And That’s A Wrap!

Today I’m going to finish giving serious answers to the questions in my humorous post The Top 10 Things People Say to Writers, and How You Should Respond. So when you’re tired of being snarky this will help you give some constructive–and helpful–answers to your non-writer friends and family.

I’m combining 9 and 10 for this last post, since 10 was just a funny throwaway.

9. Will you read/edit the book I wrote and give me suggestions on how to make it better, maybe rewrite a few scenes for me?

Wow, we’re ending on this doozy of a question. I understand, I really do. If I had access to a ***real writer*** (aka someone who has books published) when I was a young, green, inexperienced writer, I probably would have made this faux pas too. Actually KNOWING someone who has done what you want to do seems so shiny and wonderful, of COURSE they’ll help you! I did help someone once by editing his short story, but quickly learned this was a mistake because then he wanted me to edit and revise ALL of his stories (all the while not taking any of my editing advice to heart). I was also in an unfortunate, cringey position in which my boss brought his daughter’s book to work and asked me if I would read it and give her some suggestions.

Of course, a lot of writers have beta readers, and these are people (usually other writers) who have volunteered to read your stuff and give advice and suggestions–and often, you return the favor. But basically ‘cold calling’ an author is a big misstep. There’s four huge reasons I won’t read or edit your book for you:

  1. You’re going to get offended when I tell you what’s wrong with it (been there, seen that).
  2. Editors are people who get paid to do what they do. It’s a real job.
  3. If I spend all my time editing and reading for other people, I’ll never get any of my own work done.
  4. You probably don’t write the same stuff that I write, or am interested in reading, and I can’t give you a fair evaluation because of that.

My humorous answer on the list: Sure thing. Just let me look up the going rate editors/ghostwriters charge these days, and I’ll get back to you with an invoice. By the way, I only take cash, paid in full in advance.

A more constructive answer: The same, but slightly more polite.

And that leads us to:

10. Why are you so grouchy?

*eye twitch*

Well that’s it, folks! I hope you got a laugh out of this, and maybe learned a few things.

By the way, stop by Long and Short Reviews today, there’s a contest going on and I’m giving away a copy of Star-Crossed! There’s tons of other prizes to be won as well, including books and gift cards, so come on down!

Author: Megan Morgan

Paranormal and contemporary romance author.

9 thoughts

  1. I get cold-called for “editing” a lot. So usually I tell people to follow my social media, during which time I will let them know when I can EXCHANGE critiques.

    Alternatively, I refer them to my fiverr page. *sweet smile*


  2. I can relate to this as a copy editor. Because I work with self-publishing authors, I understand the importance of leaving a review when I finish reading a book. I’m a firm believer in it, and will post my good or bad review both on Goodreads and Amazon. BUT (and there’s always one BUT, isn’t there?) so many authors on Goodreads assume I want to read their books to review them. I have to make it clear that I am not a book reviewer. It’s even in my “about me” section right there on my GR profile page. Yet, I’m asked on a regular basis if I would read someone’s book for review. And of course it makes me look like a complete jerk when I tell them I have very little time to read for pleasure, and asking me to read a book I may not have otherwise chosen to read is like asking me to work for them for free (exactly as you mentioned) . . . because if I say yes, then not only am I obligated to read it, but I’m expected to pay attention to the kind of detail that is important in a review. Yes, I pay attention to that stuff in the books I choose to read for pleasure, but it happens naturally when I’m reading those. My guess is that the authors who beg me to read & review do so because my reviews are generally favorable . . . duh, because I’ve actually chosen to read what I’m reviewing and usually know the general quality before I ever open it up.

    Hmm . . . sorry for ranting on your page. Obviously I feel a little strongly on this one. Maybe that can be a future blog post for me! So thanks for the idea, Megan. You’re the bomb.


    1. Rant away, please! This is a rant-friendly place! Heaven knows I do enough of it on my own. 😉

      I can see how that would be frustrating. It’s difficult when you’re ‘in the industry’ to just read a book for pleasure and then go and tell everyone what you thought of it–because people are going to think it’s some sort of professional review, not just own your own two cents. I’ve also had people hit me up on Twitter out of nowhere and ask me to review their book. I try to just be kind and give them a few (actual review) sites where they might try their luck. I think this gets compounded by the fact that I’m a fairly active blogger who hosts book tours–though I don’t actually review!

      You should totally make a blog post about it. Glad I could give you some ideas! 😀


      1. I think part of the frustration is also that the people who ask are strangers. I have never thought anything of it when a friend (or friendly acquaintance) asks, because we already have a relationship. But I think my response to the strangers from this point is going to be feigned ignorance, saying, “Oh, I’ll be happy to do that. Please send me your manuscript and I’ll begin once the Paypal payment clears, according to the terms on my website in my ‘pricing’ section for beta/evaluations.” I’m willing to bet that will sort out quite a few.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed this series, I haven’t written a book yet but I hope to have these problems soon because I have your witty retorts at the ready now.


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