Thank the mice I got that part over with. I knew working with an editor would be an ordeal, but I didn’t know how hard it would be letting someone else to tamper with your own text. And I have to confess I “fought” with my editor all the way through my book. Now as I have had the time and distance to think I can see what he did to my text, and it is fantastic. (Don’t worry, we are still on speaking terms, and willing to work with each other.) Alright, I have to give to myself that there were places where I really had to make clear what my intentions were, so the nuances of my text wouldn’t be taken away. But in general editors improve your text. They help to fix it, they help to make it more reader friendly, and they make your sentences shine. And yes! I mean shine, my text got so fine tuned that it blinds my eyes…
I was “blessed” that my first editor was so good, that he saw my weaknesses and took them away. I would like to write something snarky here, to make you laugh, but that would cause an impairment against my editor and I want nothing such sort to happen. So, you don’t get a joke… which is a good thing as I’m fresh out of one.
If you want to be serious about writing and want your books to sell, get an editor. Even a cheap one will do, someone who will go over the text with fresh judgemental eyes. You need that. I needed that! Heck most newspaper articles desperately need that.
I always knew I would get an editor because of my dyslexia, which make me struggle sometimes. I found my editor by posting a request to Goodread’s Editors and Writers group. It was a simple letter which introduced the genre, the subject (shortly), and what kind of editing I was looking for and of course my contact info. That was about it, and I was very polite and all that. I got several responses (right away) from professional editors. I chose my editor based on their sample edit (always ask that), communication style, and pricing.
We worked through email exchange. My editor kept me up to date where his edits were, what was happening, and so on. He contacted me every time he wasn’t sure about a sentence and its meaning. We talked the sentence over and always found a better way to express it. For me, the communication was the most important aspect of the whole editing process. We live in different continents and our working relationship and trust was built in those emails. Everything didn’t go smoothly straight away. He was my first editor, and I was still learning how to communicate with one. What I learned was: be polite, be clear of your meanings, and if you disagree with something, tell the editor why (elaborately). And most importantly remember to tell them if they got it right! Positive feedback is always good. I don’t mean false positive feedback: “good, good, good.” I mean saying when someone does something right and pointing that out. Then they know their input is valued and they know what kind of editing style is for you. All very basic things to remember, but sometimes they get lost in the communication when the focus is only in the “end product”.
The point of this post is a thank you for my editor. He grew my text from a manuscript to a real book.
Thank you Tony Held!