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Author Topic: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...  (Read 1113 times)  

Offline Anarchist

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KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« on: February 23, 2018, 08:32:56 AM »
Don't.

More here.

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Offline Shelley K

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 08:52:44 AM »
I scanned that, and I agree. I'm not sold on the idea that it's going to drastically minimize sales, but it does look amateurish. Like sending a submission on pink paper, the kind of thing a new, naive writer thinks looks impressive or eye-catching, but has the opposite of the intended effect. I've seen people credit cover artists the same way, and I've cringed. Whether it gives that impression to anybody but other, older writers like me
 and people in publishing somehow, I don't know.

This thread could end up a big brawl between those who do it and don't. All I'm saying is that the moment I see that, I think newbie.

Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 09:03:21 AM »
Yeah, I read this part:

Quote
Annoying Person asks to be credited as editor on the book as part of her agreement with the writers. If they hire her, they have to list her as editor.

and was like, Noooo. Just no. No editor should be putting T&Cs in their contract with their authors requiring them to put their name as an editor in the Amazon list of contributor. Yes, note the editor's name in your front matter or acknowledgements, but not front and center on Amazon. That just screams newbie writer.

Maybe this editor isn't doing that and just wanting acknowledgement in the book and the newbie writers are putting them in as editor in those fields? I dunno.

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 09:12:53 AM »
That makes sense and as a reader I do just that. I'm a fan of Stephen King and Terry Pratchett but I won't try anything of theirs that has someone else's name on it. (With one exception, Good Omens by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Hello, NEIL GAIMAN.)

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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 09:14:25 AM »
Yeah, I read this part:

and was like, Noooo. Just no. No editor should be putting T&Cs in their contract with their authors requiring them to put their name as an editor in the Amazon list of contributor. Yes, note the editor's name in your front matter or acknowledgements, but not front and center on Amazon. That just screams newbie writer.

Maybe this editor isn't doing that and just wanting acknowledgement in the book and the newbie writers are putting them in as editor in those fields? I dunno.
Why even note them in your front matter? You ever see a tradpub book that does this in fiction, unless it's an anthology? The only thing I've ever seen credited is the creator of the cover art - not the cover design, but the original cover art, things like original artwork appearing inside such as maps, and the source of any quoted material.

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Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 09:26:27 AM »
Why even note them in your front matter? You ever see a tradpub book that does this in fiction, unless it's an anthology? The only thing I've ever seen credited is the creator of the cover art - not the cover design, but the original cover art, things like original artwork appearing inside such as maps, and the source of any quoted material.

Editors and cover artists and other subcontractors working with indies, when they do good work, deserve to be acknowledged and supported in their businesses. I like my cover artists and editors and I'd like them to get more work, so I note in my books who did that work, along with their website or contact info if they've agreed that I can share it. It's good relationship building with our service providers.

Offline Shawn Inmon

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2018, 03:09:55 PM »
Why even note them in your front matter? You ever see a tradpub book that does this in fiction, unless it's an anthology?

Yes, I've seen a number of tradpub books where the author talks about their relationship with their editor in their Author's Notes. Long before I was a writer, I thought it made for an interesting glimpse behind the curtain, and I've chosen to do it for my books, as well. I assume that most people don't read the end of book material, but some do, and I like to acknowledge those who helped me create the book.

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 03:16:35 PM »
I don't mind giving cover design credit, but since I don't do my own formatting that means asking to have the text file changed every time I change a cover. And for some people that might be an upcharge.

KKR has the right idea and a very interesting slant on why we shouldn't give editorial credits.

Unless...you want to credit your proofreader so when a reader complains about a typo you can reply to the 1-star review by saying it wasn't your fault.  ;D Joking. Never reply.

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 03:17:42 PM »
If you want to include editors, cover designers in your acknowledgements, I think that's totally fine.

But for all that's dear, DO NOT include them as "contributors" in your Amazon metadata.

Why not?

1. Because of their own careers. Maybe they're writing, too. They don't want all the books they edited/designed covers for to show up in their Amazon searches.

2. Because of your own visibility. For some dark reason, programs that pull metadata off Amazon, will very often pull the second contributor name first. If they only have one slot for a contributor (like: SmartURL), that will be it. Your book will look like it's been written by your cover designer. Awesome /not.

