Monday, July 6, 2015

Working with an Editor + July Question of the Month

When you get a publishing contract you will find that your editor is your new best friend. You will work closely with your editor to perfect your book and you will go to your editor with concerns and questions. You have to be able to trust your editor, and they have to be able to trust you. This is very much a relationship, but please don’t tell him/her about your bad date...keep it professional and all conversation geared toward your book.

What should you expect?

Well, after you sign your contract, your editor will review your manuscript and send it back to your with their edits. This is always a moment full of anxiety. I can’t even begin to tell you how much my heart races when I see that email sitting in my inbox, but I remind myself that my book is good. After all, it’s being published. And that the editor’s job is to help me iron out any wrinkles to make it shine.

When you open the document you’ll most likely see a lot of Track Changes where the editor cut out words, fixed spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. You’ll also see comments on the side. These comments can be on anything. Some editors stick strictly to pointing out the things that need to be fixed such as awkward phrasing or point-of-view issues, while others like to highlight things they liked.

Image from Wikipedia

Try not to panic when you see all the markings. Tell yourself that once you address the editor’s concerns, you’ll have a far more beautiful manuscript than you started out with. Then take a deep breath and begin with the first comment or change.

But what if you think you editor is wrong?

Never start a fight! Calmly tell your editor how you feel and politely ask him/her to explain their suggestion so you can understand. Maybe the two of you can work together to find a path you’ll both be satisfied with.
TIP: Reading through your manuscript during each round is a must as many sentences will be altered by your editor, and you may have to fix some scenes.
Editing with your editor usually involves three or more rounds until the book is set into a galley. Even when you get that galley, though, you still have to review it closely to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Whatever you do, always be respectful! When that final galley is sent to your publisher, thank your editor for their time and help. He/she will appreciate it. Thanking them in your dedications/acknowledgements is also a nice gesture.
See: Dedications and Acknowledgements

QUESTION: What’s been your experience with editors?


July Question of the Month:

QUESTION: What are three things that you'd do tomorrow if you weren't blocked by fear?

1. Get a beta reader for the first book in my unpublished supernatural-thriller series. This is the story featuring Avrianna Heavenborn (from Ghost of Death). I first created her when I was twelve and rewrote her series at seventeen. I’ve been perfecting her first book ever since. I am SUPER protective of it and afraid a beta would hate it or suggest I change everything, so I haven’t had a single beta look at it. It’s hard to explain how I feel.

2. Drive a car. I’ve been terrified of driving for a very long time, which is another fear that people don’t understand. Let’s just leave it at that.

3. Sign myself up for an online dating service. Wow. That’s personal, huh? Well, with my writing career and solitude life, I don’t get out much to meet people. One day, I’ll have to get the guts to join a dating service. At least to see what happens....

That's all for now!

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