Love, marriage; horse, carriage: They all have a positive connotation . . . or, at least, a romantic one. Author and editor, however, have never been part of either equation. Why? “Editor” seems to conjure up thoughts of red pens and resistance rather than feelings of warmth and fuzziness. Yet a book without an editor is like a year without springtime. Furthermore, an author without an editor is going to limp through the marketing maze with little hope of even nearing the peak of the sales mountain.
Does that sound a bit dramatic? Consider this: Hundreds of thousands of books are available through brick and mortar stores and online outlets. A significant number of those are vying for the same buyers—the same readers—we are. And we are not Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Tess Gerritsen, Danielle Steel, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, John Grisham . . . you get the idea. It’s an uphill battle. Realistically, the odds are against us. However, we can reduce those odds by making one simple alliance. We need an editor—the right editor—to give us a marketing edge.
We all know that word of mouth is our best advertising. It’s also our worst. How so? We can have the highest powered promotion in the world. Our cover may grab every eye that passes over it. But if our content doesn’t measure up, all the rest of this means nothing. We offer a product. If our product is of poor quality, it will brand us as not worthy of a reader’s time or money. This is not the kind of branding that will make our books consistent sellers. You can’t tell a book by its cover, so the saying goes. But if we have a great cover, we’d better have great content. Our readers need to know that they can tell our books by their covers. They’re always going to be a fantastic read.
Love, marriage; horse, carriage; author, editor: What do you think?
Linda Lane is a writer/editor/publisher who specializes in helping other writers to develop their full potential. Learning to write well is a lifelong process, but the rewards of seeing it through are among the greatest of a lifetime. Word art stimulates the reader's imagination and takes her to places she's never been. It influences thought and feeling and can move mountains of metalities when used to the max. This lays an awesome responsibility on the shoulders of a writer.