Offline Lilly_Frost

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2018, 03:23:23 PM »
I worked in a public library for several years, and since I had time to read book covers/front matter/back matter between patrons and other duties, and I actually found that a large number of hardcover trad books do list the cover artist and/or cover designer. And oddly enough, they usually had really bland (to me) covers--usually an object instead of a more interesting person/landscape type cover. There were several times I thought that if I hadn't been able to come up with a more interesting design, I wouldn't have been all that eager to slap my name in the credits, but hey, they design for a big publishing house and I don't, so what do I know?  ;D

Why even note them in your front matter? You ever see a tradpub book that does this in fiction, unless it's an anthology? The only thing I've ever seen credited is the creator of the cover art - not the cover design, but the original cover art, things like original artwork appearing inside such as maps, and the source of any quoted material.
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Offline AmpersandBookInteriors

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 03:30:59 PM »
I worked in a public library for several years, and since I had time to read book covers/front matter/back matter between patrons and other duties, and I actually found that a large number of hardcover trad books do list the cover artist and/or cover designer. And oddly enough, they usually had really bland (to me) covers--usually an object instead of a more interesting person/landscape type cover. There were several times I thought that if I hadn't been able to come up with a more interesting design, I wouldn't have been all that eager to slap my name in the credits, but hey, they design for a big publishing house and I don't, so what do I know?  ;D


I've seen this also. I've seen cover illustration, cover designer, and the interior designer/typesetter all listed separately in the copyright page. I think this will be more of a common occurrence as publishers move toward outsourcing their resources instead of keeping them in-house.


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Offline Annie B

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2018, 04:15:50 PM »
Once in a blue moon I agree with KKR. This is one of those times. :)

I do list my cover artist always inside the book on the copyright page. I've never mentioned my editor because any typos or whatever left are my fault ultimately, not theirs. I see no reason to mention who does my proofreading and copyediting. When I see people crediting an editor as a co-contributor on Amazon I just think amateur.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2018, 06:55:34 PM »
What happens if some annoyed editor decides to claim they have co-rights to your book? They won't, but in the current "guilty until proven innocent" climate, do you want to have to try to prove they don't?


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Offline dgcasey

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2018, 10:02:00 PM »
I see no problem listing the cover artist in your front matter. Their work is visible to anyone that looks at your book and their work can have a direct impact on your sales. For Into The Wishing Well, the artist made me a great deal on price, so I included his name in the front matter and even on the back cover (my own choice). But, that's as far as I went. I did not and would not include his name as a collaborator.

But an editor? Not a chance. Yes, their work can have a direct impact on your sales, but their work should also be invisible to the reader. if done correctly. Am I supposed to list all my ARCs and beta readers, too?

No ... just, no.
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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2018, 10:33:24 PM »
Ooh yeah, I learned the hard way to not buy books with Popular Name and No Name on the by line. From reading a few books like that, I learned that means No Name is using Popular Name to get sales and chances are Popular Name didn't even look at the story. That was back in the browse bookstore for trad pub books days.

Now, I have see the editor on the by line and I'm thinking WTF? Looks like unaware indie to me. Or I think that the book was in such bad shape the editor deserves credit for reshaping the mess into something readable. Either way--not the impression the author was probably looking for.

I love it when authors credit their cover artists and editors and formatters--but INSIDE the book.

Offline IWFerguson

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2018, 11:09:33 PM »
I have a question that is somewhat tangential. When I first started looking into self-publishing, I saw that there seemed to be (in general, not always) a big difference between books that had been edited and books that had not. And I usually had to poke around a little on the Look Inside to find out. So I wondered, Why don't unknown authors credit their editor right on the cover?

Now that I've had my book edited, and read 100's more threads and blog posts etc about self-publishing, I've learned that there are lots of reasons. But still, it seems like useful information to a prospective buyer of a self-published debut novel that I paid a pile of money for a professional developmentally-heavy line edit (and maybe more). But would readers understand that any flaws in the book are my fault and my responsibility, or might they falsely blame my editor? It just gets too complicated too quickly to include anything accurate on the cover, but book shoppers who peruse the acknowledgements page before buying are probably pretty rare. It seems like there ought to be a way to cut this knot. Any ideas?
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Offline dgcasey

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2018, 11:20:44 PM »
Now that I've had my book edited, and read 100's more threads and blog posts etc about self-publishing, I've learned that there are lots of reasons. But still, it seems like useful information to a prospective buyer of a self-published debut novel that I paid a pile of money for a professional developmentally-heavy line edit (and maybe more).

