Traditional Publishing

Defining Roles: Agents & Editors – Wednesday November 27, 2019

At the pre-publication stage, as you’re drafting queries and sending off sample pages, an editor at a publishing house and a literary agent seem to serve the same purpose: to legitimize your claim as a professional author, and to set you on the path to publication.

That’s usually where the similarity ends. An editor interested in your novel can make you a publication offer, complete with an advance, a contract, and a timeline in which your novel will publish. He will be your champion inside the publishing house, coordinating between editorial and other departments to make sure that everyone is working in line with the vision for the book.

But what if that vision, after a few adjustments, no longer matches your own? What if you aren’t sure about a clause in the contract, or you don’t know what the editorial process should entail? Your editor loves your work and wants to support you, but it’s not his job to hold your hand through the process. At the end of the day, he answers to the publishing house.

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