I recently attended a book launch with an author whose book I was in the process of editing. As we chatted another writer – whose name I was aware of although we had never met – joined us. I knew through the grapevine that he too was writing a book. The author introduced us announcing,
“This is Jane, she’s editing my book and we’re working towards publication in a few months.”
“Wow, fantastic,” came the reply, “but why on earth do you need an editor when you’re such a good writer?”
It’s a question that often leaves me lost for words – a rare state of affairs. If you have to ask why a writer needs an editor then – in my book – you don’t fully appreciate the writing process, or the symbiotic relationship that develops between the two.
While it’s wonderful for an author to have a support group of other writers and readers who’ll give their opinions on your work – which is of huge value as you’re writing – you also need a professional to guide you through the process. A good editor will be your coach, manager, cheerleader and most valuable team player. They won’t be afraid to tell you where you’ve gone wrong, but more importantly will tell you how to put it right.
If you want to be published you should be talking to an editor before you start writing, or at the very least before you submit your manuscript to a publisher.
Writers often don’t appreciate there are different types of editing, or that editors may have a primary focus on only one:
Next month I’ll be looking at the top ten things editors look out for when beginning an edit – sign up for the blog now to make sure you don’t miss it.
We live in a visual age. The old advertising adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ has never been more pertinent than it is today with our social media obsessed society where a silly selfie can circle the world faster than the Gulf Stream. Images evoking your book – its plot, message, characters and backdrop – can often get the message out better than any wordy blog post, worthy review or static webpage struggling up the Google rankings. Find a few good pictures spice them up with a snappy quote and add a buying link then share them on Facebook – your profile, your book page, group – wherever you want to get noticed. The images don’t have to be masterpieces but they do need to convey something interesting to whet the appetite. This is what Jack Scott is doing with his latest book, Turkey Street, and it works. Here are a few examples:
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