(sigh) just part of the process.

3 comments:

macky said...

funny that im reading this tonight. it's not the same thing, but my art director for 1 book just emailed me yesterday that she was jumping to another publisher.

but this happens a lot. my thinking is that it's wise to build relationships with eds & art directors & not the publishing company.

they're the ones who remember you when they move on to the next gig.

Kristyn Crow said...

Good point, Macky. Sometimes when editors move around you end up with contact at new publishing houses that you didn't have before. As hard as it is to lose an editor, that can sometimes be a bonus.

Beulah said...

Interesting to know.