The next group of people I have to thank for this year are the others at Thomas & Mercer. As a reader, I think you’re conditioned to know in the back of your head about “editors”–authors talk about them a lot. But there’s an entire team of people who pour heart and soul into getting books out into the world who don’t always receive as much credit:
–Copy Editors: How many bullets are left in the magazine at the end of a shootout? Can you really get from Point A to Point B in 15 minutes? Why do her eyes change color? Copy editors are the people who pose questions like these, and I was absolutely astounded when I got my first copy edit at the attention they pay to the tiniest level of detail. Continuity errors still slip through occasionally, but the fact they’re not rampant is all due to the hard, unsung work of these folks.
–Proofreaders: If you’ve ever missed a typo despite reading something you wrote 17 or 18 times, you’ll appreciate what these special people do. They know the grammar rules better than your fourth grade English teacher and can explain exactly how you just screwed up the language you’ve been speaking/reading/writing for last 40 years. But their help is invaluable, because as much as you think, “I’m a writer, I know what I’m doing,” the truth is that in a novel of 80K or 100K words, everyone misses things.
–Cover Artists: Yes, you *do* judge a book by its cover, and you know it. That’s why these people are amazingly important. I thought the cover to TAKEOFF was gorgeous when I first saw it, but even then I didn’t completely appreciate how important it was going to be. So many people *remember* the cover. It’s happened over and over–I meet someone, introduce myself, and they say, “oh, that’s the book with the plane on it.” (And that’s why I’m dying to see what the artwork for FALSE HORIZON looks like!)
–Marketing/Author Relations: T&M has a huge team of people making sure that word about our books gets out and without that, we’d be lost. Those cool author videos you see on YouTube? The gorgeous ads you see on Twitter? The fact that we appear at ThrillerFest or Bouchercon? A whole crew contributes to all of that.
Again, I wouldn’t have had the wonderful 2018 that I have without the contributions from all of these people, so I’m incredibly grateful to all of them. The next time you’re enjoying a book by your favorite author, give a quick thought to all of the people who helped get it into your hands–they deserve it!