Arguing With Your Editor

You’ve written that last sentence and completed the manuscript you have been working on for seven years. You submit to your dream publisher and a few days later you get THE publication offer. Dreams do come true!

The email comes from your editor with some details about the contract, royalties, information about cover design and the sentence, “I made some notes.”

Notes, of course, you think, I must have missed a few typos. Still on your high from all the wondrous things happening you open up the attached manuscript with “some notes” and need to blink a few times.



Are you sure about this title?

Her green emerald eyes stared up at me from the pillows on the floor. (How did they get on the floor?)

My heart stopped. cliché, get creative!


My advice to you at this moment: Breathe. Read the comments. Then, read the comments again. Sometimes there is praise amidst the notes, comments and corrections!

Editors are not out to destroy you work. In my experience it is never our intention to do so. The reason we offered you a contract is because we saw a spark of genius in what you sent us. We want the book(s) to succeed just as much as you do, so make sure to review all comments with an open mind before discarding the changes or the comments.

There will be some instances where you want a particular sentence to stay where it is. Instead of demanding that it stay there, support your reason why it needs to be there. Occasionally, a great sounding line just isn’t properly placed, or needed. If you can’t defend the line’s necessity, reevaluate if it really adds anything to the story. Get familiar with the: Kill your darlings phrase. Does another line before or after this absolutely gorgeous line say the same thing? Does it paint a picture, or tell us what is happening? Editing is not just typos, grammar or elimination of overly used adverbs. It comes down to the nitty-gritty of the plot, character development, believability.

Make sure to pick your battles – and this goes for the editors out there, too! For example, I dislike the Oxford comma. I’ve had writers who LOVE the Oxford comma. Is it grammatically incorrect either way? No. Will I delete every comma and tell them it can’t be in there? No. I pick my battles.

I battle when I know the author has more in them then: The handsome man turned and stared at her. What do you mean by handsome, how was he staring? Or maybe the timeline doesn’t add up enough – and changes need to occur there. The note I most often make, is when a character starts losing his/her voice – a gentle reminder to the author to strengthen that character so he/she doesn’t fade into the background is something I’ll fight for as an editor. But if, as an editor I make changes and alter the voice into something not like the character – the author should say something, kindly so that we can assess the situation.

Open lines of communication are essential. Writers, this is your story and the editors want you to tell it. But choose your battles – the comma in paragraph four on page ninety-four is not the end of the world, normally. But if it is, be able to defend it!


(House style may trump the writer, so make sure to discuss that with your editors.)

Keep your wits about you as you enter into the editing process, it is long and grueling, and your only ally is your editor.



Corinne can be reached at AndersonEditingServices@gmail.com

Connect with me on Twitter! @AndersonCorinne

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

Native Ink Press’ Ridgewell gets a title and a new release date

For those of us not located in the North Eastern part of the United States, Ridgewell Catering is a prominent catering company that was founded by two immigrants in love during the early 20th century. They built an empire with their purple trucks catering for celebrities, presidents and those who could afford the famous purple truck to be outside their home.

For the past few months, the title has just been Ridgewell on Native Ink’s website. Well, that should be changing soon. Our now “more official” working title is to be:

The true story of a family, their tiny ‘start-up’ and the startling voyage they made in just three generations from servants to the titled to the most recognized service business in America.
This book fascinated us as it takes you through the process of immigrating to America, finding a job, fitting in and starting one of the largest catering companies on the east coast.

Our new release date will be the latter part of April 2014.
I am very excited to finally have something more concrete to present our readers and those who have been anticipating this book. If there is anything I learned from fiction vs. non-fiction is that 6 months from signing a contract to publication isn’t enough time. Our authors need more time than those who write fiction. It’s simply food for thought. Our first release is on the cusp of being pushed back to March or our original April release will be moved up to March. We will let everyone know as we work things out!

The official page on Native Ink Press’ website 

What’s Up At Ink Smith Publishing

You can find our books online at major retailers both in the U.S. and internationally. Our books have also been found in stores such as Barnes and Noble and BJ’s Warehouse. You can of course purchase the books both paperback and ebook off of our website. www.ink-smith.com

We have been around since 2012, and while the first few books were very daunting, we now have an understanding of this industry and where it is heading. It’s not easy being an indie author or publisher for that matter. It’s not a matter of printing out a few books and becoming famous anymore. Its working together to develop a relationship with readers through the publisher and the writer. 

What do we look for in an author? We look for marketability. 

What does this mean? You should be developed online meaning social media( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress..etc) 

It also means that your story has to stick out among the rest. If your story does not catch my eye then how can it appeal to readers? This can be a simple answer of making your query letter interesting. Query Letter/ Cover Letter/ Synopsis. All three things sell to different people. The query and cover letter sell the book to the agent or editor. The synopsis sells the book to the reader (and the editor of course). With the disappearance of book stores, readers will be going off how the synopsis. 


Ink Smith Publishing is currently accepting submissions. We have a 4-5% acceptance rate, which allows us to keep our submission window open for the time being. We do not want to read the manuscripts right away. So please be sure to read the submission guidelines, but they are simple. You can find them here: www.ink-smith.com/submissions We emphasize the guidelines at both Ink Smith and Native Ink Press. Not following the guidelines can result in a rejection.

You will always get a response back from us, letting you know our decision either way. 

If we like what we read, I will request the manuscript. If we really like what we see after that, we will send you a contract. 

We ask nothing of our authors but to do their own marketing. Of course we don’t just put them out side with books in their hands going, “Here you go now market”. We work along side you with our marketing plans as well. 

We do book fairs, local events, online and social media marketing. 

We handle everything, but we allow for creative freedom. If the author wants to do their own cover they can, or I can work with the author and we can create a simple cover. 

We don’t offer advances, but we do offer some of the highest royalties around. They start at 13% of the retail price of the book and go up from there. 

We are also a close family of authors. What do I mean by that? Well, we are connected online by Facebook where my authors work together, support each other and feed off each other with marketing and sales ideas. I can’t really put into words how neat it is to work on a personal yet professional level with our authors. Instead of cold emails and feeling forgotten about, we are always there giving you updates, ideas and new information. Of course we send out monthly newsletters and my authors are notified of events in the area by email. This is what makes us unique.

If you like what you see, send us a submission! 


Cover Reveal: Five Corners: The Marked Ones by Cathi Shaw

Ink Smith Publishing’s February Release now has an official cover! 

I am proud to release to you, the cover for: 

Five Corners: The Marked Ones




Here is a little bit about The Marked Ones:

By: Cathi Shaw

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Release Date: February 6th 2014

Growing up in a sleepy village untouched by distant wars and political conflicts, it was easy for Thia, Mina and Kiara to forget such horrors existed in the Five Corners. That is until the dead child is found; a child that bears the same strange birthmark that all three sisters possess. A Mark their mother had always told them was unique to the girls.

Kiara’s suspicions grow as their Inn is soon overrun with outsiders from all walks of life. Strangers, soldiers and Elders who all seem to know more about what is happening than the girls do.

After Mina barely survives an attack in the forest, the sisters are faced with a shattering secret their mother has kept from them for years. As danger closes in around them, the sisters are forced from their home and must put their trust in the hands of strangers.  With more questions than answers, Kiara finds herself separated from everyone she loves and reliant on an Outlander who has spent too much time in army. She doesn’t trust Caedmon but she needs him if she has any hope of being reunited with her sisters and learning what the Mark might mean.