The Editor as Hunter

I was given a gift a few years ago: editing the memoirs of a retired actress, Lola, who has lived all her life in the oldest house in Melbourne's CBD, with a view to publishing it. As she is 93, she wasn't up to seeking a publisher herself, so the task fell to me. Given her age, we couldn't wait to submit it to the usual publishing houses. I needed to find a self-publisher - and fast.

The hunt was on

The hunt was on!What did I know about publishing? Whom should I choose? What, besides costs, distinguishes one from another? And so the hunt began. I connected with historians on social media, I asked other editors, I joined Writers Victoria to eavesdrop on other authors' publishing journeys, I trawled the shelves of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria to see if any particular publishing houses were favoured.

I began to compile copious note what each one offered: perfect-bound, black-and-white images included, colour images at extra cost, hard or soft cover, optional ebook, marketing advice and so on.

I've got a little list...

To sort out the various publishers, I drew up a list of criteria:

  • If the publisher didn't respond - off the list.
  • If the publisher responded but was too expensive - off the list.
  • If the publisher rang me the day after my email to discuss - they stayed on.
  • If they persisted in ringing and emailing - they were off.
  • If they still persisted in ringing after I'd told them they were off the list no comment!

Found the one 

Gut instinct?Eventually I was left with about two or three. How to choose between them?

When presented with almost identical choices, I trust my gut instinct. One publisher took the trouble to meet me, looked over the images I had on my laptop and gave me advice about marketing aspects.

I appreciated the care he took to get a sale, and the enthusiasm they showed for the project. So I can announce that 'City Kid' is to be published by PalmerHiggs. They've been around since 1994 so they have some experience in the book trade.

I chose them because the way they're working with me aligns with my own values: bring decades of experience to the table, be thorough in your preparation with your client and go the extra mile.

If you would like to work with an editor who is experienced, thorough and goes the extra mile, contact me at info@creativetext.com.au. I'd love to work with you to make your writing ZING!  

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