And while I'm in apology mode, sorry I'm behind in repaying many of your visits. I've had some shite go down this week that's kept me away from the social networks. But I'll be around, and I look forward to it.
If you missed Kim's earlier answers, you can find them here:
Today we have from Kim one last piece of advice: Your editors are your first reviewers. It may seem like we delight in crushing your dreams, or undoing your hard work. I'm often reminded of a quote from the movie Anne of Avonlea, when Anne is discussing the sale of her work for commercial use by the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Company. "How do you think a mother would feel if she found her child tattooed all over with a baking powder advertisement? I love my story, and I wrote it out of the best that was in me."
A good editor is your first and most constructive reviewer. Yes, we can be blunt and often aggressively push for changes that you never anticipated. Yes, we will often be demanding that you "kill your darlings" or that a beloved minor character be deleted or disagreeing with your decision to forego contractions in dialogue. But please be assured that if we don't tell you to fix these things during the editing process, a reviewer is sure to tell you that they should have been changed. And they aren't going to be paid to it diplomatically.
Unfortunately, belittling an author has become a sort of sport on social media these days. I can't tell you how many times I've given in to an author's plea to leave something unchanged only to see that very same thing pointed out as a flaw in review after review. Those reviews are often full of comments like, "where was the editor???" which makes me groan. I was there, trying to put these changes into place, but was ignored.
Being edited takes a thick skin and a lot of trust. It can be especially difficult if you've had pre-readers who are amazing cheerleaders for you, but have been decidedly quiet about changes you should be making. They've served an excellent role in keeping you writing and getting you to the point that you're willing to submit your work. But once you submit for publication, it's time to listen to your editors and take most of their advice. Because once your book goes to print, your reviews are permanent.