As as writer, I’m supposed to have an inherent distrust of editors or copy editors. At least, that’s the mythology that has long surrounded writers. In my view, this belief is pure swamp gas. Here’s why.
I’ve had lots of editors and copy editors over the years. This goes back to the time when nothing was electronic. Editing was done by sending manuscripts back and forth in bulky packages. Editors would not only mark up the pages (editor’s marks) but would put colorful stickies or tape all over the place, plus handwritten notes on every margin. It was a huge hassle and, thankfully, the relic of a bygone era. Today, everything is handled electronically – a true blessing for everyone involved.
However, one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the importance of a great editor or copy editor. A good editor is, and should always remain, a writer’s best friend. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to ask for a particular editor for several of my books. She was amazing. She not only found all my errors (and they were legend), she also spotted inconsistencies, failures of logic, screwy descriptions and all other manner of silliness on my part.
I’ve also used editors for Ebook material and similar projects. These folks have also been invaluable, although the work they had to perform was not as onerous as found in traditional publishing. The bottom line, though, remains the same. These E-Editors made all the difference in the final product. They did their job and did it well.
The E-Editor I most appreciated is a person whom I never met. It was all handled by E-whatever in the course of E-business. At first, this struck me as a bit strange since I had developed a more personal relationship with traditional editors over the years. However, I checked this person out extensively, contacted clients for whom she had worked, and read everything I could find that even remotely mentioned her name or the name of her business. When I finally approached her with the project, I was pretty confident that she would do a good job.
That first contact made the difference. She responded promptly and in a friendly but professional way. She encouraged me to check on her background before I made my decision (which, unknown to her, passed with flying colors). So, the deal was struck and her work began. In a fair amount of time, and at a fair price, she did a fine job. I found no errors in her work. None.
Would I use this editor again? Of course. I wouldn’t even consider another editor. She has a customer for life because she did everything right.
So, do we love our editors? All together now, “Yes! We love our editors!”
The right editor isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for any serious writer.