Ask the Editor: Why Work with an Editor during the Writing Process?

by Lesley-Anne Longo

Published at 2015-05-27

We posted this blog in 2015, but the information below is timeless! If you're looking to write a book, or have started already, reaching out to an editor is a great way to ensure your manuscript stays on track.




So, you want to write a book. You’ve got the idea in your head, and a vague plan of how to move forward. But how do you get started?

Finding an Editor to Write With

Many authors seek out an editor before they have even started writing their book. The reasoning is that an editor can help you as you move through the writing process: she/he will keep you accountable, provide real time feedback that you can incorporate into the next section you write, help you create a writing schedule, and help you craft the overall structure of your book before it’s even finished. Think of your editor like your writing coach. 


Keeping on Track

Many authors find this method of writing a book is less overwhelming, as opposed to writing the book, by yourself, then going back and changing things after the fact. This way, if your editor feels your plot is getting a little convoluted, or losing focus, they can tell you—BEFORE you’ve finished the book.

Think back to your school days: do you have any memories of beginning an essay with one point in mind, then looking up halfway through only to find you’ve somehow lost your way? That can happen with books too—losing your point, or focus, halfway through is bad enough, but even worse? Finishing the book and realizing that the second half no longer flows well with the first. 

Editors as Consultants 

You might think that you only need to think about finding an editor after you’ve finished writing, but an editor can help you at every point in the book creation process.  

Once your book is complete, an editor can help you navigate the publishing process. Whether you’re self-publishing, or looking to submit to a publisher, an editor can guide you through the steps you need to take. According to Publishers Global, there are 504 publishing houses in Canada alone, and an editor can help you decide what houses will be a good fit for your book, and assist you in submitting your manuscript. 


Check out our blogs on Canadian indie publishers! 

5 Up-and-Coming Independent Canadian Publishers: Attention New Authors!

Attention New Authors! 5 More Indie Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

So, if you have an idea for a book but think the writing process is too daunting to do alone, reconsider! Partnering with an editor might be just the support you need to realize your dream.

Look for the next installment of the “Ask the Editor” series: How Do I Prepare for My First Meeting with An Editor?



Also, looking for more content that can help new authors? Check out our blogs on creating a great hook to catch the eye of a publisher, or how you can put together a great manuscript submission package.