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The Power of Editing: Guest Post by Kyra Dawson

October 28, 2010

With Indie publishing, the writer has more say, more control, more work, more satisfaction, and more responsibility to turn out an exceptional piece of work. The one thing that remains consistent is the need for a talented, dedicated, and trustworthy editor. Sometimes, self editing, no matter how good you are at it, is not enough. Working with an editor will give your words, your work, your baby the polish it needs to look its best.

Going the Indie route means it’s up to you to find the right editor for the job, but don’t let this be a daunting task. Remember, you have control. Now all you need to do is find an editor that you can create a blissful working synergy with. To do this, all you need to remember are some ground rules.

  1. Find someone you trust. – If there is no trust between you and your editor, the work will stall. You will balk every step of the way.
  2. Work with an editor who believes in your project and has a deep respect for your work. – Having said this doesn’t mean that every word you write will be kept. Sometimes editors can be ruthless. But if you found an editor who believes in your project, they will do their utmost best to keep your voice, reflect your vision while making it the best it can be.
  3. Trust your work with an editor who isn’t just good with words, but an editor who really loves them. – This way the interest in your work won’t wane. Editing can be a tedious process, and a work can go through three or four incarnations before it’s deemed polished enough.

Once you’ve found someone you can work with, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind once the editing process begins. Here are some of the things I considered when I worked with my editor.

a) As a writer, I’ve learned that in writing, nothing is sacred until the final edit. – No matter how much in love you may be with a word, phrase, or entire paragraph, there is a very real possibility that your favorite pieces of prose may get cut. You may have to get ruthless sometimes.

b) Writing and editing go hand in hand. – Try not to be subjective when editing. It may be clear in your head, but not so clear to someone actually reading the words in black and white. A good editor will be that voice of objectivity, a pair of fresh eyes, and your audience.

c) Let it go! – Most importantly, write it and let it go. In the end, when it comes back to you, it is still your words. They will just be better.

d) Don’t take it personally. – The editing of your words is not a rejection of you personally. I know it can be hard at times to separate the two, and if it is hard, just take a breather, step back for a day or two or three. Heck, take four days if you need that time just to feel less vulnerable, exposed, or judged. Come back and look at the edits again. And remember, your editor believes in you!

And so does the Indie Book Collective. Writing can be like a deserted island at times where the natives are all vivid figments of your imagination. Even if writing is a solitary endeavor, it doesn’t have to be lonely as well. Just look for the #IBC stream on Twitter to find a community of writers, talented artists all, who are ready to welcome you with eager support and friendship. Here you will find all sorts of information on your foray into the world of Indie publishing.

I think of it this way, Indie book publishing is like the Indie film industry. It allows artists to stand up and say, “Hey, I have art to share with the world, and no one is going to stop me! I will be independent!” Indie publishing started as a whisper, an entity that was thought to be unable to compete with the bigger publishing houses, but now it is becoming a force to be reckoned with. More authors are making the choice to go Indie, and like the world of Indie film, Indie publishing is opening up a whole new world for writers determined to see their name in print.


Known as the Brighter Scribe, Kyra Dawson specializes in tagline creation, is a freelance writer, researcher, editor, blogger and a Naming Consultant by day. She is a regular contributor for The Movie Pool and you can find her writing about her favorite things in entertainment, or working on her latest creative project. She is also an author and has just written her first children’s book, due out later this month, and is usually busy writing and being a Mom.  She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 1:16 am

    I could not agree more. Hiring Annetta Ribken was the smartest move I ever made, especially since my readers paid for her! 😀

  2. October 29, 2010 2:42 pm

    Thanks, Kyra. I posted a piece of your article on my fan page. I’m eager to see what my clients say.

    • November 2, 2010 11:52 am

      Very cool, Jessica! Thanks a bunch! I’m glad you liked the post. 😀

  3. Kristin Russell permalink
    October 31, 2010 9:28 am

    I am getting ready to publish my novel, Recovering Ramona, and found an editor I adore. I would recommend him to anyone: Steven Parolini. His blog is, twitter @noveldoctor.

  4. November 29, 2010 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful article, Kyra! I posted a link here from my Unbridled Editor FB page. Anyone looking for an editor should read this so they know what to look for. 🙂 All of us who live to edit thank you. 🙂

    • March 7, 2011 1:38 pm

      You are most welcome, Toni. And thanks for posting a link! 🙂

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