A big consideration is what the big booksellers want, as if they wont stock the book it wont sell. The book cover can sell the book so how good or enticing the book cover is look is an important part of an editors job. It is the cover that will give the book an edge with the booksellers. It is quite scary the impact the big bookstores have on the publishing world and when you realise they monopolise over 70% of the book selling market it is understandable why writing for children has become more competitive.
Book publishing is becoming more commercial and it is true, the big publishing companies increasingly will not back a book unless it is a sure bet. This may be why more authors are self-publishing – to prove they have a viable product. Publishing houses spend a lot of money on marketing. They budget for each book but the author has to get involved with marketing too. Once the book is released you don’t instantly become a best seller.
Nowadays, more gimmicks are being used to sell their books, such as collectable web cards and glitsy book covers that catch your attention on the shelf. Statistics show thin books, for the six-to-eight age range, did not sell as well as thicker books, because they were not so easy to see on the shelf. So publishing houses started to make fatter books. As you can imagine, this makes production more expensive. My Adventure Passport series were packaged in cute little suitcases.
Editors are an important role in publishing your book, whether you are writing for children, adults, education or trade. But they don’t have the scope to build a writer up over a number of books in the way they use to. Their job is to see the book all the way through not just to edit it. So be an original voice. Remember you are sending your manuscript to someone who reads over 500 a year. Ask yourself: Would an editor or agent jump off a bridge for your book? To spend so much time on a book, you have to be a fan.