Why Change Is Good
“Oh, no another editor change,” the writer groans. “And I really had a connection with ______.”
It’s inevitable in the business of writing and publishing. The editors and agents and writers continue to move. In the early days of my writing life, I used to make the same comments whenever anyone moved around. Why can’t things stay the same?
There are many reasons for these moves. Possibly the editor or agent has plateaued with their work at a particular place and wants to make a switch within publishing. Maybe the company has shifted and decided to cut back on the services of the editor. Possibly it’s for an improved financial situation or a new challenge the individual has decided to make a change. It happens across the writing world—within the magazine business and book publishing.
Some writers have made a career of tracking these changes. Sally Stuart is one of those writers. Each year she spends a great deal of energy and effort to update the annual Christian Writer’s Market Guide, the Reference Tool for Christian Writers (Shaw Books). Besides the book, Sally writes a regular market column in several publications about the various editor shifts and changes.
There are many ways to keep up on these changes. Here’s a few ways to track changes:
- Read the trade magazines like Publisher’s Weekly and others in your area of the market
- Read magazines and especially study the mast head to see who has changed in the last month
- Watch for change with the various online groups
- Keep your eye out for changes when you attend writer’s conferences. Pick up on the latest news in the industry.
When you read about one of these changes, you can groan but I suggest another course of action. See that change as a possible opportunity for additional writing. Each editor takes their own sphere of contacts and experiences with them to the new position. Where did your old editor move? Did they become a literary agent? Maybe they are open to new clients. Did the editor change from one magazine to a new one? Did they switch from magazine editing into book editing? Did your children’s book editor move into the adult book arena? Maybe they are needing new writers for a particular project. Did they leave book publishing and become a book packager? Again it’s an opportunity for you to follow that former editor. Reach out and be in touch with this person. You may be surprised at what happens for you—maybe nothing. But definitely it will be nothing if you don’t try it.
Also think about this new editor or new agent. What is their mandate within their company? Are they looking for a new direction or a new stable of writers? Could you be one of those people if you pitch the right idea?
Opportunity abounds—only to those who understand the significance of change.