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The 3 most frequently asked questions to an editor

1: Is this any good?  

Sometimes (okay – all the time) we just need someone else to justify our writing. Even if we’re pleased with what we’ve written, nagging doubt-fairies will whisper in our ears, telling us it probably isn’t that great at all. Thankfully, editors are here to squish doubt-fairies and replace their words with constructive praise. Phew. 

2: Do you get that the antagonist is actually the protagonist’s evil twin? 

Okay, so this exact question probably doesn’t get asked all that much. But some form of a specific question will often come with a manuscript. “Is it clear that...?” - “Do you understand that...?” We all have things we want to be crystal clear in our worlds and other things we want to hint at, but keep secret until the end. An editor can give you their perspective as a reader and – if it isn’t quite clear yet – advice on how to make it so. Handy.  

3: Can you help me get this published?  

Great editors are often published themselves, or have worked in publishing houses. Surely they have connections that could help you get on the ladder? The truth is – they probably do. Jericho Writers certainly does. And we often use them too (see our success stories!) BUT. If an editor says “sorry - but no”, trust that this is the right decision. It could be they don’t know the right people for this project. Or – like us – it could be that they’ll only do this when they are 100% SURE than the work is absolutely ready for it. Otherwise, they risk the agent not taking your work seriously and possibly hurt their own relationship with that agent for future.  

So – what would you ask an editor? Do these questions sound familiar? Share your FAQs below!

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  • So - in non-fiction - how does one go about finding someone who would give an honest and qualified feedback on a book ? Not a full critique, and not a review of 3000 words, but a flick through essentially and then point out issues to consider. Like a feedback on first impressions ? 

    Needless to say that it is my first book (outside my PhD thesis) and I am new to this whole thing. What is the job description for this, to ensure that no proof reading or minor items come back ? 

    Sp 3 - not can you help me get this published, but more a like 'how far is this from being publishable', 'do you think someone could ever read it' ? 

    I passed the mum and friends test, they are generally positive, but then again they might be really biased in knowing how passionate I feel about the subject... 

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