Phillipa Astley has a link to the Easter editoion of Open book on her blog and it should be required listening for all writers -- whether they are published or not. The programme deals with how editors, publishers and authors work together. In particular it gives an editorial view of revisions and why they happen. I can't imagine ever working like Rose Tremain who has her editor come and visit. They then go over the book page by page in the course of two days. And I did find it amusing when an editor described how she tried v hard to be diplomatic and postive. One of her authors was then asked how he felt when he got one of her letters -- bruised and battered came back the reply. The morale is: author's egos are fragile. And some times, it does not matter what is said, the author is not going to like it. Personally, I agreed with another author who said he would be upset if the publishing house simply took the novel without any revisons, because he knows how much stronger a professional eye can make the book. There is always something that can be revised.
The part on covers was very interesting as well. How a cover needs to create a mood. This is certainly true of Sold and Seduced and The Roman's Virgin Mistress. And the prototype of Taken by The Viking that I have seen. As Cheryl St John has already recieved her July cover and it is beautiful, I am hoping they will be putting the July covers up soon and then I can put the cover for TRVM up.
The programme is very much geared towards the literary end, but I know that much of what is said is true of HM&B. They do stick with authors. they want to grow authors.they believe in authors. They buy books because they like the authors. I loved how Orion stuck with Ian Rankin for seven years.
The programme takes about a half hour and I enjoyed it. I was also amused that they did not dare state the obvious -- the one publisher who REMAINS a brand -- Harlequin Mills and Boon. M&B readers still wait for the publication day of their favourite series. Something that Penguin readers gave up on awhile ago.