Learning the Worth of Editors at PubU 2015

PubU 2015 was jam-packed with information and interaction, giving me a chance to learn from publishing veterans with expertise in every facet of book publishing, including design, printing, distribution, copyright, and marketing. There will be more details about what I learned in later posts and articles, but today I’m focusing on what I learned that affects me most directly.

As an editor, the most encouraging news for me was that everyone I talked to said editors play a vital role in producing quality books. I heard that from book designers, from managers of independent publishing firms, from writing coaches, from publishing consultants, from marketing experts, and particularly from authors.

One author told me she feels like she should send flowers to her editor every day because the editor had taken her good idea and helped shape it into a beautiful book. Another author described editors as wizards, waving a wand over a collection of drab words so that they sparkle and shine like jewels.IMG_1989

Unfortunately, I also heard from a couple of authors who didn’t have kind words for their editors. One told me her editor tried to change carefully-researched text based on quick Internet searches. Another told me his editor had left a number of errors, which he only discovered when they were pointed out by his indexer.

The good stories inspired me; the bad ones dismayed me. Both reminded me that an editor can work magic or create havoc. And both make me want to work harder at this craft that is also a profession.

After all, what editor wouldn’t appreciate daily flowers from her authors?


April 14, 2015

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Personally, I feel the editing process is the most important aspect of writing–it can be a nightmare if the editor and the writer are not on the same page. … Tammy knows what she is doing, she is easy… Read more
Phil Ward, Author, Raiding Forces Series

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  1. Thanks for sharing your impressions of Publishing University, Tammy! Yes, an editor can certainly work havoc…or magic. Here’s to professionalism in the craft!

    • Thanks, Angela. And thanks for a great Pub U! I know it was a lot of work, but it went very smoothly from my vantage point. So much wonderful information and so many helpful people all in one place!

  2. Tammy, thanks for this initial feedback on your experience at PubU; it sounds like it was great! I look forward to reading your continuing reflections. As we continue to determine how best to interact with indie publishers and authors without the intervention of the traditional gatekeepers, it becomes increasingly apparent that we need more networking events like this one.

    • Thanks, Aden. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and learned so much! One of the things I learned is that there is a whole lot to know if you want to self-publish. The information I picked up will allow me to be more of a resource for my independent clients. This is my second time at Pub U, and I can highly recommend it.