I got a job reviewing books for Kirkus, even though my husband keeps calling them Birkus. I am loving it and it feels fan-freaking-tastic to be in company with some of the best book critics in the world. When I first got the job, my ego ran for the toilet, but it has emerged (I had to clean it off a bit.) I’d love to hear about your favorite places to read book reviews. Mine? NY Times, Kirkus (!), and Bookmarks Magazine.
What author doesn’t crave agent feedback? Nobody wants to receive a form rejection letter, because you’re left with unanswered questions as to why your manuscript was rejected. So, when an agent takes the time to provide feedback, that editorial letter is like manna from manuscript heaven.
Literary agent Rachelle Gardner has generously offered a lengthy list of comments she has sent to authors in editorial letters. The fantastic part? Each of these comments has likely helped the writer improve their manuscript. This list will give you a good idea of the kinds of things all agents are looking for, from strong nouns and verbs to a clear POV. Here’s the link: https://rachellegardner.com/the-editorial-letter/
So, I’m skipping Book Expo America this year. I’m just not ready for the angry streets of Manhattan, the cabbies who inspire me to down entire bottles of Dramamine to survive their driving, the crowds of pushy New Yorkers (I can say that because I am a native NYer and did a little pushing myself), and then shamelessly handing out my card to anyone at the Expo even remotely connected to publishing (which is, of course, everyone), and making maybe 3 connections but not recouping even half the money it cost me to fly there, stay there, and eat there (I miss NY bagels, but at $12 a pop?)
Trying to edit today asbestos I can.
Lest you should think book editors do nothing but read all day and wield their red pen, I want you to know that we do think of other things. I, for one, play with my dogs, study Ayurveda, practice ASL, and make fun of contestants on the Bachelor. But, editing is a calling, and editors can’t help editing.
Truth be told, I do edit … a lot. And I’m not just talking about manuscripts, articles, and websites. My eye starts twitching when a menu says General Tsos Chicken. I cringe when nearly everyone on television (even scripted TV) misuses personal pronouns: “I’m hoping this will be fun for him and I.”
But for the record, we are not all secretly correcting your grammar. Well, we are, but most of us are nice enough not to tell you. Sorry, I think editors are just born with a certain gene that induces spasms when someone says, “There are less people here than I expected,” or “He reverted back to his old ways.” (If you can tell me what these sentences should say, you’ll make me proud.)
So, I try to consider it a cute quirk, one that I get paid to indulge.