Daniel Parra grew up in Mexico City, but he established himself in Chicago, where he has lived for over fifteen years. He is co-founder and editorial director of 7Vientos Press (7V), an independent publishing house launched in Chicago in 2010. According to their website, "7Vientos is a bilingual publishing house that strives to serve the world of confluences that is today’s America. The objective is simple: to promote diversity of cultures by bringing literature previously unavailable in English. Its mission it to publish works by writers who think outside the box; unorthodox, experimental, intellectually risky" and cult-classics. We thought Parra might have an interesting perspective working with writers who are not only bilingual but also unorthodox and experimental.
Always keep an honest and respectful dialog with your editor.
We have been fortunate to be able to work with very professional writers. However, not all is celestial molasses. The first thing I strongly recommend is to avoid altruisms. If an editor is working with you, he/she is very probably doing so because they liked your work. Publishing is a process that requires teamwork. Always keep an honest and respectful dialog with your editor. You are the artist, but editing, proofreading and translating are crafts that also deserve to be appreciated. If the appreciation is mutual, your collaborative efforts will shine on your final published work. That is the ultimate goal.
Another very important element to consider is to be on time for meetings and to deliver your work on time. It's understandable. We are all human, and we make mistakes. If for some reason you can't make it on time, let your editor or publisher know with as much notice as possible. Editors don't always meet deadlines themselves; and they should also let you know when that happens.
Your work does not end when you submit your manuscript.
A third important element to consider is organization. Show your editor or publisher that you have the qualities of an organized writer. Submit your manuscripts in order and properly labeled. Run a final spelling check of your work. Submitting a text that has been proofread will show that you are well organized with you ideas and with your words. The fewer grammatical errors your manuscripts have, the easier it will be for your editor to concentrate more on the process of publishing your work, and they will work on your manuscripts with more confidence and determination.
My last piece of advice is to let your editor/publisher know that you understand the fact that your work does not end when you submit your manuscript. Show that you can be available to help during the publication process, but, most importantly, that you will also work after your book is published. If you are not the kind of person who thrives on promoting your work that is totally OK, but be willing to help in other creative ways.
Daniel Parra attended Instituto de Computación y Metodos in Mexico, Corvinus University in Budapest, and DePaul University. Parra has worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade.