Notes from the Editor: Slammed


That says it all, doesn’t it? My editor self — yes, sometimes, I DO feel like I’m more than one person: writer, book reviewer, editor, publicist, small business owner, mother, friend, daughter — has taken over. I began this week with one major, book-length project, one novella, and two short stories to complete. Now. Today. Yesterday would be better.

My clients understand that I’d like to get away for the weekend. Or that my kids need me. But that hasn’t stopped them from piling on the work.

Bring it, I say. While I’d still prefer, on some level, that my book royalties equal or exceed the sort of money I’m making via the editing work, I continue to love what I do. While I’d still prefer, on some level, more time to write, the hours I spend on other people’s manuscripts is every bit as energizing as working on a good story of my own.

And I have to admit that in most cases, the manuscripts my clients deliver to me are better than the books I get from the World’s Toughest Book Critics. Those books, I have to weigh in on. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could reach out to an author and say, “Next time, hire me to edit your next book. It’ll be SO much better.” Of course, I can’t, and not just because the World’s Toughest Book Critics also offer an editing service to authors. I can’t because I’m supposed to be anonymous in all this.

However, it seems that my thoughts have become quite valuable.

I’ll take it.

So… I’m back at it. There are words to work with, stories and novellas and novels to shape. Writing is a craft, people. Remember that.

And remember all these long hours that authors (and their editors) put in. Say thanks by buying books, not grabbing only the freebie offers or using (gasp) piracy sites. Ask your local library to pick up books you like. And take a few minutes and jot down some words. Reviews are the best way to say thanks to an author, although buying a copy for eight of your closest friends comes in a close second.

Believe me. From any side of the writing world — writing, editing, reviewing — a TON of work goes into the creation of a book. Don’t just read. Show your support.



  1. Dana Griffin

    September 1, 2012 1:30 pm

    I liked this post, but thought share my thoughts on something you said about your editing. As a critiquer of my friends writing, I find this helps my own in a way I might not acquire if I spent that time writing my own story. Helping another writer with their story let’s me look beyond the words written and try to deepen the plot, scene, or setting. It helps me see the story I thought vivid in my mind, may not be in others.

    Getting to edit and write, and get paid to do it, is something you should cherish. So many don’t get to live their dream job.

  2. Alice Audrey

    September 3, 2012 12:54 pm

    A good editor can make all the difference. However, every editor is convinced she or he knows what the book in question should really look like, and each will have a different take.

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