What is #editreport?
In 2011 I started the #editreport hashtag on Twitter under @angelajames while I was going through slush pile reports from Carina Press freelance editors. Here’s how #editreport works.
Carina Press has 15 freelance editors who read submissions and recommend acquisition to the Carina Press team. Submissions go out to them in genres they’re interested in reading, acquiring and editing. Editors are asked to read as much of the submission as needed (1 sentence up to 3 chapters) in order to make a decision on whether they’d like to read the full manuscript.
Once editors have given manuscripts the initial look, they send me a report (usually a report consists of feedback on 10 books at a time) and then a report again after any full reads. (Recommendations fall in one of four categories: Acquisition, rejection, revise & resubmit, look by another editor). I collect these reports and then read through them, looking to see why the editor is recommending rejection. Sometimes I ask the editor if they might want to send a revise and resubmit request instead, and occasionally something in the editor’s report makes me think it wasn’t for them and I should send it to another editor. We’ve acquired a few books that were previously recommend rejections by another editor!
#editreport is snippets of what I see in these reports. I’m careful to keep the things I post generic, so it can’t be associated with a specific manuscript, and while I’m showing snippets of why the editor ultimately rejected, I try not to post anything that comes across as snide or hurtful. However, the feedback is very honest and shows exactly what the editors were thinking as they looked at the submission. It doesn’t pull any punches in that regard.
To end #editreport, I always share snippets from acquisition reports, with feedback about why we acquired/loved a book.
Several of the past #editreport can be found on my Storify account. The original couple of sessions were not saved, unfortunately.
Frequently Asked Questions during #editreport:
1) Do the authors get the feedback you’re posting?
No, we rarely send out personalized rejection letters, it’s simply too time consuming. For more on this topic, you can read this blog post I wrote on the Carina Press blog about why we don’t do personalized rejection letters.
2) How often do editors recommend revise and resubmit? Is that like being rejected? What does that mean?
Maybe 1 in 50 manuscripts is offered the opportunity to revise and resubmit. Revise and resubmit is not rejection. It’s an opportunity and an indication the editor likes your work and is interested! You can find out exactly what revise and resubmit means via this post on the Carina Press blog.
3) How often do the editors recommend a look by another editor? Why do they recommend second look?
Maybe 1 in 20 manuscripts is passed on for a second look by another editor. This is generally because the original editor thinks there’s something of merit in the manuscript, but the content, genre, writing, voice is not for them, and they think a second editor should evaluate it. Approximately 10% of manuscripts recommended for a second look do end up being recommended for acquisition.
4) What happens if a book is chosen for acquisition?
Here’s a detailed post on how acquisitions work.
And why the team might say no when the editor says yes.
Before You Hit Send:
If you enjoy #editreport, be sure to check out Angela’s self-editing course BEFORE YOU HIT SEND. Offered 3x/year online, and as a one-day master class in person, this course has received much acclaim and helped hundred of writers polish their work and move to the next level in craft and writing. Next online course begins August 6th. Register here.
The next one-day master class will be held by the Silicone Valley RWA chapter in October 2012. Please look for registration information on their website closer to October.
Interested in having me travel to your writer’s group to give the BEFORE YOU HIT SEND master class? Email me via my contact page for more information!