For some odd reason, every time I try to come up with a title for blog posts, a related song pops into my head. Today’s edition?
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match . . .
Why this song? you might ask. Because I consider one of my most important responsibilities as a literary agent to be a matchmaker between a writer (or more specifically, their manuscript) and an editor.
After facing so much rejection and uncertainty when searching for an agent, writers can easily fall into the trap of I don’t care who edits and publishes my book. I just want it published. It might seem easier that way—just get ‘er done—but if you’re in the writing business for the long haul, finding a good partnership is more vital than just getting your book on store shelves.
I’m not talking about finding an editor who will be your best friend, or one who loves everything you do and doesn’t want to touch a single word. The editor you want is someone who appreciates your writing but will push you to be even better than you are now. The perfect editor will either share your vision for the book, or will help you take your book in a direction that improves or enhances the work you’ve already brought to the table.
I say partnership because that is really the ideal relationship between author and editor: working together as equal partners to produce excellent books. A dynamic in which each party contributes and then improves upon the ideas of the other. Neither party should (ideally) dominate or dictate, because you’re working together.
While it’s great to find someone—anyone—who likes your manuscript enough to publish it, think of how much better your books will be when you’ve find someone who gets your writing and will help you take it to the next level. So for me as a literary agent, I seek the best editor for my clients and not necessarily the best advance. While one is great for the short term, I’m in this for the long run. Are you?
If any writers out there has a great partnership with their editor or experienced such with a previous editor/publisher, please share.