Throughout this how-to series, we’ve explored various editing services and ways to find editors online and through professional organizations. We’ve also discussed the finer points of interviewing and hiring editors. Let’s wrap things up with five tips for working with your editor so that you can make the most of your editing experience:
1. Document Everything
As mentioned in Part 2, you should record all issues related to payment and scheduling. You should also have written confirmation of the type(s) of editing that will be performed and the number of rounds to be completed. Most editors will provide a contract or terms of agreement email that includes all of this information. If your editor doesn’t provide this documentation, don’t hesitate to ask for it!
2. Be Social
If possible, introduce your editor to all of the movers and shakers involved in your project. This includes writers, book and web designers, project managers, and other editors. Open communication fosters productivity and allows everyone to share issues and concerns before they turn into problems.
3. Ask for Help with Track Changes
Microsoft Word’s Track Changes tool can be tricky; you may not see all of the revisions and comments if the software isn’t configured to display all of the markup. If you don’t feel like a Track Changes pro, ask your editor for help. For a basic overview, check out my tutorial “How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word.”
4. Share Your Creative Vision
If sentence fragments are a deliberate artistic choice, tell your editor so that he or she doesn’t spend billable hours editing something you don’t want to be changed. (And if he or she ignores your vision, you probably have the wrong editor!)
5. Consider Creative Suggestions
Your editor should accept your artistic choices, but he or she may also recognize areas that can be improved without changing the underlying style. For example, your editor may suggest using fewer sentence fragments to avoid weakening their impact through overuse. Of course, you don’t have to accept any changes that you don’t like, but most editors are also writers—you just never know what sort of helpful nugget your own editor might dig up!