[by Billi Joy Carson, Senior Editor/ Editing Addict]
Often, editors are presumed to do this to writers:
Editors are members of your team—like coaches—wanting YOU (the author) to succeed. They are paid to find mistakes, errors, and faults, in order to make you a stronger and more successful author. They are not paid to pat you on the back, tell you how amazing you are, and do a little flattering dance to your glory—that is part of the marketing team’s job [haha!]. Your editor is not your friend—they aren’t there to encourage you by cheering your good points. They are there to point out the ugly and sloppy aspects that need help, that need polishing and fixing.
Don’t fear your editor. The editors are here for the authors. They aren’t going to highlight your face green (as the comic above suggests), but they are going to help you see the errors and weaknesses in your writing. Then (hopefully), you learn and grow, and become a stronger writer—which leads to an amazing author. A good editor can be a great teacher; make sure you treat their insights and time as valuable, because it is priceless.
Your editor will pick apart your work, but it doesn’t mean you are a bad author. It means your editor wants you to be better. Coach Lou Holtz, the winningest (yes, that is a word) college football coach, is known for tearing into his BEST players. He would pick them apart mercilessly. Why? Because he saw untapped potential. He wanted his players to improve beyond where they were. Even when they were good, he knew they could be great. A great football player is remembered, and people come to see them. A good football player is cheered for the one game, but no one comes back. Your editor wants your readers to come back.
Always pay your editor for their work. A great editor slowly reads through your book, flushing out the mistakes, making notes for the author, fixing the punctuation and grammar, checking with the author on flow and logic issues, researching quotes for accuracy, making sure your book aligns with the standard for publishing (per the Style Guides)….
How much your editor will do for your book, is dependent on which level of editing you have paid them for—just like taking care of your vehicle. If you take your car to a car wash, but you really wanted them to replace your muffler, you are going to be surprised. More than likely, they will leave a note on your receipt that you have a muffler dragging behind your car—but they will not have done anything for it, except wash and polish it. Know what you need (which editing package) and then be willing to pay for what you need. It will be worth it.
[by Billi Joy Carson, Senior Editor / Editing Addict; artwork by Keely Mitchell]