You're in safe hands
Posted on 15th February 2018
I had a client recently who was the most engaged client I’ve ever had. He had me answer a whole myriad of questions before he took me on to edit his book, he rang me weekly to see where I was with it, what I was doing to it and what my thoughts were about it. It was frustrating on the one hand but on the other it was quite refreshing; I’d never had a client who was so attached to their work.
One of our first conversations was around his fear of what I would do to his book. He didn’t want me to post excerpts of it on my website – which, incidentally, I would never do and certainly not without my client’s permission. He’d never worked with an editor before and so I suppose he didn’t know what to expect. My take on it was that it was my job to reassure him and hold his hand (figuratively, of course) through the process. And that’s ok. Some clients are more than happy to let an editor tear on with what they have to do; they’ve maybe engaged the services of one before, they know what to expect and they’re happy to take a step back, others not so much.
The thing is this, when I take a job on I want the writing to be the best it can be. I want the author to look at the finished product and know that it’s their work but also to feel that it’s in better shape than when they last read it. An editor’s goal is the same as the author’s: to produce a piece of work to a high standard. I’m not going to transform your work into something unrecognisable – I’m not a writer, that’s your job. I’ll just take what you give me and send it back in a better condition than I found it in. So never fear, you’re in safe hands, we’re on the same team with the same desired result in mind.