How to Make Your Editor Smile

A couple of days ago, I posted about all the different ways that your actions as an author could irritate, inconvenience, or demotivate your editor. Today, we (myself, and seven other editors!) will be going in the opposite direction: how to make your editor smile!


Quite frankly, it’s not difficult to make us smile. Novel editors do what they do because they love doing it! I’ve never met an editor who doesn’t enjoy reading or crafting stories, collaborating with others, and working through puzzles of the mind. Just submitting a wonderful story can be enough to make us smile! But when it comes to the work process, here are some ways you can endear yourself to your editor (and maybe even win yourself a couple favours in the process, too 😉):

 

Kathryn Schieber from BFF Editing said:

“Explore my website first to get answers to [your] questions about how things work and what I have to offer before contacting me.”

Adding:

I've tried to craft my website to be user-friendly and full of helpful information. And it saves so much time (back and forthing with emails) if they get to know me and my services first, so our correspondence time can be about me getting to know them and their story.

Some editors, myself included, have FAQs or extensive resources to help authors in deciding what they need, and also with writing in general. We spend a lot of time curating our websites to be especially helpful to not just prospective clients, but writers of all kinds. If you can show your editor that you’ve informed yourself through their website before contacting them, you’re going to automatically present yourself as a very easy client to work with, which will boost your author-editor relationship before you’ve even started!


Kathryn “enjoy[s] working with authors who want a friendly, collaborative editing experience with the goal of making their story really communicate their message to their readers.” You can find her on her website.

 

Tiffany from Burgeon Design and Editorial said:

“High Energy!”

Adding:

I love working with writers who are SO EXCITED about their novels. When you’re eager to get to work to improve your manuscript, it shows. I’m highly empathetic— when you’re excited, I’m excited!

I completely agree with this one! First impressions mean a lot to me, so I will be paying attention to your tone. I am instantly endeared to an author who is humble and gracious. They finish every email with a thank you, always exclaim how excited they are, and you get the impression that they are smiling from the words they say! Even if an author with positive energy has asked something of me that is rather inconvenient, I’ll be more likely to do them the favour if I’ve enjoyed interacting with them.


Tiffany “[works] with fiction writers at every stage of the writing process—from first draft to proposal package.” Find her at her website or on Instagram @burgeondesignandeditorial.

 

Rebecca from Rebecca Millar Editorial said:

“Be brave – keep an open mind!”

Adding:

As an editor, I am all too aware of how scary it can be to finally share the manuscript you have been working on for so long. You are putting yourself and your work out there for scrutiny. It's scary and as an author you will feel very vulnerable. So it can be easy to back away when faced with any resistance or ideas that you don't like, but there is nothing better than working with an author who is open-minded and brave. If an author is open and receptive to advice, but also brave enough to discuss their own ideas, this makes the editorial process a pleasure. Editing is a collaborative process. You just have to be brave enough to invite your editor in. We want to make your manuscript the best it can be too!