In my line of work, there are some unwritten rules of good behavior.
- One must always do one’s best work within the parameters assigned.
- One must not review books in which one has had a hand.
- One must always remember that it’s the author’s book. It was the editor’s job to make the author look as good as possible, and s/he got paid to do so.
- One must not go to review comment sections in any way that could remotely upstage or embarrass the author.
- One must accept that invisibility is praise. It’s like officiating a sporting event: if your work is excellent, it goes unnoticed.
I don’t think I’ll be breaking the rules if I do a little endzone celebration here, because I did something I feel pretty good about.
As blog regulars know, the e-book Shadows by Terry Schott was published about a week ago. Terry’s genre is dystopian contemporary science fiction, and he has a significant following. He engaged my editing services on this newest book. Before I got to work, I took a look at the reviews of his previous works. They were mostly very positive, and the only nagging complaint was that a few reviewers remarked upon the ‘editing.’ We’ve been over the ways in which that can be a shortsighted review comment, but I did take note of them. Terry didn’t need me in order to get people to like his stories better. The best service I could offer him was to make the ‘editing’ remarks go away.
Sixteen reviews in, and it’s clear that his fans love the story.
Not a one, so far, mentions the editing. That means that not only did those reviewers have no issues with it that they cared to mention, none so far even noticed much of a change. And if there are potential purchasers on the fence, ones who would be put off by adverse commentary about editing, it may hearten them that the reviews make no such mention. They may attribute it to the author’s strides, or to some unknown factor.
I smile, invisibly, with fierce satisfaction.