When we work with our authors, we always make sure that we work closely with them to ensure that the edits and critiques we carry out are relevant, personal and the very best they can be. Each author we work with is different; they will have their own vision for their book and their goals, they will come from different backgrounds, have a unique writing style and they may approach us at varying stages of their writing process.
Although all of our authors differ, the way we approach their manuscripts will be the same; with a personalised approach unique to the author.
Writing a book is a very personal process; it may have taken years to get down onto paper, it may come from a very difficult place within the author’s past, it could have been a huge learning process for them… sometimes, when sharing the first draft to someone else, it can make the author feel quite anxious- it’s the first time someone else has read their words and what’s more they are going to do so from a critical stance too! We appreciate how difficult it can be for an author to hand over their manuscripts to us and so we always want to know a little more about our authors than simply what their manuscript contains.
When we work with our authors, when they send their manuscripts, they also send us a little bit of information about themselves. We ask for them to write as little or as much as they would like- whatever they feel is relevant- to tell us what their aims are for the book, is there a specific message or moral they are wanting to achieve? What has inspired them? Sometimes authors include previous work, samples from their illustrators and a large amount of background about themselves. Other times, authors simply send a sentence or two about their manuscript. Whether it be a lengthy background or a concise one, we find that it is very useful and it helps us to ensure that the book we are working on together remains on track.
When providing an edit or a critique, our aim is to always keep the authors’ aims in mind. This enables us to read the draft with that as the main focus and to make sure that the edits and suggestions we make help to pull that aim out. There can be times that the main focus of a book can become lost in detail and it is our job to find a way to make it be found again and to shine through.
Sometimes, a simple change can make an entire book so much tighter and really shine. There are times when our suggestions are bigger and can involve big rewrites and a change of style, however, with both variations of feedback the result is still the same; an enhanced manuscript that can stand out against all of the other books out there. This is a competitive marketplace and we aim to help our authors’ books shine whilst still keeping their own personal goals at the forefront of what we do.
Offering a personalised service like this works well for both ourselves and our authors; our authors feel as though they are being listened to and respected, they can see that their book is being improved with their own opinions being kept in mind and for us it helps us to relate to our authors, communicate with them and enjoy watching the incredible progress that is made when we work closely together.