Book Editing Tips: Understanding the Writer-Editor Relationship

One of the best book editing tips that you’ll ever hear is that it’s impossible to market and sell a poorly editing book. It’s also nearly impossible for an author to edit their own book. That’s why the online book world is flooded with mediocre self-published books.

It’s important that the editorial process goes as smoothly as possible. That means writers need to develop a great working relationship with their editor. It’s based mostly on trust and works both ways. Here are three tips to build a better relationship.

Don’t Let Egos Ruin the Experience

Writers must have a thick skin anyway but even though that’s the case, I’ve personally seen so many people get upset over criticism. As an editor, I’ve been yelled at, cussed at, and called a lot of names over editing notes. So I’m going to be blunt here.

If you want someone to bloat your ego and tell you everything you want to hear, let your family edit your book. If you want genuine, cold hard facts and constructive feedback, then hire an editor. If you choose the first option, your book is going to flop. If you choose the second option, leave your ego at the door.

Editors don’t tell you this stuff to hurt your feelings. They are genuinely trying to help so don’t take it personally.

Listen Carefully to the Editor

This is another common issue that editors notice from authors. They don’t pay attention to the comments as much as they should. You’ve paid them to do a job so you might as well get your money’s worth out of it. If you just go down the list of issues and treat it like a step-by-step process, it’s much easier on you as the author.

If there is an edit that you don’t understand, ask the editor. They will be happy to explain. If you disagree, then provide the specific reasons why you disagree. Editors can sometimes help you realize things you’d never considered. They will also help troubleshoot the problem.

Editorial Deadlines Must be Followed by Both Parties

This is one of the more delicate topics to bring up but an important one. A contract works both ways, so remember that the editor also has a schedule to keep. The contract should state how long the author and editor have to send back and forth feedback. As an author, make sure you hold up to your end of that timeline.

When an author misses a deadline, the editor has to put their project on the back burner because they have other projects to work on as well. The best editors are going to be busy so your book won’t be the only one there are working on. If you miss a deadline, it will cause the editor to miss the next deadline.

Be respectful of an editor’s time and make sure you can commit to the timeline set in your contract.

Book Editing Tips: Hiring the Right Editor

It’s important to understand that not every writer and editor make a great combination. Make sure to interview them first and carefully research their background. Ask them important questions and learn a bit about their personality.

Working with a professional editor sets your book up for success from the start.