Dealing With Stories That I Don’t Like

So, something I hadn’t entirely realised about this whole Being An Editor and Working In Publishing thing was that you have to deal with ALL the books that come across your plate. The Good, the Bad, and sometimes the Ugly.

(But, thankfully, we’re not talking about the Ugly today. That’s an entire ‘nother conversation.)

I’m incredibly blessed that both of the publishers I work for – Rebellion and Grimbold Books – pick Very Good Books, so the writing is excellent. The stories are good. The authors Know Their Shit.

But, because I’m not the Commissioning Editor and I don’t get to buy every book, sometimes I gotta read something that I don’t personally like.

*cough*horror*cough*

Or read a rather unsettling book *cough*Wanderers*cough* for the seventh time.

And – and this was the thing I hadn’t entirely grasped – because I’m a speed reader, I read them. I mean, usually if you don’t like a book – it’s not for you, a genre you don’t like, the writing’s terrible – you can put it down. But not if you’re copy-editing, then checking the format, then putting proof corrections in, then making the ebook and then checking that… that’s five reads alone, even without a submissions or edit read (and I’ll usually have read at least some of the submission.) And I do skim; I do pick up enough that I’m reading. And with an unsettling book (Wanderers) or one that’s horror enough to give me the creeps (naming no names, @premeesaurus) then it’s enough that I do get affected.

It’s actually enough of a problem that I’m starting to gain coping strategies – admittedly, they’re mostly a) taking a break, b) chocolate, and c) telling my colleagues that THEY ARE DEALING WITH THIS ONE BECAUSE JUST NO, but it’s a bit of an occupational hazard that I hadn’t really considered previously!

Maybe my boss will let me have a chocolate bonus in my paycheck…