Isn’t It Neurotic?

By Carol Hinz
Editorial Director, Millbrook Press

It’s not every day that my interests in knitting and books come together, but last week it happened. I was thoroughly entertained by the Yarn Harlot’s blog post about the many things she was worried about in the final hours before she turned in the manuscript for her latest book.

Lest you think writers are the only ones with worries, here is a list of some of my editorial worries.

1. I’ll lose all editorial judgment the moment I pick up the manuscript and my suggestions will all be terrible.

2. The author will take my terrible suggestions, ruining what was a perfectly good manuscript.

3. My suggestions will be fine, but the author will think they’re terrible and will tell everyone they meet how terrible my suggestions are.

4. The book will contain a whopping factual error that no one notices. Until the book is published and every single review is about nothing but that error.

5. At the last minute, a computer glitch will replace all the text with random Chinese characters. Or hieroglyphics.

6. An essential image will be a painting at a small Italian museum that only has a digital version available in black and white. It will take weeks for said small museum to get someone to photograph the painting so we can include a color image in the book. We will have to push back the publication date because the wait for the image took so long. Oh, wait. That actually happened. For this book.

7. The book won’t contain a whopping factual error and the text won’t have all been replaced by random Chinese characters, but we won’t sell a single copy.

8. The book will be published and will sell well enough that we want to publish more books like it, and we’ll go through the whole process all over again.