Monster or Mentor?
I’ve asked editor Stacy D. Holmes to visit today and share some little known knowledge with us today. I love what she has to say! Welcome, Stacy.
One word that can cause chills to run down the spine of a writer. The thought of the “all powerful editor” holding your precious manuscript in their hands to shred to pieces or, hopefully, see a spark of life, has led to many sleepless nights for those awaiting their fate in the publishing industry.
Does this sound like you?
Well, I’ll let you in on a secret that might give you just a little more sleep tonight. We are not “all powerful” (I still can’t fly or make the dirty dishes disappear with a snap of my fingers), and it is definitely not our goal to shred your dreams. We are not faceless monsters, or even remotely inhuman for that matter—in fact, we are all too human, only proven if you could see how we struggle with having to tell an author that their manuscript is not ready for publication, that they aren’t quite as far along in their dream as they hoped.
Instead of picturing the top floor of a brutishly tall office building, clean, crisp skirts and suits behind goliath desks, outboxes piled high with manuscripts riddled with big red slashes, picture your favourite teacher from school, or the coach who made a difference in the way you played and enjoyed your favourite sport.
At least, that is the way I hope my authors look at me. Not as some be all and end all of their manuscript, but as a coach who stands beside them, works with them, shows them where they can improve and encourages them to make their story the very best it can be. And, like with any sport, practice furthers your development and effort brings accomplishment.
Whether you are submitting to a publisher or using an independent editor, think of them as a mentor, someone waiting for you to submit, ready to assist you, excited to help you achieve your dreams.
Changing the way you think about editors can help get you a bit more sleep at night, because there is honestly no monster on the other end of the SEND button. Let’s be honest, if not for writers, there would be no need for editors. YOU are that important to us.
Now, that’s not to say you should be disrespectful or too casual in your correspondence to editors. As with a teacher or coach, there comes a certain respectability with the position, but most editors should also earn your respect by their actions and guidance whether through an encouraging rejection letter or during the editing process.
From this Mentor: Remember, there are often bumps in the road to your dreams. Don’t let fear of the unknown be one of them. Embrace the unknown and conquer the fear by asking questions and finding the answers, because answers can light up a whole new path you never even knew was there.
Biography: Stacy D. Holmes
15 years in the publishing industry have taught me many things—the most important being that dreams may not come easy, but they do come true.
My many hats include freelance editor, senior editor for The Wild Rose Press Inc. since 2007, published author in both long and short romantic fiction, administrative assistant and newsletter coordinator—together with wife and mother.
Feel free to visit my website at www.stacydholmes.com, and join me on my blog at www.stacydholmes.blogspot.com Tuesdays for tips, tales and thoughts on the publishing industry and Thursdays for Q&A—no question is too little, too silly or should be too embarrassing to ask—knowledge is the key that opens many doors. So, go ahead and ask me: QandA@stacydholmes.com.
I SO agree with you, Stacy. I’ve said so myself and am glad other editors will come out and enforce this. It’s so important that writers know where they stand and who we (editors) really are.
If you’ve read any of TWRP’s Honky Tonk Heart series- Those Violet Eyes, Sing to Me Cowboy, and so many more- why not let Stacy know what a great job she’s done bringing those wonderful stories to us? Yes, she’s that editor!
Stacy has invited you to visit her blog and ask questions and I truly hope you will do that, but for today you can ask her anything right here! Come up to the mic and ask your questions. What’s on your mind?
Thank you for coming to the Ranch today in the spur of a moment, Stacy.
I’m turning the Round Pen over to two very special ladies today. I’m gonna grab my mocha and squat over here with the visitors and absorb what AJ Nuest and Arial Burnz have to share.
Greetings and Salutations!
Many thanks to Calisa for hosting us on her blog today! We’ve got some really exciting news to share with everyone so grab that cuppa and let the blogging begin!
Grand Opening of Mystical Press Services!!!
This means 50% Off all our classes
and services through September 15th!
In case you haven’t yet heard about our website, allow me to introduce you to a place where you just might find the fulfillment of your dreams. That’s right! The talented folks at Mystical Press want to help you reach your publishing goals!
How do we do that? I’m glad you asked!
Mystical Press is the culmination of an idea that came from two authors and professionally trained editors—Arial Burnz and AJ Nuest—where we help authors bridge the gap between the form rejection letter and publication. In fact, we believe in this venture so passionately, our tagline is “Helping authors achieve their dreams.”
At Mystical Press our primary goal is to helpwriters. As authors, we understand the frustration of not receiving constructive and useful feedback, the aggravation of navigating the murky depths of the publishing industry and that, sometimes, authors just need a place to vent. Well, we’re here to tell you, the insanity can end!
Like-minded individuals can gather online at Mystical Press to work one-on-one with professional editors who help authors prepare their manuscripts for submission. Whether you are looking for a Manuscript Evaluation, Submission Evaluation, or a full story edit, we will give you honest, encouraging feedback and work diligently with you on your story to make sure it’s ready to land on an editor’s desk. No project is too big or too small and all receive the same precise attention to detail.
Perhaps your submission is ready but you need assistance with smaller editing projects like a query letter and synopsis? Have no fear! Mystical Press is here! We offer a full edit of query letters and synopses with comments and suggestions that come directly from AN EDITOR! TAH-DAH!
And don’t worry! If your goal is to write your very own dynamite synopsis, at Mystical Press we believe in “teaching a man to fish”. Our Power Class, How to Write a WINNING Synopsis, is designed to easily guide you through the process of crafting your very own synopsis! Yes, that’s right. I used “easily” and “synopsis” in the same sentence!
The self-paced course curriculum at Mystical Press can assist in tackling those pesky problem areas as well (e.g., show vs. tell, POV shifts, realistic character and story development, etc.). If you’ve read books, articles and/or taken workshops and are still in search of that elusive contract offer, perhaps Mystical Press can help. Take one class or take a whole series—our online classes are designed to meet each writer’s individual needs.
Is your next project of the self-publishing variety? Mystical Press has a selection of pre-made covers we guarantee will only be used once! No one will have the same cover! Or, if you’d like, we can design a cover specifically tailored to your vision—you will work one-on-one with our talented cover artists! We are also happy to edit your baby and can even format the document to meet the specifications of most popular self-publishing platforms.
Remember to mention Mystical Press to all your friends and fellow writing pals – here’s why. Mystical Press offers a free Referral Program. Just register on the site and we will assign you a Referral ID. If anyone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you earn a referral fee! Whether you choose cash or a credit for products or services on the site, consider this our thank you for helping us spread the word.
Oh! And before I forget…we offer a wide range of gift certificates designed specifically with the writer in mind. Tired of searching for the “write” present for your author pals? Maybe that next birthday calls for an eGift from Mystical Press!
So now that you know all about us, please tell us all about you! Head on over to Mystical Press and register free on the site. Everyone who does will be entered into our drawing for fabulous gifts and prizes! Join our celebration and together we will strive to get your voice heard!
Wow! That’s a great service opportunity! Let AJ and Arial know what you think of their new company.