Editing

Your Commitment to Your Reader

When you’re working to get your book published, you feel you have lots of people to please. First, you have to be satisfied with your book. Then, you need to find an agent to partner with you to present your work to editors, who are her customers. Then the editor must sell your work to the editorial committee. Then it goes to the publishing committee. So along the way, you’ve had lots of people to please. Now you’re ready for the ultimate test: making readers happy. For if you can convince readers your book is worth purchasing, then you’ll have good sales figures to start your successful career.

So what are your obligations to your reader?

Present Them with Your Best

 Have you ever read a book and wondered if the author turned in a first draft? This is not how you want your reader to feel, no matter how long you’ve been writing or how rushed you feel during the process. Perhaps you turned in your book, feeling it rocked, only to find your editor disagreed and you’ve got to spend considerable time rewriting. That’s the time to see if your agent can get you an extension. Better to turn in thoughtful revisions than to rush to meet an unrealistic deadline.

Know How Long You Need to Write

Some writers can churn out books faster than Superman can fly. Others need much more time. Realize what works for you and work to write your best. Take the time you need. You can do this by realizing that you now have a career. Make the time to do your work properly.

Value Your Readers’ Time

Your readers are paying for helpful advice, encouragement, a riveting story, or some combination of the three. Cut out all unnecessary words and anything that makes the book drag. You are not writing for yourself. You are writing for your reader.

Be Positive

As an author, you are now required to have an online presence. Make sure it’s uplifting, confident, and in keeping with your brand. Make your readers feel you are friendly and care about them. Because you do.

Your turn

What author meets these goals for you as a reader?

What other obligations do you think an author has to readers?

 

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