Letters to My Editor: Finding a Match

What does a working relationship between a writer and an editor look like? Author and HNE client, Jessie Clever and I have known each other for more than ten years. So in our case, it looks a little snarky.

Welcome to Letters to My Editor. She writes to me one week on her blog. I reply the next on mine. Mayhem just might ensue.

Click here to read Jessie’s most recent letter.

Letters-to-My-Editor_edited-1Dear Jessie,

The quick and disappointing answer to your question

How do you know when an editor is right for you based only on testimonials from others and a website claiming the greatness of such editor?

is . . . you can’t. A website and a string of testimonials won’t give you the whole picture.

There are some things that improve the chances of finding a good fit. Nothing is a guarantee, but doing your basic research is always wise.

When looking for a freelancer, ask other writers for personal recommendations. In addition to finding out more than what a website offers, personal recs will help you avoid scams.

Do read that website and those testimonials. Yes, they’re supposed to make the editor sound wondrous, but are they written and presented in a style that jives with you?

Send an email to any editor you’re curious about with a few basic questions. Note how long it takes the editor to respond, the tone they use, and if your questions or concerns are welcomed.

Make the most educated selection you can and evaluate the experience after. If it wasn’t what you were looking for, find someone else. On the flip side, once you’ve got a good editor, do what you can to keep them. (I also suggest keeping a list of back-up possibilities. Emergencies laugh in the face of deadlines.)

The editor you’re looking for is one that, A, knows their job and, B, is someone with whom you want to work. Weigh the data and your gut equally.



Be sure to subscribe to Jessie’s blog at Romancing a Blog to get her next letter!

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