So just what is happening with the publishing industry these days?
Amazon seems to be growing in influence. The major trade publishers are discussing a merger. Some small presses are closing while others are opening. Editors who’ve worked for years developing wonderful children’s books are leaving or being downsized.
What does this mean for the average writer? Is this good or bad?
He attends conferences, holds workshops both with editor Eileen Robinson, on his own, and at the Highlights Foundation. But the best thing is that Harold also works with individual writers to craft fantastic submission-ready manuscripts.
I am lucky enough to have worked with Harold in the past and I asked him if he’d be willing to share some information about what he does with the MUF readers.
Why did you decide to become an independent editor?
What does an independent editor do?
How do you choose clients to work with?
I usually am contacted by potential clients by email, and I spend some time finding out what they are looking for from me, and reading some of their manuscript (or the whole thing, if it’s a picture book). I then offer to work with the people who I feel I can help, and who I feel I can provide with the kind of help that they won’t easily find elsewhere for less. So I do turn clients away. If someone has a manuscript that’s outside my experience, such as something for the Christian market, I turn them down.
If someone has a manuscript that only needs the kind of feedback that they could get from an inexpensive critique at a local SCBWI conference, I turn them down. My services aren’t cheap, and I like to provide good value for money. I also turn people away if they seem like they would be difficult to work with, though that doesn’t happen often. More typically, it’s for one of my two main reasons, and I’d say I turn away at least as many projects as I take on.
What are the advantages of working with an independent editor?
What do you think of mid-grade novels?
What do you think defines a great mid-grade novel? Can you give some examples?
How are mid-grade novels different from YA novels?
What trends do you see in publishing?
Anything you’d like to add?