Should You Hire an Editor That is Also an Author?

shutterstock_redpencilbigShould you hire an editor that is also an author? My answer to that is an emphatic YES. Here’s why.

A while ago on Facebook, I stumbled across an author venting about other authors who offer editing services. She was so far in her feelings that I didn’t know how she’d ever managed to get out. This author was very adamant in her stance that authors shouldn’t be editors and editors shouldn’t be authors.

Slow your roll, Nellie!

Even though I had much to say on the topic, I chose not to comment on her post for a variety of reasons. The main reason was that I’m one of those people that she hates so much and Lord knows any communication between us could have gone left and I wasn’t in the mood. However, her post weighed heavily on me for a minute.

I don’t know why other authors choose to freelance as editors, bloggers, or journalists. I just know why I made the decision to take on editing projects as an established author. I did it because editing is something that I’ve been doing. I was editing books, college papers, magazine articles, and my roommate’s To-Do lists before I ever published a book.

Book editing is a fun gig that brings in extra money, especially when book sales are slow. Or you have a surprise bill or even if it’s your main source of income. Besides, every author needs an editor. I’ll say it again for the people in the back…

EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS AN EDITOR.

There are a million and one authors and not as many editors. There are so many different types of editors that, for me, it’s unfair to say that because someone does one thing, they should not do another. Here’s a fun fact for you.

Most editors are authors. At some point in time, every editor you know has written – or tried to write – a book. This is also why we know best how to make your book shine. It’s almost impossible to be a good editor without walking a mile in an author’s shoes. Also, we adore books. We’re hardcore readers. We treasure books. We may or may not hoard books. Give us an Amazon Gift Card or Barnes and Noble coupon and we are on cloud nine.

Maybe you think that an editor who is also an author won’t be able to give your project their undivided attention if they’re writing their own book. That is a valid argument. A professional editor treats each project as a job they are hired to do.

Personally, I edit the same way I read when I’m working on a novel. I don’t read any books in the genre that I’m writing and I won’t take on a new project that is in that genre. I try to avoid conflicts of interests. I can’t write romance while reading romance. That’s just me.

As I mentioned, each book is a job and the job comes first. Every time I write a post on editing, I always stress that knowing your editor and communicating with them is the most important thing you can do for your book.

Countless times I’ve been sent books to edit from a publisher and the author not know who was editing their book. It shouldn’t work that way. Would you send your child off to school and never say hello to their teacher?

I have an editor. I talk to my editor daily by phone, text, or email. She’s there as I’m writing and when I publish. Before I hired Lori, we talked for quite a few days. She needed to know my writing style and I needed to know her as an editor.

If you’re just going through a list of editors and cherry picking one, you are doing yourself a disservice as an author. That’s advice from an author and an editor.

The moral of this story is simple. Don’t be intimidated if you hire an editor and find out that they too are walking alongside you on the author path. They’re not trying to steal your ideas. They know what they’re doing, and nine times out of ten, they’re probably damn good at it.

Shameless Plug.

If you are looking for an editor, Contact me here.

xojc

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