Monday, June 13, 2011

Three Tip Monday

Me and Rachel O.
Today's three tips for Monday are all about working with an editor. I have to say, I am so blessed to work with the editors at Barbour.  I have several editors, JoAnn Simmons, Becky Germany, Rachel Overton, and Aaron McCarver to name a few. Each one has different responsibilities regarding my manuscripts, and each one is a gem to work with.

JoAnn and Becky work more on the acquisitions end of things (at least where my manuscripts are concerned) and Rachel and Aaron work on the nitty gritty content and copy edits.

The editor/author relationship isn't something that happens overnight, and sometimes you gel better with one editor over another, but here are three tips that will make your editors eager to work with you.

1. Meet or exceed your deadlines. You're a team-member here. Deadlines aren't arbitrary. Your manuscript deadlines, editing deadlines, marketing copy deadlines and the like often signal the beginning of a long series of events and processes that have to occur to get your book from your head to readers' hands. If you miss your deadline, every other deadline along the way has to be readjusted, and the stress level goes up exponentially.

2. Be receptive. Your editors are pros. They see dozens of manuscripts, and they know the publishers readership, preferred tone, and guidelines better than you do. When they speak, your job is to listen.

3. Be a pro. You're not going to agree with every suggestion or idea your editor comes up with. You're going to have to defend some decisions you've made in the story, and you're going to have to let go of some other things. Don't whine, don't carp, and don't spread your discontent. Suck it up, respect the editor's expertise and experience, and carefully consider what needs to be changed.

If you follow these three tips, you'll be happier, and your editors will thank you. 


  1. Awesome tips, Erica. Me thinks I need to tweet this one. :)

  2. This is why it helps to establish a strong relationship with critique partners, etc. It gets you used to feedback.

    I am so excited to see who I might be matched with someday. I can't wait to uplift and work hard for my agent & editor. I'm very much looking forward to finding my team.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Hi Erica! Great tips. Wish I was closer to needing this info. ;)

  4. Reading this post is exciting for me since I'll be working with some of the wonderful editors at Barbour. I've already been corresponding with editorial assistant Linda Hang, and she's super. =)

  5. Fantastic tips, Erica - and so true!!! I will tag these on my bulletin board to remember ...

  6. Whoa! That pic was a shock, especially this early in the morning! (Yes, it's nine. I went to bed at four, so it's early. LOL)

    Hello, Erica! That trip was so much fun! I have to tell you guys, Erica made Duluth and St. Paul sound so interesting in her Minnesota series (Marriage Masquerade, etc.), that my family took our vacation up there last year. That's what careful research and fabulous writing can do! We visited Hill House and Split Rock Lighthouse and Duluth, and I could imagine her characters there because she had done such a great job of bringing her locations to life.

    I have to say, too, that Erica's editor/author relational tips are spot-on, too. I'm always happy to see one of her manuscripts pop up in my inbox because I know that, even if she doesn't accept every change or suggestion I make, each one will be considered and I am not wasting my time.

  7. This is great advice. I sure hope I get to put it to practice some day!