Over at the Blue Rose Girls, they’re discussing how books don’t give credit like movies do. For fun, I thought I’d weigh in on the discussion.

For a while the small press I’m with credited all the production members on the copyright page. Since there are so few of us, it wasn’t a very extensive list. The other editor and I convinced the publisher to change this. I can’t speak for Meghan’s reasoning, but I wanted the anonymity. But I didn’t want it because of credit or blame. I wanted to make it harder for submitters to find my name. I know this sounds a little crazy (not to mention paranoid), but here was my reasoning:

We get very little agented submissions, and very few requested submissions. That leaves one mountain of slush. Now there are all sorts of ways to sort slush. One of the things we do is sort by whether or not the person has managed to come up with an editor’s name. This is not as hard as it sounds. My name is in our CWIM listing. I have this blog. It’s on the copyright page of some of our books. It doesn’t take much, but it does take a little work to find it. And you would be surprised how many people don’t bother to do that work. These are the same people that either don’t know about or don’t bother with critique groups, proofreading, and proper manuscript formatting. I am of course talking in gross generalizations, but the slush in the specific editor piles tends to be better than in the generic editor pile.

So, that was why I wanted my name left out of books. I prefer for people to have to go somewhere like CWIM or this blog to find my name. If they’re looking for it in one of those places, they’re more likely to also read our submission guidelines. And then we wouldn’t get as many picture book manuscripts.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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