Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Don't Rush Your Editor

I've been editing a lot this past year and I'm booked for the next three months, so 2016 doesn't seem like it will be any different. Because I'm editing so much, I wanted to share what I believe is the biggest mistake you can make with your editor.

DON'T RUSH YOUR EDITOR. I want to repeat that. Don't rush your editor. I see this all the time. I have some clients who are very successful with self publishing. That's fantastic. It really is. But here's what you need to understand. If you give yourself a deadline, whether it be because you put your fabulous new book up for pre-order or you're entering a contest with an agent or publisher, then PLEASE make sure you can keep to your own deadlines. I get clients who email me to say they won't be able to submit their book to me on time because they got caught up with life. I get it. Life happens. But here's the problem. I schedule editing clients months in advance. If you are late, you obliterate my editing schedule, which affects not just me but my other editing clients. Worse, you're now asking me to RUSH your edit to keep the deadline you yourself missed. :( 

This is why I hate this. If I have to rush, I can't do my best when it comes to your edit. I'm looking very closely for errors so readers don't slam you and your book for them. If you rush me, I'm going to miss things. I go through every book I edit multiple times to avoid errors slipping through. I need time to do that and to do it well. Given the option between moving your release date or putting out a book that was edited in a rush, I'd choose moving your release date every time. This is your baby. You spent countless hours writing it, so why rush the editing?

So that's my plea. Please don't rush your editor. He or she is working just as hard on your book as you are, so give him/her the time needed to edit your work properly.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

22 comments:

  1. Great post! I agree you need to give your editor the time he/she needs to properly go through your entire manuscript, several times, to have the best polished book in the end. Isn't that what writing is all about? To present our readers with the best book we can? I love my editor, and I appreciate all the time she devotes to working with me on my books.

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    1. Yes, you definitely want the best book possible. That takes time.

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  2. I usually have to rush my editor because I'm on a deadline! But I agree. I read what you tweeted yesterday about how you're already overbooked for 2016 and thought about my inbox full of writing assignments from my clients! I'm overbooked with no way to say, "Sorry--join my waiting list!"

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    1. Good luck! I shouldn't complain because it's money coming in but I'm already turning clients away and I hate that.

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  3. Great post! One of my favorite sayings is, "Quality work takes time." I think one reason self publishing gets a bad name is because so many rush to get a book out. If an editor isn't given the time to do a quality job, it's a wast of time and money. Quality work does take time.

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    1. Yes! If you're self publishing you need to give your editor plenty of time because readers are very tough on self published books.

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  4. So true! Like so many lessons, I've learned this one the hard way. Don't put something out there until it is truly ready and don't rush those trying to help you get it right. It's so much MORE WORK to take something down, fix, and put back up than to be patient and get it right the first time. (plus, some people have already seen the mistakes and you've made a poor first impression!)

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    1. Yes, you don't want to go through the embarrassment of having to reupload your book to get rid of errors.

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  5. Editors do such important work! I agree that rushing them isn't a good idea. If we are behind as writers, then we should push our own release date up because of it. Excellent post to get people to think about the whole process and why editors may not be able to rush too (they have other clients and other things scheduled on their calendar).
    ~Jess

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    1. Yes, my editing calendar fills quickly. One client can really throw off everyone else.

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  6. I love that you're always so honest, Kelly :) Editors are very important to authors, because it's just impossible to see everything with one pair of eyes.

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    1. I truly believe in honesty. :) And yes, you can't see your own errors.

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  7. Rushing editors is like rushing IT folks...one simple mistake made in haste can ruin your entire career! So, DON'T RUSH YOUR EDITOR.

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  8. If you can't rush your book, then why would you rush someone who is going to find all the mis-steps you made while writing it? Great post, Kelly.

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  9. Oh, my. This post resounded. Great post Kelly.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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  10. The editing process needs such a detailed eye. I can't imagine rushing. Errors can be prevented with appropriate time given and a different release time.

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  11. I've done the occasional edit for a person who kept hounding me for "is it done yet, is it done yet?" within two days after getting started.

    Happy New Year!

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