Writer Wednesday: Be Kind to Editors (and Writers) Month
Good morning authors and welcome to the middle of the week. It's very wet outside here and the final days of summer vacation are ticking away for us while many students are already back in school. Today marks the first day of September and it is Be Kind to Editors & Writers month. This is legit, the internet told me so.
Now I've espoused many a post about how to be kind to ourselves and each other as authors. There are many ways we can support each other before even buying books. Leaving reviews, spreading awareness through word of mouth, asking your library to buy an author's book or donating one yourself, sharing a book on social media are all ways to support authors. Fellow authors can take that a step further by cohosting giveaways, blurbing books, doing take overs of reading groups or hosting book parties. There are tons ways authors can connect and boost one another in this business.
How to Support Editors
Like authors, editors often hold down a full time job on top of their editing work. If they happen to work for a big house, or work for a sizeable and well established small press, they might make enough salary for editing to be their sole job. Some make it work by having a full case load of independent authors. But, truthfully, the nature of publishing requires a lot of sweat, tears, and labor to reach that point. Many editors get their start with small presses, working contract to contract, or slowly building their client load within small networks of authors. Know what works for authors and editors?
Word of Mouth
Just like querying, trying to advertise yourself as an editor is like shouting into the sea. If you have the chance to work with an editor who is building their clientele, tell other authors about them. Even if their current work load prevents them from taking on another author at the time, they will appreciate the recommendation and hopefully connect with the author on a future project. Word of mouth is invaluable for funneling potential clients, especially other authors you know who could be a great fit for an editor. Building an author/editor network can help an editor gain testimonials to up their appeal to random clients.
Recognizing their Worth
A good editor is worth their weight in gold to a indie author, lending a level of quality and professionalism to help take an independent author to the next step in their career. Editors aren't just proofreaders, though that is one of the services they can offer. An editor will cut the chaff in a manuscript, highlighting clunky scenes, pointing out plot holes, inconsistencies, and every other literary snafu you can think of. A manuscript will transform into the best possible version of itself in an editor's hands.
Be Patient, Be Kind
It's a simple thing but too often we forget that editors, like authors, are human with ups, downs, and all the mess in-between. Remember if you disagree with an editor's notes, it's not a personal attack on your as an author, not should your response be a personal attack on them as an editor. All edits are ultimately optional to an author's discretion. Edits are suggestions, not commands. And if you find you don't vibe with a particular editor, it's okay to end that business relationship or seek other options instead of continually butting heads, but try to ensure you part in mutual and amicable terms as possible. There may be times when life happens and editors need the same understanding patience they offer us when deadlines go astray in the chaos that is life.