In praise of editors;Letter

2nd April 1999 at 01:00
I STARTED writing textbooks 12 years ago, and although Saffron Davies (TES Friday, March 19) struck a chord - punching away at a computer while heavily pregnant, neglecting domestic chores and children - my experience of publishers is much more positive.

Far from anonymous and unreasonable demands, I work with my commissioning editor to agree content, and any support I need is at the other end of a phone line. Deadlines are set and set tightly, but in the past five years, mine have been adjusted to accommodate family illness, bereavement and pregnancy.

When a book takes off, the hours of labour can be rewarded lucratively. Even at 10 per cent royalties, my earnings are well over double what I would have earned if I had stayed in a classroom.

I don't want to be mollycoddled. I am happy to feel part of a team. My name may be on the cover, but my books would not happen without input from a lot of other people. I appreciate their involvement and respect their skills as I feel they do mine. Perhaps rather than damning them all, Saffron should look at writing for a more author-friendly publishing house.

Sue Penney 36 The Beeches, Hope Wrexham

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