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Relations with Editors

An editor is the go-between who connects writers with readers. He has a relation with each side of the equation.

As a writer you need to understand that the editor you are dealing with has been vetted by higher-ups and is fully committed to the success of the magazine. That's one reason why it's always recommended that you read back issues. It's the editor's way of saying, "this is what works best for our audience."

I can speak from experience and state that editors love a writer who takes as much responsibility for the copy as she can. Editors, contrary to the notion writers may have, do not like to edit. It creates all kinds of problems when there are deadlines to meet and a lot of copy to edit.

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Editors are people as well. If you treat them with respect and don't get pissy or into a power struggle, the relation can work out. Remember that the editor is not looking for the best writing or writer. He is looking for the best writing for his audience. That is the responsibility of the editor. And the responsibility of the writer is to get to the right market that has secured the right audience.

Too often the contract or freelance writer feels powerless outside the protection of a large organization. This can strain the relation between editor and writer. The editor has a large budget, a generous support group, and many submissions to choose from. The writer should do everything in her power to deal with editors on an equal basis.

Approaches to editors that work:

  • Be honest in your dealings with them.
  • Ask questions if there is a problem with an assignment.
  • Turn in the piece of writing that you said you were going to turn in.
  • Be courteous and respectful of the editor's time.

Other factors that equalize the relation between editor and writer: Possess as much information and knowledge about what rights are bundled with your copyright, study the publication you are dealing with, and understand the art of negotiation. If those are in place, then you will deal with an editor on an even playing field.

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Most editors are not frustrated writers who want to seek revenge for their lack of success as writers. Editors want to produce an excellent publication and know the key is to purchase wonderful writing.

I still get startled when writers treat me as an editor on my ezine. And it sharpens the distinction between the role of editor and the role of writer. The Net has permitted me to play both roles and I'm thankful. I think. At least the adventure has given me valuable insights into what an editor tries to do.

Well, I am an editor and make decisions on their pretty baby's.

The editor is straddling between the needs of his readers and his own response to written pieces. Most editors don't like the inhuman relation that develops in publishing. They wants to develop professional relations with writers who constantly deliver good writing.

The relationship is fraught with peril on newspapers.

These relationships are important in the technical writing area too.

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It's apparent that the more writers and editors meet face-to-face at conferences and seminars, the better is the understanding between them. The greater are the chances an editor will remember a writer who they have met personally, even though their professional relationship is through paper or e-mail.

Written by David Eide, Sunoasis.com

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David Eide
Copyright 2000-2006


Publishing Hints:

The easiest way to get published? Write highly specialized non-fiction for a special-interest market.

The best niche to be in at this moment? Health-care is very popular these days. For one thing, health websites are successful and so buy lots of copy. For another, the boomers are aging and trying to figure out how to feel healthy and good and the demand is increasing for this information. Make sure you check the resources section of Sunoasis X for the top health markets.

David Eide
copyright 2000-2006