TIPSY Today™ Blog with Rogena & Colleen | A Footprint of RMJ Editing & Manuscript Service, Colleen Snibson Editing, and Two Red Pens Editing
The author/editor relationship is unique. The author and editor need to connect. They also need to understand what is expected of each other. Connection and understanding.
The editor should know that the manuscript—the book—belongs to the author, not the editor. The author has hired the editor to work with them to make the book the best it can be.
However, back to the point of this blog. Here it is, and yes, this really happened and has been happening a lot . . .
If an editor tells you, the author, that you don't get to call the shots, that you aren't to tell the editor what to do, and that the author is to do what the editor says, you need to find a new editor.
ALL the things!
From a teeny tiny comma and where it should go in a sentence to what constitutes a dialogue tag to making changes to the tense of the story or if the author wants US English or UK or AU—at the end of the day,., these are the author's choices. I can state my opinion to the author repeatedly. I can feel one way might be better than another. Unless the author agrees, I need to accept it and then move on, continuing to do the job I was hired to do.
And yes, the above has been told to many authors.
I just have to shake my head at the entire situation. So let's talk about what a copy editor should do for the author.
Hiring a copy editor is one of the most important investments an author can and should make when publishing a book. It should never be an option—it should be a requirement. So find that person who cares about the end result as much as you do. Find that person you can work with, learn from, talk to, debate with, and make the best choice for your book together.
A copy editor is hired to assist the author in making their book ready for publication by finding errors in punctuation, grammar usage, spelling. They should work with you on clarity, consistency, and accuracy. They watch for tone, sentence structure, punctuation, the flow of sentences and flow of the story itself. They are to make sure the reading experience is smooth and enjoyable. The reader doesn't want to be pulled from the story because they have to reread a sentence multiple times due to incorrect comma placement or if the wrong word was used.
Find an editor who you connect with, one you respect, and one you trust. Trust is so important. You need to be able to trust that they are knowledgeable in the English language. Once you have hired your editor, it is essential that you listen to him or her. They are (or should be) in your corner and want to make your manuscript the best it can be. We focus on your document with our extensive professional experience to make it so your readers can and will enjoy everything about your book—and for them to anxiously await your next one.
Now, back to my original point——do not be bullied by an editor.
Know what is expected of your copy editor.
Do not let them tell you that you have to do something a certain way if you are set on doing it a different way. Sometimes, there really is more than one way to do something.
However, remember, you should listen to your editor. You hired him or her for their professional experience. And every credible editor wants to use that experience to benefit you, your story, and the experience of the reader.
So trust them, listen to them, and learn from them.
It really does take a village to publish your well-written, well-edited book.
But you really do get to call the shots in the end.
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Rogena Mitchell-Jones | RMJ Manuscript Service LLC | www.rogenamitchell.com
Colleen Snibson | Colleen Snibson Editing | www.colleensnibsonediting.com
Two Red Pens Editing | www.tworedpens.com
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