Why would I care how much an author paid to have his book professionally edited? Makes no difference to me at all. I don't even care how much they paid for their cover art.

Go to your favorite bookstore and ask one hundred readers, "Who is your favorite author?" and they can probably name four or five authors they really like. Ask them, "Who's your favorite editor?" and you'll likely get a glassy stare. Other than authors, who even cares what an editor's name is?
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Offline IWFerguson

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2018, 11:37:58 PM »
It's not the editor's name that matters. It's the fact that the book was edited. Proofreading is nice, but edited makes a huge difference. If you were considering purchase of a debut novel by someone you'd never heard of, wouldn't you want to know if that book had been edited?
With the cover art, you can see it immediately. Sometimes you can see the lack of editing immediately, but other times it takes a few chapters.
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Offline Cherise

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2018, 12:08:51 AM »
If you were considering purchase of a debut novel by someone you'd never heard of, wouldn't you want to know if that book had been edited?




Yes, but I would have to read the sample to find out anyway. No random name in the Editor slot is going to tell me, because editing only makes a difference if the editor is GOOD.

Offline dgcasey

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2018, 12:12:02 AM »
Yes, but I would have to read the sample to find out anyway. No random name in the Editor slot is going to tell me, because editing only makes a difference if the editor is GOOD.

Well, it makes a difference if the editor is BAD, too.  ;)
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Offline Annie B

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2018, 12:40:18 AM »
It's not the editor's name that matters. It's the fact that the book was edited. Proofreading is nice, but edited makes a huge difference. If you were considering purchase of a debut novel by someone you'd never heard of, wouldn't you want to know if that book had been edited?
With the cover art, you can see it immediately. Sometimes you can see the lack of editing immediately, but other times it takes a few chapters.

I can usually tell within a few paragraphs of the look-inside if someone has had at least a proofreader. I don't need to know for a fact, I assume anyone who wants to sell me a product has gone through the minimum steps to make that product good. If not, I'll return the book or won't buy it in the first place.  Some random person's name credited as editor doesn't tell me anything other than this author is definitely a newbie self-published author who doesn't know what they are doing most likely.

Offline Reveries

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2018, 01:46:36 AM »
I've seen people put both their editor and their cover artist as contributors. Presumably if they used more than one editor, they'd list all of them. It's a very bad idea. It gives the impression to the casual reader that this book was written by multiple people. It can cause problems if you change your cover to one from a different cover artist. In certain circumstances it can cause confusion over who is the actual author and owns the copyright. If you wish then you can give these people credit for their work inside the front matter or back matter of the book, but please don't list them as a contributor.

Editor is for anthology editors. Illustrator is for things like illustrators of children's books. If a copy editor demanded to be listed as contributor on my book I would run a mile.

Offline Kyra Halland

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2018, 07:54:42 AM »
Now that I've had my book edited, and read 100's more threads and blog posts etc about self-publishing, I've learned that there are lots of reasons. But still, it seems like useful information to a prospective buyer of a self-published debut novel that I paid a pile of money for a professional developmentally-heavy line edit (and maybe more). But would readers understand that any flaws in the book are my fault and my responsibility, or might they falsely blame my editor? It just gets too complicated too quickly to include anything accurate on the cover, but book shoppers who peruse the acknowledgements page before buying are probably pretty rare. It seems like there ought to be a way to cut this knot. Any ideas?

I've read way too many indie books where an editor is credited (in the acknowledgements, not on the cover or the Editor field) where I've found myself wondering what exactly it was the editor supposedly did. Did the author ignore the editor's suggestions or was it a bad editor? On the other hand, I've read books that I know were self-edited that were far better edited than those books. And some editors prefer to remain uncredited and in the background. The presence of an editor's name itself does not guarantee a well-edited book, and the lack of an editor's name doesn't mean the book is unedited. The proof of whether a book is well-edited is in the book itself.

ETA: Oh, and I thought KKR's rant was magnificent.


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Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: KKR's advice re: including your editor in your byline...
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2018, 08:15:55 AM »
Only time an editor's name should be on the cover of a book is when they've been in charge of assembling an anthology.