I have a really harsh, but honest, word to share today. As the acquisitions editor of DB Publishing, I get a lot of pitches thrown at me. Some of them are great ideas. Because the Daemonolatry community is so small, I will often approve an idea and tell the author/artist that if they get it to me I can write up a contract, assign it to an editor, and it will be published once it goes through the editorial process. The problem is the people who pitch the ideas never seem to be able to deliver. I hear the pitch, I tell them to get me a completed MS or project, and it never manifests.Or I’ll get bits and pieces here and there and I’m expected to give input as it’s written. When I don’t provide the necessary hand-holding, the author usually disappears, never to be heard from again.
This is what separates the hobbyists and amateurs from those creative types serious about creative careers. You have to be able to finish what you start and come up with a first or second draft all by yourself. If you can’t do that – you need to get out of the business and quit wasting everyone’s time.
Sure, you may be a great writer or a superb illustrator, or even a brilliant musician, but unless you actually follow through with an idea and manifest that project — you are just a person with an idea. That’s it. You wonder why the E. L James’ of the world get their fan fiction turned BDSM-light published by big publishing houses? Because despite the horrific writing and cheesy story lines — their authors actually finish their projects, cheese and all, and throw it out there.
I know people who love to plan. They love the idea of the finished product. They can see it clearly, but the work between the idea and the finished project is what stumps them. They forgot to account for that. It’s always harder than they imagined. The romantic idea of being a published writer isn’t as glorious once most people realize how much work it actually is.
In the past 3 years I’ve gotten 5 pitches for Daemonolatry tarot decks which have never materialized. I’ve received 4 book pitches that have yet to manifest publishable manuscripts. And I’ve met scores of creative types who expected me to do at least half of the work for them, direct the project, or stand there and hand hold them through the initial writing as well as the editing, cheering them on. Sorry – but I have my own work to do. I have a hard enough time being my own cheerleader let alone everyone else’s.
Also, it’s not an editor’s job to re-write your MS for you, tell you what to write, reorganize an entire MS for you, or make it publishable. You at least have to give us a competed project to work with. Also – myself and other editors don’t have time to give you feedback on every step of the initial writing process. Please wait until you’re actually done with an article or book to actually send me what you have. I really am very busy.
So, all of that said, DB Publishing now only accepts COMPLETED PROJECTS for consideration. I will no longer approve pitch ideas from writers who don’t have a proven track record showing their ability to complete a manuscript or even an article. Yes, I have been very generous by allowing it up to this point, but I am not going to waste my time anymore.