August Newsletter - Vol. 50
“Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship. It won’t work if you don’t trust each other.” - Anonymous
Trust, part 1
Inviting someone to put their hands on your manuscript and make changes to it can be a nerve-racking move. You know it needs to be done, but how do you choose which editor to work with? How do you decide which changes to keep and which to ignore? How do you trust some stranger with your book baby?
Our first recommendation is to figure out what you want. Do you already have a book bible, or do you need your editor to help with one? How many passes in your editing do you want? Do you want an editor who makes lots of changes or an editor with a light touch? Are you on a tight deadline, or can you afford to wait a while to work with the editor you want? How much time are you willing to commit to the editing process?
If you don’t already know what you want, we encourage you to shop around. Look up a bunch of editors’ websites and see what they offer. See what kind of timeline they say editing will take. Compare costs. There’s an editor out there for every budget.
After you’ve figured out what you want from editing, ask your author friends and writer groups for editor recommendations. Most authors love to brag about their editor.
After you’ve done your research, contact the top three editors on your list. Ask for sample edits. Most will do a free sample, although some editors do have a small charge for sample edits. As soon as you reach out to them, start watching. Do they respond quickly? Do you have to chase them down for information? Does what they say in email match what is written on the website?
Look to see if they return the sample when they say they will. (If they can’t return a sample on time, do you think they’ll meet your deadline for their book?) Then compare the samples. Which editor preserved your voice? Which editor made changes you wouldn’t have caught? Did the editor insert any errors in your book? Do you like the way the editor communicates in their comments to you? Keep track of the boxes they tick, and your choice will seem far less daunting.
Next month, we’ll talk about trusting your editor after you’ve chosen one. In the meantime, please celebrate this month’s new releases!
Piper Lawson, Beautiful Ruin
Thanks for sticking with us through 50 whole newsletters! We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy writing them.
See you all in September!