{Coffee with Kara}: The Author-Editor Relationship, Part 2

If you haven’t yet read part one of this series, click HERE to catch up.

In part one, I briefly discussed the editorial process here at Anaiah and then listed some editing-related questions every author should ask when negotiating a publishing contract. Today, I’m going to talk about the five things your editor will expect from you.

  1. COMMUNICATION. This is the single most important aspect of any author-editor relationship. Because so much of publishing is handled online nowadays, there’s going to be a lot of emails sent your way. And because publishing works on deadlines–sometimes very tight deadlines–it’s important that you check your email often and respond in a timely fashion.

    If you’re going to be on vacation or otherwise unavailable for some reason, tell your editor as soon as possible. If you need a deadline extension, tell your editor. If you’re struggling with edits, tell your editor!

    See where I’m going with this? šŸ™‚ If you don’t talk frequently and honestly with your editor, s/he won’t know what’s going on, and if s/he doesn’t know, s/he can’t help you. And that causes a lot of frustration and hurt feelings for everyone involved. So, please. Communicate regularly with your editor! I promise, we are here to help and guide you.
  2. HARD WORK. The editorial process is a lot of hard work. There are multiple rounds and multiple stages, which means you’re going to be digging deep into your book and remolding, reshaping, and reworking it. An editor can spend hours each day for (sometimes) weeks leaving comments and making edits. It’s truly a labor of love for us, so we expect the same effort in return. Don’t rush through your edits simply so you can return them before the deadline. And please don’t do the absolute bare minimum and call it good. Trust me, your editor will be able to tell if this is what you’ve done.
  3. PROFESSIONALISM. Publishing, above all else, is a business, and it should be approached as such on all fronts. When communicating with your editor, please remain professional. Address him/her appropriately–and if you’re unsure what they’d like to be called, just ask. Respect his/her boundaries in terms of how they’d like to be contacted and during what hours.

    When disagreeing with edits–because, yes, it will happen–explain your position in a calm, respectful, and well thought out manner. Do not use all caps to shout at your editor. And please, do not call your editor names. (Yes, I’ve personally had this happen before.)

    A good rule of thumb to follow: If you were face-to-face with your editor in a traditional office setting, would you say the same exact things in the same tone that you’re typing them? If the answer is no, then you might want to rethink that email or comment.
  4. ADHERENCE TO DEADLINES. As I mentioned above, publishing works on deadlines. Here at Anaiah, we set all deadlines upon contract signing, which means before you even receive your first editorial email, every single department and staff member knows what their personal deadlines are for your book. If you miss a deadline, it has a domino effect on the entire process and everyone involved. It can also affect your release date. So please, be sure you make the deadlines your editor gives you, and if you can’t (we understand life happens), be sure to communicate this to your editor.
  5. HAVE FUN! Yes, the editing process is long and requires a lot of hard work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Personally, I like to leave fun, encouraging comments within the manuscript. I feel it gives the author a glimpse into what’s working, what my emotional reaction is, and it just feels good to see those positives amidst all the “fix this” comments. In doing this, I’ve learned some wonderful things about my authors, and I’ve become friends with many of them outside of editing.

Be sure to come back on Monday, July 22nd for part three where I’ll discuss what you, the author, should expect from your editor.

2 thoughts on “{Coffee with Kara}: The Author-Editor Relationship, Part 2

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