Revising without a contract…

There’s been talk over at Editorial Anonymous today about revising without a contract. She discussed it from an editor’s point of view of course.

This is when an editor tells you it’s good but they’re not ready to buy it. However, if you revise it they’ll take another look. (note that they didn’t say they’d buy it, only that they’d reconsider it.)

Here’s my history: I have done this once and refused once.

The first time was for my beloved Dickensian mid-grade. The editor suggested a number of changes, including a major expansion of the story. I really threw myself into it and made all sorts of discoveries and the book got much, much better. But he still didn’t buy it. Nor has anyone else. I don’t regret the work I put in and I the editor’s advice was great. But, obviously, I’m very disappointed with the way it worked out.

The other time it happened, my editor wanted substantial changes to the whole framework of the book and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. My agent showed it to another editor who bought it. There will still be revisions, of course, but this time I’ll know I’m investing my time in something that will see the light of day. 

Still, I think my advice is to do the revisions even without a contract, especially if it’s your first book. it can be very exciting to get an editor’s suggestions and then tackle your book all over again.


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