by Barbara McNichol
When you select a dentist, no doubt you weigh many factors before making that appointment. Quality and value considerations top the list.
I recently explored how book authors in my circle view the relationship between QUALITY and VALUE when it comes to improving their writing through editing.
Not only did I bask in some praise (“like finding a good dentist, Barbara takes all the pain out of editing,” one client wrote), I got valuable information to share at an upcoming editing panel at the Tucson Festival of Books.
The questions I asked about 400 authors were:
- If you have not used professional editing services, what do you expect the VALUE of your written pieces to be when they are professionally edited versus no outside editing?
- If you have used editors, how did you perceive the relationship between the QUALITY of the editorial services received and the VALUE it brought to your work?
- For future projects, how will you determine the QUALITY of editing you need to achieve the ultimate VALUE you’re looking for?
From the responses I’ve received to date, I’ve gleaned a number of insights representing only a smattering of valued responses. They include:
- To respect the author’s intentions by understanding the hearts and minds of intended readers
- To ensure the author’s work is a delight to read and, therefore, marketable
- To appreciate and respect the subject and intention of the book’s topic
- To emphasize that the more professionally written the piece (book, article, blog, newsletter), the more credibility and respect (value) the author gains
- To make the writing more engaging and use vivid words that paint a picture for the reader
- To ask insightful questions and add considered opinions to the book’s discussion
- To make the author’s experience easy and efficient though a high standard and fast turnaround times
- To convey that because of the quality of the editing, the value of what’s written increases immensely; for some, it has led to more speaking engagements!
I invite you to chime in on this conversation and share your thoughts on these three questions.