Last week’s post contained tips for editors dealing with authors who plan to self-publish a book. Today, I’ll present some tips for the authors. These are all from my presentation on the Editors Canada Self-publishing panel held April 26.
And what they call “a word to the wise” – just because you are self-publishing your book doesn’t meant you can skip the editing process. An editor can read your manuscript with an open mind, i.e., not working from the “tunnel vision” authors (and that includes me here) can get into with their baby, their manuscript. It’s more than just where the commas go, but includes whether or not your story flows, makes sense (and in a micro way – does a scene, paragraph make sense?). Is one character’s actions believable (considering the genre and story line) and is the plot, especially the resolution, credible.
Remember authors and editors need to work together, so the first point below is the most important. The rest really flows from that one.
What authors need to know when working with editors (a partial list):
- Mutual Respect
- Don’t have your book printed out before getting it edited.
- Don’t design your book in Word BEFORE getting it edited.
- Your book is still a manuscript before it is edited, so submit it electronically as a manuscript – 12 pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced AFTER you and the editor reach a hiring agreement. However, the potential editor might want a few chapters to help estimate a fee.
- The potential editor and writer can sort out hiring and related matters by email, phone, in person, or some of those three. Don’t be a no-show for appointments.
- Most editors will require a fee deposit and will draw up a contract for work requirements, time-line, and fees.
- When the contract is signed and the editor starts work, don’t bother her with constant emails or phone calls for progress reports and don’t email content changes without an editorial request.
Sharon A. Crawford
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