Author and Editor in Active Communication

Your editor may be a different animal, but she loves you and wants success for you

By Pam Lagomarsino – Above the Pages

Dear Author,
I know what you are thinking! Believe me, I do. The day creeps by and drags on. Still no email. It’s been six days. Of course, it is supposed to take a few weeks, but this waiting is agony. Your thoughts are whirling. “Did I do everything right? Is it good enough? What if I made a lot of mistakes? What if they don’t like it? Will the public read it?”
Sometimes waiting to get your manuscript back from your editor may seem like being a school child anticipating the teacher’s red pen marks on the homework. You’ve spent hours on your manuscript, your critique partners have given it the thumbs up, and you finally found an editor you think you can work with. Now, you wait, and wait, and wait.
Does this sound familiar? Too often this is the scenario for an anxious author. Before you stress further, know that most editors truly want what is best for you to succeed. You can relax! Your editor can be your best friend by encouraging you and polishing your work. Look at it this way. When you are a success, so is your editor. You both have a lot invested in your work.
There are some things you and your editor can do together to create a dynamic, vibrant partnership.
Know your plan. Will you be seeking a traditional publisher? Will you be doing everything yourself? Will you be self-publishing? Have you researched your options? What type of marketing and promotion will you pursue? Do you already have a contract? If you have some general ideas of the direction you want to go, things will be much easier for you and everyone involved in your book.
Consider what services you are looking for in an editor. How do you want your editor to handle any changes or recommendations he or she makes? Would you like an explanation for every typo, word substitution, and deleted word so you can learn for future works you will write? Do you prefer your editor only consult you for the “big” things and just adjust as they see fit? Would you benefit from an overall critique? Do you want your editor to move paragraphs and reorganize the structure?
Communication is essential! In real estate, you may have heard the marketing slogan: “location, location, location.” In authoring a book and seeing it through to publication, the comparable slogan could be “communication, communication, communication.” When you contact a potential editor, it is helpful to share the type and length of your manuscript, your plans, deadline, and services you are seeking. Many editors encourage you to provide a sample they will edit for free or a low cost. If you and the editor feel you are a good match, then you will want to communicate as much as you can. If you have a contract, you will want to share any publisher requirements. Are you concerned about specific areas of your manuscript? If you feel comfortable sharing those concerns, your editor will carefully evaluate those areas to help you make them into the piece you envision. It is okay to keep in touch with your editor every couple of weeks or whenever you have a question. Most editors don’t mind. The more you can “be on the same page,” the better your final book will be!

Most authors don’t usually consider their editor as a partner, but it can happen. Communication, mutual respect for each other, and trust are the cornerstones of an incredible author-editor partnership. Your editor doesn’t want to be that dreadful “red pen,” and you don’t want the added stress of wondering how your editor will handle your baby. If you think through things, your editor truly can be your partner!
I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your project. I would love to learn about your vision and goals for publication. I can offer you encouragement and a gentle approach behind the scenes. However, if you feel I am not the editor you were seeking, I invite you to consider any of the professional editors who are members of the Authors Community. Each of us desires for you to succeed. If you would like more information about my services, please visit my website at
Your Encouraging Editor, Pam Lagomarsino

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