“All About Excellence” Editing 


Get the Best from your Editor — and the Most for Your Editing Dollar

The relationship with your editor should be deeply satisfying, but many writers obtain an editor without a clear understanding of how to best use them.

First, understand your needs (such as help with grammar, punctuation, similes, structure, etc.), then interview editors with a seriousness similar to selecting a physician or dentist.  Give your editor specific direction at the outset of your working relationship.  Expect two to three go-rounds in the editing process, depending on how much work your manuscript needs.


  1.    Your editor is a professional and is not your BFF.  It is imperative that you both keep it real and focus on the manuscript as the “baby” that must be nurtured to be the best it can be. You cannot have your feelings hurt if your editor points out that a phrase is a cliché.  It is better to have your editor correct weaknesses before publication vs. having acquisition editors, reviewers and readers make negative conclusions about your work and abilities.
  2.    The most satisfying editing relationships arise from serious writers who want to imbue excellence in their work.  If you are writing to grind an axe or settle a score, you do not need a professional editor to “rubber stamp” your wish fulfillment.  If your manuscript cannot withstand improvement you should forgo editing altogether.
  3.    Commit to the deadlines indicated. If a deadline must be adjusted, request an extension in advance.
  4.    Please don’t be “funny with the money.”  When you are late with a payment because you are “waiting for your next paycheck,” you are messing up your editor’s livelihood.  Set aside the entire fee for editing and commit to a payment schedule that you can fulfill.
  5.    Please don’t diddle with your editor’s time. Do not make inquiries or request a sample edit if you are not serious and if you do not have sufficient funds for editing.
  6.    The editing process should be fun, similar to icing a cake. Much intimate thinking is being considered, and your interaction with your editor – a meeting of the minds — is something which you should both anticipate with pleasure.


Your editor’s job is to elevate the content and enhance the spirit of your manuscript. They should edit your manuscript with all of the enthusiasm and integrity it deserves.

Your manuscript should reflect your best effort. Lack of objectivity is expected; this is why you need the eyes of a knowledgeable professional. But your editing fee is wasted when you use your editor as a “clean up” person; you will not obtain the most for your editing dollar.

While they are seldom formally acknowledged, your editor will take just as much pride in your beautifully completed, published work as you will. Your editor is here to be the “Wind beneath your wings.”


Share your ideas on how to get the most from the author – editor relationship. Please contact me if you would like to discuss further how EZMS can assist you with your editing project.

Thank you for reading. I wish you continued success and excellence.  

Stay focused. Keep writing.

Judy, Judith C. Allen, MBA, President, Excellence Zone Marketing Strategies, Inc.


From Ragan’s PR Daily: Try these tactics for coping with horrible editors


Please join us next time for more information on writing and editing.                      

Blog goal: Provide service to the writing and editing community. I would like for you to know me, my flava and how I do biz. Please advance our community by sharing your questions and observations in our comments section.

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