A relationship between an author and editor is complex, especially when you’ve been working together for a while. It’s very intimate, and as with any close relationship, it can be a lot of fun and very rewarding, and it can also be contentious at times.
Authors trust us with something very precious to them, a piece of their creative soul, and a good editor works diligently to respect that trust and do an author’s work justice. Obviously, part of the reward for a job well done is the payment we receive, but sometimes a little something extra is appreciated.
Showing your editor how much their efforts mean to you, whether it’s a prompt, thorough edit, adjusting their schedule for you when you’re ill, helping you brainstorm titles, polishing and proofing your blurb, staying up late messaging with you when you’re having a creative meltdown, or sharing your release day links, a small gesture makes them smile and feel good about the job they’re doing.
Here are some easy ways to show your appreciation to your favorite editor:
- Send them a testimonial for their website, just a few sentences saying why you enjoy working with them, and why other authors should consider hiring them.
- Mention them in the acknowledgments of your new book. We like to hear that our work matters and makes a difference in your writing life, and other authors might see our name associated with your well-edited book and look us up.
- Send us a copy of your book! After the many hours we spend focused on your manuscript, we feel invested in it, and having that signed copy on our desk definitely makes us smile. This isn’t always possible, though, since most authors have to pay for copies, even at a discounted rate, and overseas shipping is ridiculous if you’re in the UK and your editor is in the United States, but if you can spare a copy, we’ll treasure it.
- Send a small gift that made you think of them. For example, one of my authors sent me a pretty notebook and pen, which I keep on the table where I work for jotting down those strange ideas that always seem to pop up. Another author sent me some dog toys when I got a new puppy, and some ketchup flavored Lays potato chips when she went to Canada, which is the only place these tasty treats are sold. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or special, just some small token that shows you’re thinking of them.
- Share their information on social media, and pass their details on to fellow authors who are looking for an editor.
- Stay in touch! Just because your edit is over and your book has been released, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well while working on your project. I probably want to know if your puppy got over her upset tummy, if your husband figured out what was wrong with the dishwasher, and if your daughter liked the painting you gave her for her graduation. Sure, I want to know how you’re doing on your next book so we can start planning an editing schedule, but how was your trip to Aruba?
We tip our restaurant servers, Uber drivers, the guy who parks our car, and the lady who does our nails…why should an editor be any different? It doesn’t have to be a gift or a monetary gratuity. Just saying “thank you for helping me make my story shine” and recommending our services to other authors is priceless!