In the world of book publishing, the word feedback calls to mind the image of an editor handing a manuscript back to the writer filled to the brim with little red marks. Authors need feedback and editing to polish their work and deliver the best writing they can. It follows that the publishing professionals who are working to produce a book can’t afford to stagnate either. Any career professional must grow, and being able to hear and effectively implement feedback is crucial to that end.
At face value, there seems to be a lot of technical knowledge involved with design work. That’s definitely true, but it’s a much more accessible body of knowledge than you might think, particularly when it comes to giving feedback during the cover design rounds.
I reached out to graduating project managers Grace Hansen, Cole Bowman, and Bailey Potter who oversaw the successful launch events for LAUREL EVERYWHERE, FAULTLAND, and FINDING THE VEIN, respectively. I asked each of them about advice for planning future virtual events. Within a few hours, I had struck gold. Synthesized below are their replies and some guidance to get started when it is time to plan a celebration of your new book.
Taking criticism is never easy, especially when it comes to a piece of creative work. Respectful and open communication between author and editor will lead to the most fruitful editorial process, which is why establishing solid author relations needs to be a high priority for a book editor.
William Faulkner said, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” A good editor knows that this process is sometimes painful to the author because their words are their babies. How, then, is an editor to approach nonfiction trauma manuscripts when an author’s words are their nightmares?
Our May 2020 title faces down its darker elements—including violence, bigotry, and abuse—with both unflinching realism and hope. Importantly, it portrays the struggles of two main characters who fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella. Because these identities do not exist as a monolith, and also because this is a book intended for a YA audience, Ooligan chose to incorporate authenticity readers (sometimes called sensitivity readers) into the editorial process.