Tag Archives: business dealings

#SaysTheEditor: Whoa There, Nelly!


I’ve had a few new clients lately, and that’s darn awesome. New blood, new viewpoints, new writing to keep me on my toes. Keep referring your friends my way. I’ll make sure you’re glad you did.

With new clients comes the breaking-in period, the teaching of how to do things the West of Mars way. Usually, it’s really simple. They say, “How do I do this?” and I answer. Even if it’s on my nifty FAQ page, I take the time and answer. After all, there’s nothing like the personal touch, and I’m glad for the dialogue that lets us get to know each other. (and, to be honest, I am not much of an FAQ reader, either — although you should read mine ’cause it’s been way fun to write and update.)

But lately, it hasn’t been as simple as it’s designed to be. I get that authors are excited to have found an editor they think they can work with long-term. I get that they’re new and in unfamiliar surroundings. I love that enthusiasm, I really do. It brings an energy into my day that’s really welcome. All these good things, right? It’s all good… until it comes time to pay the bill. Lately, new clients have been sending payment to my personal PayPal account.

You’d think that’d be fine, right? Susan does the work, Susan gets the money.

West of Mars is a registered business. That’s why those cute little L, L, and C letters come after the company name. And because it’s a registered company, it has its own bank account. And even though I’m the business owner, I get paid only a portion of what I charge you. The rest goes to the company to cover costs like insurance, my bookkeeper and web people, advertising, and more.

Believe me, my bookkeeper is earning her pay. And, of course, charging me for it, too.

So I’ve changed my policy, effective today. If you send payment to my personal PayPal account, it’s going to be returned. You’re going to be responsible for any fees. And you can either resubmit the payment to the right place or I’ll delete your manuscript, unedited, and that’s the end of our relationship.

I hate to be a hardass about this. I really do. But ignoring the rules, not waiting for an invoice (people, you need the invoices for your taxes!), sending payment to the wrong spot… that all creates extra work. Which creates extra stress and expense on my end. It sucks away time that I should be spending working on your manuscript. And it doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies about you and our future relationship, either.

Look, I’m a rule-breaker, too. I admire that about people. But there are rules to break — like starting a sentence with a preposition — and there are rules you don’t want to muck with.

So… new policy born out of necessity. I’m not a fan of it. But it can’t all be sunshine and unicorns and love, sadly. It takes all kinds to rock the world… it takes all kinds… even the kinds who do stuff we wish they didn’t.