Notes from Editor Karen Ball

“First, Do No Harm.”

A number of years ago I attended an editors’ conference, where a gentleman who’d been an editor for a number of years issued this caution to us in his workshop. It struck me then, as it still does, that this is a truth every editor should hold to.

Do no harm. Not to an author’s work, nor to an author’s confidence. Realize that your job as an editor is to come alongside, to serve, to draw the best writing possible out of each author, but to do so with respect and kindness.

I love the synergy in editing. How I get caught up in an author’s story, in his or her vision for the book, and find my own excitement growing to match the author’s. And I love seeing how authors respond to an edit that’s grounded in respect. Few things delight me as much as when a manuscript comes back from and author and the rewrite is leaps and bounds better than the first draft. Which doesn’t mean that first draft was bad–it just wasn’t as strong as it could be. Being a part of that process is pure joy.

So how, you ask, does one become an editor. Oh, there are a number of roads to that destination. You’ll find some guidance in the column to the left. As I can, I’ll give more thoughts and suggestions here. And I’ll share some stories about the authors I work with, authors you know and love. So stay tuned!

Great Books I’ve Edited Recently

Coral Moon, by Brandilyn Collins

A follow-up to the first book in her new Kanner Lake series. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read by Brandilyn! Tense, fast-paced, as edge-of-the seat as it gets. Watch for this one. You won’t want to miss it!

Monday Morning Faith by Lori Copeland

Signature Lori: humor and spiritual depth, all wrapped up into one. And here’s a fun fact: I used to read Lori’s books before I got into publishing! LOVED her sense of humor. So if you want a story that will make you laugh and make you think, MMF is the book for you!

Reluctant Burglar & Reluctant Runaway, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Talk about hitting the ground running! Jill has crafted two books–her first novels–that grab you from the first page and don’t let go. Her turns of phrase are witty, her characters are engaging, and her way of handling the attraction between the hero and heroine is simply grand.

This is an author to watch, folks.