Time to Call the Book Editor: Tips for Surviving the Editing Process

Written by on January 28, 2013 in Books & Self-Publishing, Editing - Leave a Comment

How will you prepare for your book editor's red pen?Your manuscript is complete and you’re ready to bring in the professionals to edit the book? Congratulations! This is a big moment and you’re one step closer to having your published book in your hands (or on your e-reader)… but what can you do to prepare yourself for what can be a painful process?

First, hire the right book editor.

Invest yourself in finding the perfect editor for the job. Make sure it’s someone with a track record of success (and the portfolio to prove it). Take the time to read a few chapters of a book that your prospective book editor worked on. Is it error-free? Talk to their past clients. Are they happy with the work done by the editor?

Second, set deadlines.

Once you’ve got the right book editor on the job, set reasonable, mutually agreed upon deadlines and put them in your contract. This goes, not only for the editor, but for your review of the edits. You’re both working on schedules – setting all of your important dates up front will keep things painless later on.

Third, enjoy the lull.

Once your book editor has the manuscript in hand, enjoy the time off. Take some time away from the keyboard. Take a mini-vacation. Do some celebrating!

Finally, use your listening ears.

As an editor and a writer, I’ve had experience on both sides of this process and it can be stressful. Writers get defensive. Editors feel insulted… and so you need to take a piece of advice from my son’s preschool: Use your “listening ears.” That is, make a priority of processing what your editor is saying before your respond. It’s natural to feel defensive about your manuscript – you’ve worked hard on it! But do your best to listen and think before assuming the worst.

What are your tips to make the most out of the editing process?

Photo credit: Flickr

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