Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Talk to Me!

We are all busy. We all get stressed. And we all get caught up in our own corner of the world, isolating ourselves and our problems. But that isn't good for any of us or our careers.

Writers need interaction with more than a coffee cup or keyboard. We need to talk about our ideas, our challenges, our achievements, and our frustrations.

Lately, I've been pretty well holed up just trying to get daily things done. Have you noticed that I haven't been talking here? Despite that I don't feel like I've made much progress catching up, and I don't want to lose touch with authors out there.

One of the main components of my job is to be the author's advocate in the publishing house. To recognize the author's passion and writing voice and to help interpret that to the rest of the team in editorial, design, marketing, sales, and beyond. But if we don't talk, I can't help you.

The best advice I can give an author today is to open up and communicate with your editor or other publishing advocate. Don't wait until they contact you. Don't wait until you feel out of touch or have a big problem on your hands.

If you are falling behind on deadline and inspiration, don't cower and pretend all is well. Don't make excuses either. Just be honest with yourself and your editor. By working together you can perhaps find that inspiration and avoid a schedule meltdown.

If you are confused about the business process, be it contract, accounting, marketing, etc., just ask. If your editor doesn't have the answer, they can get it for you. The worst thing you can do is stew within your questions and let them hold you back.

If you have an idea or a dream that you wish your publisher would help you realize, tell your editor. We love dreaming with authors and will do what we can within our power to help you realize those dreams. Publishing with you is a partnership and our authors become like family to us.

If you simply have good news to share or just want to say hello, do it. Talking to you, hearing your joys, and knowing that all is well helps lift your editor's spirits too.

So, for all those who I haven't talked to lately, I hope all is well and I hope to talk to you soon.


Jan Cline said...

Good to hear from you again! I am looking forward to the day when I have an agent or editor to communicate with. This is good advise on many levels and for many relationships.

Barbara Curtis said...

It's so nice to hear from you on the Edit Cafe--in spite of the overwhelming load you're carrying there! I love this blog and feeling "connected" with the publishing world and you and Joanne in particular. May the Lord be so near to you and gracious in giving you strength in tackling one task at a time, making a dent in your pile. Thank you for the encouragement and advice you passed on to us.

Erica Vetsch said...

Welcome back, Becky!

I'm learning through coordinating a couple categories of the Genesis contest how important it is to communicate. AND how important deadlines are.

It's been a very good reminder to me to meet my own deadlines and to keep those LOC's open before a little problem becomes a big one.

Julie Jarnagin said...

Great advice! Thanks!

Debby Mayne said...

Great to see your post, Becky. I know what it's like to be overwhelmed, but like you said, communication is essential.

Connie Stevens said...

Let me say first, that I'm glad you decided to keep the blog open. As a newly contracted author, I appreciate the blog as a means to stay connected to my editor(s).

Your advice is valuable. I think my main concern is not wanting to come across as unprofessional or being a pest. I usually direct my questions to other published authors. However, I do have a few questions regarding marketing--"What you always wanted to know about marketing but were afraid to ask" describes me right now. :-)

CHickey said...

Thanks for the uplifting message.

Ronie Kendig said...

What a great and encouraging post, Becky! Thank you!

CatMom said...

Great post, Becky! ~ And I also want to add that I am thrilled the Edit Cafe is still "open for business!" *grin* ~ Blessings as you tackle your workload and obligations. Patti Jo :)

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Becky, Glad you were in touch today. I often check the blog and look forward to hearing from you and joAnne.