Don’t Be a Lazy Author: A Rant
If you want to be an author, BE one. Don’t expect anyone else to finish your book for you. Your test readers and your editors are NOT there to tell you what to do next. Your mother and various family members are not there to hold your hand and finish your book for you.
This article comes to you from a place of frustration in, and great disappointment over, a recent trend in the writing community. LAZY WRITERS!
Lazy Writing Makes You a Hack
There have always been lazy writers–we call them hacks. But recently, this has gone beyond the norm.
As an author, I’m disappointed in those who exhibit laziness–it makes us all look bad. As an editor, I’m disgusted by lazy writers, and I refuse to work with them. As a publisher, I won’t even give them the time of day. If you cannot be bothered to edit your work, polish your manuscript, hunt down and destroy your mistakes or tie up loose ends, you do not deserve to be published. More and more editors and publishers are starting to feel the same way, too.
We don’t care how good your book potentially is, if YOU refuse to work on it, edit it, polish it, perfect it, why should we waste our time with it? It’s not our job to finish YOUR book for you.
Yes, we hire editors to help us polish our books, but it is NOT their job to finish your book for you. All editors are different, and they will each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and they will each have their own way of helping you. LISTEN to your editor. You don’t always have to agree with them, but if you trust their work, do what they suggest! If that means re-writes, DO IT. If that means going through your manuscript for the 20th time, DO IT. It’s not their job to finish your book, and if there are mistakes, they are YOUR responsibility to fix. Your editor will point them out to you, tell you how to fix them, but he or she is NOT there to finish your book for you. I can’t stress this enough.
Editors Help You Write Better; They Don’t Write for You
I have been exposed to “authors” over the past couple of years who have disappointed me greatly due to their laziness. Each of these people has shown potential, their books had that special something all publishers are looking for, but that was ruined by their laziness. They didn’t want to edit again. Those people didn’t want to adjust the small bits here and there. They didn’t want to fix the images themselves or adjust that bit of sloppy writing near the end.
“Can’t you do it for me? I’ll pay you,” is a very common reply when we send a book back with edit suggestions. There is a very big difference between, “I tried and I can’t figure this out. Can you help me?” and “Can you do this for me?” BIG difference. Asking for help = cool. Not even trying = LAME. If you don’t try, you’re not an author. If you try (even if you fail), congrats! You’re a true author! Now, let us help you <3
Blysster Press is different than any other publisher. We offer guidance, support, education, and assistance to authors. Submit something to us and it’s not perfect, we won’t reject it right upfront. We’ll send it back and say, “Hey, these things can use some work. Would you like some help? We can teach you.” No other publishers (that we know of) will do this. If it’s not perfect and polished when you submit it to other publishers, it gets rejected. Often, you don’t even get a letter telling you why. **Side note–it’s almost always due to lack of polish/edits.
It’s okay to ask for help. We’re here to help you. We’re even okay with a little whining now and then–goodness knows we’ve done our fair share when we’re tired of looking at our own work for months on end. It’s just not okay to hand us a rough draft and expect us to do the rest for you.
Anyway, I’m rambling. My point here is that authors need to understand what their job is. It’s not just making a neat story and then handing it to an editor, never to see it again. Your job is to write the neat story, edit the crap out of it, then hire someone to help you find those hiccups you missed. Then you get to edit again. And again. And again. That’s your job. YOUR JOB is to finish the book. So, go finish your book!
Blysster Press believes all education should be FREE! That’s why we offer free classes, panels, articles, and advice to any who come looking.
Blysster Press puts the power and profits back into authors’ hands. 100% profits for authors, 0% for the publisher–as it should be!