Notes from the editor's desk...
I've been in this business for twenty years as a journalist, author, and editor. As a writer, I've experienced my share of crazy ass editors who would cuss and throw things. I've also benefitted from insight and constructive criticism.
As an editor, I'm not shy. I have clients across the United States and Canada who will tell you in a heartbeat that I am straightforward, thorough, and knowledgeable. I border on blunt--but am never cruel and so far haven't thrown anything at anyone. However, I have one pet peeve that has caused me to never--ever, ever, ever--accept work from a client again even if they beg me and offer more than my set fee. What is this thing that makes me turn down cash and the opportunity to be terrorized? The inability of the author to accept any feedback.
Think about this: why are you seeking out an editor? If you're looking for someone who will validate you and tell you that every word you've written is priceless, ask your spouse or best friend. An editor's job is to make your work the best it can be. If you argue about every comma or suggestion--or ignore them completely--then you are doing yourself a disservice.
Your work is born from creativity, perhaps even ripped from the depths of your heart. We understand that. Editors are your last stop--your safe haven--before your masterpiece hits the public. Would you rather be ripped apart on a buy site like Amazon or in the privacy of your computer by someone who truly has your best interest at heart? Think about it.
Before getting defensive over editorial notes on your manuscript, step away and take a breath. Wait a few days. Remind yourself of your intentions. Come back to it as an objective professional. Open your mind to the fact that you're paying someone with experience to help your work shine--and maybe that means smoothing away some rough edges.
If you as the author approach an editor with the attitude that you are above all criticism, you are setting yourself up for failure. It won't be the editor's responsibility if you ignore all suggestions for improvement--it will be solely on your shoulders.
Does this mean you need to take every little comment to heart? No. Good editors suggest and point out areas for improvement--and they will fight for their point of view if it's something vital--but they also know that the story is one hundred percent yours. But choose your battles wisely because good editors are hard to find and, if you're a difficult pain in the ass, you could burn down a valuable bridge that could have led to success.
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com.