Build A Great Writer-Editor Relationship

Lesson 6/9 - How to Prepare to be Edited: Set Budget/Timeline


Build A Great Writer-Editor Relationship


Lesson Info

How to Prepare to be Edited: Set Budget/Timeline

Setting our budget and our timeline. I cannot stress this highly enough, communicate. Even if you feel like it's the tiniest thing, and should I mention it? Yes, mention it. One of the biggest potential issues in this relationship is just miscommunication. Be very clear about your expectations. So we all know, good, fast, or cheap, you can pick two. What do you want? If you're on deadline, you might pay a rush fee to an experienced editor and you will get it good, and you will get it fast, and you will have fantastic editing in your timeline. It might not have been in your budget, but it met one of the requirements. If you have time, you might pick an editor like my friend with a distant opening. You're like, I want her. She's available in June. I'll send my manuscript to her in six months. It'll be good, and it'll be within my budget. If you have no flexibility with time or budget, you're going to end up with fast and cheap. So we're gonna make sure you have your budget and your timel...

ine set. And negotiate these details in the contract phase, not in the invoice phase. It's very easy to get excited and to say, this works, this is a great fit, and run forward into the work. And then you get the invoice, and you're like, hold on, were phone calls billed? Did we decide that? How many passes are included? Make sure everything is outlined in your contract phase. And this is the perfect stage to determine if it's a good fit, because if it's not, you can walk away. And if it is, you're just more excited and prepared to get moving. Clear communication standards. This is one of the most important things for a productive relationship. If you have someone calling you when you don't want to be called, it's not gonna work. If you have someone e-mailing you, when you're like, just pick up the phone. Make sure you're enabled to communicate with each other how you prefer. There's editors, there's writers that I've worked with as an editor, that will text each other. I'll say, "Hey, your review's done." She's like, "Perfect, send it right back." Make sure you know what's an acceptable response time. And this can be difficult because going through a file and reviewing changes, there's some flexibility in there, but you should always know, by this date. So if I send changes to you for your novel, I'll say, "Here you go. "I need your review back in about two weeks," because we have to be making continual progress. And setting acceptable response time, even to quick questions, and small e-mails, keeps everyone on track and focused. In the same vein, how long should each step take? Make sure you discuss that beforehand. I'm going to be doing this review. It will take this long. You're gonna send me your queries. You'll have about two or three days. I'll do my next review. It'll take about this long. Finally, what is the plan if there is an emergency? Now, no one wants an emergency, but they happen. I had a death in the family, and I had to go to some clients and one of them I handed off the project to another editor and she wrapped it up and finished it. And the other one was like, don't worry about it. Just finish it when you get back. Here's the new deadline. And we worked through it. But it's that realization that you need to have a plan. If something happens, financially, are late fees gonna be waived on your final payment? You know, if you have to all of a sudden buy a new car, can you talk to your editor and say, what do we do? What's the plan? So think about these options, and discuss them together. Outline everything, everything in the contract, schedule, fees, return of the finalized file. Not every editor requires a signed and dated contract, but they do require these written out in e-mail. You have to have a place where it's written down, where everyone's agreed, where everyone said, "Yes, this sounds fantastic, let's move forward." Like we mentioned, does the editor charge for calls? Is it a consulting fee if you need to, like, speak through the process of the rewrite for 30 or 40 minutes, or is that included? How many passes does this fee cover? How and when do you receive the final file? I personally just send it, and then send an invoice. But some people have, you know, not had that always be successful, so they're like, you must pay the final invoice, and then you get the file. So just make sure you know what the process is for that. Is there a deposit required to get started? If there is, is it refundable? Non-refundable? How are we feeling? I know that can seem like a lot of information. Does anyone have any questions? I was just curious, if you're a resource for contracts? Do the editors always come to the table with a contract? Is there a place we could find language? Yes, actually, most editors have one built. Most editors will have something that says, here's how I want the file. Here's how you'll receive the file. It'll have the dates, the agreed upon rate. It usually actually has even things like legal items. Like if there's a dispute, it'll be resolved in the editor's state, for me the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If they don't have this text, you can absolutely find some online. As a matter of fact there's this site that, it's meant for editors, but I would recommend you checking it out. It's called The Copyeditors' Knowledge Base, and it's by KOK Edit. And it's an endless resource on writing, on editing. It's got invoices that you can build from. It's got all sorts of templates. And this is just scores of advice. I mean, she's been building it for a long time.

Class Description

Even after you’ve put the finishing touches on your piece, the writing process is far from finished. Most written works are edited by a professional editor before being published or posted. While a few writer-editor relationships turn adversarial or combative, most are cooperative and constructive and help make the work the best it can be.

Experienced writer, editor and proofreader Heather Saunders will explain the different types of editing, outline the editorial process and offer guidance on how to navigate the editorial relationship. Armed with an in-depth understanding of how editing works and what editors do, writers will be able to avoid the pitfalls of being unprepared.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set a budget and timeline with your editor before the editing process begins.
  • Pick the right editor for your project by looking at their certifications, experience and views on editing.
  • Determine the level of editing your need.
  • Understand the different types of editing, including developmental, copy editing and proofreading.
  • Know what to expect at each stage of process, including resolving queries, reviewing and accepting edits, and using style sheets.