The Dreaded Editorial Letter

It contained good news.

Bad news.

And a bit more good at the end to wash it all down.

At the end of last month we chatted about my trying to write at the speed of light to get my manuscript into my publisher on time. Which I did.

Which meant ye ol editorial letter would be appear soon in an e-mail near me.

I was supposed to be worry about that, right? I mean, c’mon. What I turned in was essentially a first draft. I knew it needed work. A lot of work. Wasn’t I supposed to stress over getting hammered in the letter?

But no cloud of trepidation hung over my head. I slept fine awaiting the letter’s arrival. When I got it, I was excited to see what I’d done right, what didn’t work and consider the ideas for improvement.

The good part of the letter? They say the foundation and essentials of the story are strong.

The bad: The story does need work. We’ll add new scenes. Cut a good chunk of the manuscript. I need to be a writing machine for the next four weeks.

The good: My editors believe in me and my story. Some of their suggestions are brilliant. Incorporating them will make the novel far better than I could have made it on my own.

I had the same experience with my first three novels as well. Is that why I don’t dread getting the editorial letter?

So talk to me. Am I strange? (No, I’m not talking about that, I’m asking if I’m unusual to not be nervous about the editorial letter.)

If you worry about your editorial letters tell us why. Bad experience? Not sure if the editor is on your side? Fear they’ll discover you can’t write? (Which we all believe from time to time.)

Love to get your thoughts. Heck, for some if you it might be a good excuse to put off opening the attachment in a certain e-mail for a few more minutes.

James L. Rubart is the best-selling, and award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, and THE CHAIR. During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing, helping authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, water skis, and take photos. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and teenage sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at