Ways to Show Your Editor You Appreciate Them

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.14590258_10209445044575501_4640772660951395327_n

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!

Editing Isn’t All About the Red Pen

Anyone who has ever been edited has had that moment of panic when they see the corrections their editor has made. Sometimes the many, many corrections. It can be daunting, but even a simple thing like an author not having a good grasp of comma usage or how to capitalize and punctuate in and around dialogue can make a manuscript look like a literary bloodbath.

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But there is much more to a good edit than wielding the metaphorical Red Pen of Shame. If you’ve ever raised a puppy or a child or taught a class, you understand if all you ever do is correct or punish when someone does something wrong, you don’t have a very good outcome, and they never truly learn. They will absolutely never be confident or reach their full potential.

As an editor, besides making corrections and explaining to an author what they’re doing wrong so they might improve in their next manuscript, I also like to tell them what they’re doing right.

Margin comments are great for communicating things you want an author to focus on, but they can also be fun. In a current edit, my author wrote “Branches reach out to me, their fingers nipping at my skin the way the chill in the air nips at my hope of spring.” I loved the way that line felt, so I left a margin comment to tell her so.

What does the author do well? Where do they excel? One of my authors writes the best dialogue I’ve ever edited…and I make sure she knows it. I even had her help me with writing up some tips to share with other authors.

Another author writes emotional angst and conflict exceptionally well. She doesn’t resort to cliches, and conveys the battle going on inside a character’s head in a way the reader can relate to so completely that they truly understand how that character feels. I make sure the author knows when I feel this way.

I have worked with one author who writes a lot of science fiction and dystopian books, and he can take complex scientific and technological concepts and explain them so even a non-tech reader can understand them, but you never feel he’s dumbing down his narrative or “writing down” to you as a reader.

The current edit I mentioned earlier, the one with the line I particularly liked, is also an incredible world-builder. I was a fan of her work for several years before I became her editor. I edited a dystopian series for her earlier this year, and I thought it was one of the best post-apocalyptic world scenarios I’d ever read, and I told her so. In the current edit, though, she’s done what I didn’t expect…and built an even more complex, vibrant, plausible, compelling world. When I return this edit, she’ll see my note congratulating her on this accomplishment.

How does your editor make you feel as an author? Nobody likes to have their mistakes pointed out, of course, but overall, does your editor make you feel like you’re learning something new? Do they point out your strengths and not only your shortcomings? Do you ever smile or even laugh out loud at their comments?

sneak_peek

I left this cartoon by The Oatmeal as a comment when an author wrote “sneak peak” instead of “sneak peek.” 

It’s like with anything else. If you go to a class or a meeting or a religious service, you should leave feeling more positive, hopeful for the future, and ready to go out there and become even better. If you leave (or finish an edit) feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and less hopeful, something is wrong. You need a new teacher, boss, minister…or editor.

(For more information about my professional editing services, please click HERE, and let’s discuss your next project!)

Who Needs an Editor? Everybody!

editing

Editing has always been my perfect job, and I’ve been fortunate enough to do it professionally for over a decade. I keep my calendar full, but lately it’s been feeling a little…stale. It shouldn’t! I love my authors, both those with Limitless and my indies, but I realized I hadn’t added many new clients to my roster in a long time, afraid of overextending myself. Maybe I was being a bit lazy.

Now I’m rededicating myself to editing more books for more wonderful authors, and I’ve put up a page here to provide all the details.

While I can edit any fiction genre and have handled every romance sub-genre you can imagine, I’d also like to expand my editing to include more of what I actually read in my own spare time. I love anything supernatural, paranormal, dystopian, urban fantasy, traditional fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller, though I’m more than happy to welcome romance clients too.

If you’re an author or know an author seeking an editor, please check out my Professional Editing page and get in touch!

Announcement: Limitless Publishing, LLC Reader’s Choice Award Finalists

Looking for a great read? Our Reader’s Choice Awards finalists would be a great place to start! Read now, and vote!

The Craving Chronicles

2018-0748 Finalist badge on transparent (1)Congratulations to the Finalists!

The nominations are in for Limitless Publishing, LLC’s Reader’s Choice Awards. A few of Crave’s titles made the cut. We are so proud of our authors. The voting round is July 15, 2018 – July 31, 2018.

Best Short Story in a Horror Anthology

  • Carnival of Fear: Of Giraffes and Men by Stacey Longo
  • 13 Déjà vu: Momma’s Closet by Erin Lee
  • Carnival of Fear: Smoe by Erin Lee
  • 13 Déjà vu: The Inheritance by D.A. Roach

Young Adult/YA Romance

  • Bailey and the Bad Boy by R Linda
  • Flirt by Lavinia Leigh
  • Grey: The encounter by Allison White
  • Nowhere Girl by Fiona Keane

Best Short Story in a Romance Anthology (Includes ties)

  • Craving Loyalty: Taken to the Cleaner by Ginger Ring
  • Craving One Night: At First Sight by Rita Delude
  • Craving Secrets: Alternative Facts by A.J. Norris
  • Craving Christmas: 5 Alarm Christmas by Melinda Valentine
  • Craving…

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