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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dear Novice Author

Dear Novice Author,
When you pay an editing service to edit your manuscript, it is probably best to allow them to do their job. Why would you pay a professional editor, and then not heed the edits to your work, because, you like it better like this, or so-and-so said, I should write it like this, and totally ignore your editor?
If you are not a pioneer in the urban industry, exercising your creative control is probably not in your best interest. (Actually, I've never seen the urban pioneers making up new rules. I do see them doing their best to be as professional as the other genres.) It actually defeats the purpose of you hiring a professional service. If you want to make up your own rules or not abide by literary industry standards or Style Guide rules for fictional writing, here is what you should do. Go huddle with cousin Pookie and 'em, or the 99-cent-I'm-an-editor-but-my-own-work-is-unedited-editor, and share your great new method of how words, sentence structure and stories should be relayed, and have them complete your edits for you, much quicker, and for a much smaller fee.
Ask a trendsetter in the industry, someone who has been successful in book sales and is a career author, do they ignore their editors advice. Go ahead, ask them. I have worked with authors in the urban industry such as K'wan, Al-Saadiq Banks, Vickie Stringer and many others who have award winning, best selling books and they listened to my suggestions, once the rule or the reasoning behind it was explained, and applied it to their work. Why wouldn't you do the same? Are you more knowing than established professionals in the industry? If so, share your secret with all of us so we can all raise the bar.
It always baffles me how some novice authors know better than the editors they pay, but when the book is criticized for the blatant errors, poor structure, and many other issues - the author, the editor, and ALL of the urban industry is judged. It is a guarantee, for sure, the author is not going to shout that creative control theory when them book clubs and critics get to slammin' their arses for poor editing. They will however, whisper to anyone who listen, "Well I paid so-and-so to edit it." They will forget all about the unacknowledged/refused changes the editor suggested they make.
Another important thing the author must do is have your work proofread! Just because your manuscript has went through the editing process, you MUST have it proofread after typeset and before going to print. 
The bottom line is, if you want to be respected as a professional in the literary industry, you must adhere to professional standards. I am disgusted by the lack of professionalism in the process of self publishing in the urban genre, as well as the lack of accountability. I see everyone being blamed for the lack of respect of urban fiction, other than the unprofessional author who is continuously behaving and putting forth unprofessional work. I suggest if you want the respect, YOU behave professionally in regard to critique, go through the proper process in order to self publish, and accept accountability and learn from mistakes as opposed to defending them. 



1 comment:

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