There is nothing worse for a writer than an Author Review that never ends. The fingers crumble. The mind withers. The eye explodes.
Author Review — in case you are fortunately unfamiliar with the term — is the process of your editorial team responding back to you as an author after the first chapters submission of your book.
In — Curse of the Blue Pencil — we investigated the monotony of dealing with editorial weakness and censorship and today we are taking that process-of-recreation to the next level by lamenting an Author Review process that can linger for weeks and months without any resolution in sight.
Author Review should be fast and furious and the tie must always go to the author.
Too often Author Review becomes a battle of the wills where writer is pitted against an editorialist with their own perception of perfection. Editors support editing. Publishers must support writers.
When an Author Review process lingers — through no fault of the author — bad feelings and contempt are the winning wagers that unnecessary delay and doom a book before publication.
There is a tender mastery and an art to timing an Author Review that is required to be seamless and respectful of the author’s time and temperament. The book belongs to the author, not the editor or publisher.
To extend an excruciating Author Review, due to lost attention or an overwhelming editorial load, burdens the book in ugly and cruel ways with no true remedy to be found to heal the malformed loss of time against tide.
Author Review can, and must be, filled with quickness, accuracy in purpose and a wholly undivided attention. Anything less risks the permanence of scars and deep, internal, woundings that never fully recover.
Sounds like a painful process. Why would there be a delay?
The Author Review process can be fast and breezy, Anne, and that’s the goal: Editors ask questions and the author responds, fixes, or takes a pass on the recommendations and the process continues onward and upward. Unfortunately, sometimes kinks appear in the process and when that happens, the entire house of cards begins to crumble.