Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I occasionally read indie-publishing blogs, and one thing's caught my attention. Among the more avid indie-publishing authors, "editor" seems to have become a bad word. "I don't need no stinkin' editor," some of them say. (Well, what they tend to say is, "I can edit myself as good as any NY editor or I can hire someone to do it for me.")

In my never-humble opinion, after the story and the writing, editors are the most important part of the biz. A good editor will make your work shine like the diamond you're convinced it is. (A bad one will make you want to slit wrists -- yours or hers; at that point, it makes no difference.)

I disagree that anyone can edit themselves as well as a professional editor. We're too close to the story. We've worked too hard to write those words, describe those settings, come up with that witty dialogue. What we see as clever and cute and endearing, editors can see for the annoyance it becomes to the reader. They can spot the plot holes and the inconsistencies and the clumsy repetitions.

Editors can make a so-so book into one well worth reading (to say nothing of buying).

I've been blessed to work with wonderful editors. Leslie Wainger, who bought my very first book and taught me so much. Jeanne Tiedge, Claire Zion (who said an editor's job is to make the book better, not different), Beth DeGuzman, Melissa Jeglinski (who's now my wonderful agent). Wendy McCurdy, Patience Smith, Shana Smith (my current Harlequin editor) and Selina McLemore (who's editing the Tuesday Night Margarita Club books). I've been published for more than 25 years, and most of the responsibility goes to them.

Major thanks, guys!

No comments:

Post a Comment