Tips For A New Author From An Editor's Perspective

Written by Andrea Reid


For most new authors, it’s not easy releasing a book to an editor to proofread or edit. For some, writing their first masterpiece is very near and dear to their hearts. It’s like giving up a baby as some view this experience as “birthing” their first book. Also, many first-time authors are usually concerned about handing off their work to an editor who may very well change their voices or tones throughout the book. Because of this fear, some authors will revise, reorganize and reedit their books, delaying the release for years. As an editor, who is a perfectionist, I totally understand wanting to produce a perfect product. I also understand that there are experts in their respective fields who may be able to do some things far better than I can. We have to come to a place of understanding that we cannot do everything ourselves. It’s ok to let go and let the experts do what they do best. Good editors are going to ensure that they do a great job because their names and reputations are on the line. So, to all the first-time authors out there I say this: allow us to do what we do best—edit with only your best interest in mind. Here are some pointers for the first-time author:

  • Take the first step and RELEASE your manuscript to an editor!   
  • Be open to the comments and suggestions made by the editor.
  • A good editor is going to give honest, sometimes very critical and positive feedback to provide the best product for you.    
  • Don’t take any of your editor’s comments personally. If you are not in agreement with the comments/recommendations mad by the editor, express this to him/her. Oftentimes, this will lead to good dialogue ensuring that everyone is on the same page.  
  • Set aside a budget for your book. Editing, depending on how extensive, can be pretty expensive.    
  • Provide the editor with EVERYTHING to be edited. One of the worst things for an editor to experience is having his/her name in a book as the editor and seeing incorrect grammar, misspelled words and other issues within the book because a section of the book was not edited by him/her. Make sure your editor receives all verbiage (content) that will be included as a part of the book.     
  • To give your editor the proper credit, make sure his/her name is listed on the copyright page.     
  • Make editor aware that you are in total agreement with final changes made to book before sending to publishing firm.     
  • Make sure you finalize all financial obligations with editor before publishing your book.   
  • Finally, this is your book-make sure it is exactly how you want it!