Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What to Expect When You're Expecting to Hire an Editor (Part I)

I am not the right editor for everyone.

That's right, I said it. I love my authors, and, for the most part, they seem pretty fond of me. But there are always going to be writers and books I know I'm not the right editor for, and I do my best to refer those authors to other editors whose work I respect. I will always tell a writer if I don't think I'm right for the job.

What I'm looking for in an author:
  • Personality. The editorial evaluation and revision process is most effective when there is a lot of back-and-forth between the editor and the author. I always try to work with authors with whom I can build a rapport, and who I honestly believe I can help.
  • Commitment. I want to work with authors who really want it - publication, success, and a writing career - and who are willing to work for it. At the very least, I want to see a full first draft before I sign on for a project.
  • Subject. Murder mystery? Thriller? Historical? Memoir? Chick Lit? Commercial Fiction? Young Adult? I love it and I'll take it. But there are subjects I don't usually work with, including complex Science Fiction (I don't have the background to do these justice), overly gruesome slashers (no judgement, I just don't have the stomach for it, although I can recommend several editors who do!), or ghost stories (because they freak me out).
Stay tuned for Parts II and III of What to Expect When You're Expecting to Hire an Editor:
II: Where to find the right editor for your manuscript.
III: How to choose an editor.

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