I tried to avoid splitting my life into “before” the crash and “after” the crash. It seemed facile and dramatic. But it’s also accurate: My life changed irrevocably on March 22, 2021, and even the things I can get back I will never get back in the same way. I am a different person now, and I still don’t know exactly who that person is.
Some things I have discovered in the four and a half months since:
One of the most common questions I see new or aspiring writers ask is “How do I show my manuscript to an editor/publisher while also preventing them from stealing it?”
The conventional answer to this question–the one you’ll hear from most writers–is “Don’t be silly; no editor is going to steal your book.” To convince you their answer is realistic, these writers will cite all sorts of silly facts, like “A publisher that gets known for stealing manuscripts will never receive another submission” or “It would be far too easy for you to prove you actually wrote the book” or even “Editing pays far better than writing books does.”
But what if all those writers are just throwing you off the scent? What if they’re lying to you in order to cut down on the competition, so their own books can get stolen–I mean, sold–more efficiently?
Some editors, like mine, are the nicest people in the world. Some editors, also like mine, are dastardly supervillains just waiting for heroes like me to slip up so they can steal my book and pretend to have written it themselves, in my notebooks, in my handwriting, in my house three thousand miles from their office. *shakes fist* I’ll get you for this, Dr. Nick!
Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer the same fate. There are several “tells” that can clue you in as to whether the editor really wants to help you, or just wants to steal your book.