When writers first approach me about working together on their book or story, they often ask me about my process. How do I work? What do I do with their book? What will it look like when they get it back? Those are great questions, and we usually exchange a few emails going over the details, sometimes even including a phone call to ensure everything’s clear.
Today, though, I did something I don’t do very often when I’m working on a client’s book, so I thought I’d share it here. It will give you an idea as to how deep I go and how hard I work to ensure you’re getting my best, and it’s also a technique you can try if you’re really stuck.
As a freelance editor, I search for jobs on various platforms where people post RFPs (requests for proposals) for editorial work they need done. I filter the jobs I review, but even with my filters, I skim at least 100 job descriptions/RFPs each day. When I come across a job that sounds interesting (i.e., when it has a good, descriptive headline), I stop scrolling and read the description.
The following are examples of bad RFPs (but unfortunately, also very common ones):
- I need my book edited.
- I need an editor for my fiction novel. [Editor’s note: a novel is ALWAYS fiction.]
- I’m looking for a great editor that can help me with my novel.
- I am looking for someone to edit and check for grammatical errors.
Do you think any of those descriptions help me figure out (a) what kind of work the book actually needs and (b) if I’m a good fit for the job? If you said, “Nope, Sharon, I don’t think they do,” you’d be 100% correct. They don’t.
So, in an effort to make everybody’s life a little easier, I’m going to share with you what I (and I assume other editors) would love to see in a job description. Ready? Please take notes. Please share this. We must stop the madness that is “Edit my book.” (I saw that job description today.)
Here are the elements that your job description/RFP should include: Continue reading
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an editor and a writer. I self-published one of my novels in 2014 (see the “My Book” tab), and I have another that’s in the revision stages and one that I’m currently writing. I think working on both sides of the editorial fence—writing and editing—enables me to really relate to a writer’s struggles and help them bring their work up to the level they envisioned when they began writing it. I also think it helps me offer tips, which is what I want to do with this post. (Stay with me–the following story sets up the writing tip.)
Hey, writers … ever wondered what would happen if you and your editor didn’t see eye to eye on every aspect of your book? This post is for you.
I recently–and successfully–finished editing a romance with some magical realism elements. My client’s happy and moving on with publication, but I can’t tell you how many times I read and reread their last email to me. I can’t tell you either how many times I constructed a reply in my mind, typed the reply, deleted the reply, and then wrote it again, only to delete it for good.
Sometimes, I just have to let them go.
I had a couple hurdles with this particular client. (I’m keeping my references to this client gender neutral to respect their privacy.) Continue reading