Are You Fighting or Collaborating with your Book Editor?

Working with a book editor is a learned skill. Acquiring this skill takes time and practice and patience. I've been a freelancer for more than 35 years and, during this time, learned to work with editors. Instead of viewing my editor as an enemy, I think of him or her as my biggest booster. A book editor has your best interests at heart and wants you to have the best book possible. You may be working with your editor now. Here are some tips from my experience. 1. Leave your emotions at home. Concentrate on facts: organization of your book, writing style, punctuation, typos, writing clarity, and marketing. 2. Listen carefully. Make eye contact with your editor and let him or her finish a sentence before you speak. 3. Take notes to back-up your listening. Jot down the editor's key points in a small notebook. 4. Be courteous. Just like your mother told you, manners count in the real world, and especially the book business. 5. Thank the editor for his or her time. 6. End with an action statement, such as "I'll revise that section and email it to you."

Yesterday I hadmet with a director of publishing who is also an editor. I used all of these tips. I also followed her advice. At five o'clock in the morning, I got up and revised my preface to match her recommendations. It's much better and I'm grateful for her help. Collaborating with an editor helps you and helpd your book.