The Basics: What Do Editors Want from Writers?

We want a good project. A diamond in the rough. Something we can really sink our teeth into and take from good to great. And we want writers who really, really want to see that happen.

Our favorite clients:

Most importantly, clients should understand that no editor anywhere in the entirety of the universe can make a book perfect. Why? Carol Fisher Saller (best-selling author of The Subversive Copy Editor) explains:

The manuscript doesn’t have to be perfect because perfect isn’t possible. There’s no Platonic ideal for that document, one ‘correct’ way for it to turn out, one perfect version hidden in the block of marble that it’s your job to discover by endless chipping away. It simply has to be the best you can make it in the time you’re given, free of true errors, rendered consistent in every way that the reader needs in order to understand and appreciate, and as close to your chosen style as is practical. (pg. 115)

Article: “The Basics of Self-Revision.”

“Completing a manuscript can feel like conquering Mt. Everest. Whether your work is fiction or nonfiction, minimalist or detailed, short-term or long, you want to raise your flag and shout to the world, ‘It’s done!’

“At Dog Ear Publishing, we say go ahead and celebrate! Pop that bottle of champagne you’ve been saving, turn up your favorite song obnoxiously loud and dance around the house, or involve yourself in any other merrymaking that allows the enormity of your accomplishment to sink in.

“When you’re done, however, it’s time to take a breath and remind yourself that although the first big hurdle is past, the journey is not over …”

Source: Editor’s Corner: The Basics of Self-Revision