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Fortune's Favorite

The sequel to Fortune's Whelp: stay tuned!

Disappointing news on the subject of Fortune's Favorite, the sequel to Fortune's Whelp. The publisher (Penmore Press, who also published Whelp) wanted me to modernize the language. This is slightly negotiable, even though the language isn't actually period but neither does it sound like a couple of suburbanites gossiping at an office party, a common affliction in much historical fiction these days, to quote a journalist I know.


But far more egregiously, the publisher also tried to tell me falsely, repeatedly, and adamantly that publishers only copy edit, not line edit (creative content, writing style, &c) and therefore, and even more egregiously, I'd now be expected to pay for a line editor. In fact, he asked several times if I'd already had the manuscript professionally edited--he wasn't sure from reading it. This made it quite clear to me that he was seeking an editing fee in return for publication, either to offset his publication costs or to augment his profit at the expense of the author's. He immediately ended the call when I told him that I would never pay for an editor.


It is patently false that legitimate conventional publishers would ever require this, and it's frankly beyond bemusing that a publisher would, as another multi-legitimately published author put it to me, tell someone with my experience as a published author such a blatant falsehood.


Under no circumstances will I pay for an editor, nor should any writer, fiction or non-fiction, in any form of traditional publishing. Until now no publisher (four of them, including Penmore oddly, and six books) has ever asked me to do this. They've always provided them because this is what publishers do. Any writer published by legitimate presses knows this, not to mention its veracity is easily Googled.


I've no intention of supporting a cottage industry (editors hired by writers) that has grown significantly with the rise of self-publishing and small ebook/print-on-demand presses. The requirement by a publisher that a writer hire and editor is a practice long considered exploitive--a scam in other words. "Publishers" who expect writers to pay for editing are trying to shift much of the financial burden onto the writer while keeping most of the profit to themselves, in which case why shouldn't the writer just self-publish and keep all of the profit? Or better yet, be patient and find a legitimate publisher.

So we'll go from here, we'll get it in print sooner or later for those of you interested. I'll keep you advised.