KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Human Connection

I got the sweetest phone call yesterday from an author about my copyediting of her fun guidebook to all things Texan. It's always such a pleasure to hear from a happy author.

She thanked me, in her lilting Alabama accent, for my kind comments on her manuscript and for the catches I made. She was so friendly that she made my Texas accent come out of hiding. She said, "This is my ninth book, and it's the first time any editor has ever made nice little comments like that on my writing. I just had to call and thank you—and see if your voice was as nice as your notes sounded."

What a shame she's had to wait that long!

I'll never understand editors who do nothing but edit and don't take the time to work in a little praise where it's due. Authors put their hearts into their work, and who are we editors to only perform grammar and diction surgery with cold precision without relating to the authors as people? Do you go back to see the brusque, superefficient, emotionless physician, or do you instead prefer the physician who takes a few moments to listen to you and explain things to you—to connect with you?

I did a heavy edit of the Alabama author's manuscript, and she was still thrilled with my work. Yes, I made some good catches, but I also made sure to let her know when I saw her sense of humor shining through or when her description of a historic event was particularly engrossing.

Yes, be professional, but don't forget to be human too.

By the way, I got an invitation to visit my author if I ever make it down to Alabama. I have a few other invitations to countries around the world. Now to save up for the cost of all of those flights ...

publishing authors being human

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