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One of my clients recently spoke to a friend, the wife of a long-time New York Times bestselling author who brought up a new kink in the book writing business. This woman, an author in her own right, said that she knows of several authors with major publishers who lost their editor due to lay-offs at their publishing house.
Unfortunately, when your editor leaves the publishing house, your book may languish because the person who fell in love with the project and has the most passion for it is now gone. This is really bad news. In the publishing industry, we call the book an “orphan.”
You don’t want your book to become an orphan. So, how do you protect yourself? One way is to complete your book before you send out the book proposal. That way, your book can proceed to editing and printing much more quickly and decrease the odds of becoming an orphan.
My client, however, didn’t want to wait another several months to finish her book. She’d been working on the book proposal for more than a year and it’s finally ready to send off. Neither of us felt like waiting. We agreed that she would send off the book proposal to agents, but continue writing at a healthy pace, so that once her book found a publisher, she would be well on her way to completing the book.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. You just need to be aware of the changing dynamics of publishing right now and make the best choices you can. And then…trust the universe.