Developmental Editor Speaks on Traditional Publishing


Developmental editor Susan Mary Malone speaks on the Constant Changes of the Literary Field, covering both bright and dark sides of the changing landscape of literature.

Malone calls our attention to one aspect of the publication process that is often “neglected” — the writing itself. Authors often leave their manuscript to be taken care of by the agent/editor once it’s “done”. And indeed it is a traditional publisher’s responsiblity to oversee the entire publishing process, except for one thing: the writing is never done. While authors in traditional publishing have to wait anxiously for months before they can move on to the next step, Malone suggests that they should take the time to “focus on the book” by joining critique groups, working with an editor, and writing some more, perhaps not for adding to the quantity but reflecting on the quality of your previous drafts. She makes a final comment by saying:

“the publishing world is changing… it’s important we know what those changes are and what does it mean for authors. How will these changes affect my chances of publication?”

There’s no need to rush when it comes to publishing. And if I have learned anything from the discussions that I have with fellow authors/publishers since this site was launched, here are two things: (1) books doesn’t just sell themselves; the quality of writing should always be your priority thing, particularly if you intend to self-publish, and (2) don’t panic over “knowing nothing about publishing” as it is not going to help you get published. No one is born with a knowledge of the ins-and-outs of publishing, but it’s never to late to start learning, especially when it is so essential to the authors, because not only will it protect your rights, but it may also help you succeed in the highly competitive literary world.

Image Credit: Susan Mary Malone

7 thoughts on “Developmental Editor Speaks on Traditional Publishing”

  1. “The writing is never done.” No matter how many times I go back, there’s always something to improve. At least now I know I’m not obsessive–or maybe I am obsessive, but that’s a good thing in a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Couldn’t agree more. Editing is crucial to quality. Self-editing at the very least, plus beta-reader insights even better, hiring a professional editor – the best way. You can have great interior design and the most wonderful cover and blurb – all very important in attracting readers BUT it’s the quality of the writing that an author will be judged on and is how author reputation is built. Yes, using an editor costs and isn’t always possible, but if you can do it, then working with a good editor is a great experience and the effect on your manuscript is priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post. I aspire to become a publisher and I always get nervous about some of the things that I don’t know. It was good to see someone else say don’t panic. Im sure you did not mean it in my case but it helped me just the same.


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