Book Editors & Publishing Are Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Book Editors & Book Publishing Are Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Why so many authors think that their friend who teaches literature at the local college, or their sister who
loves everything they write and do is the perfect editor for their work is beyond me.

Your editor can make or break your work—she can shape and shore it up … or, put in some commas and check your spelling. There are now more self and independent published books than those produced by the traditional NY
houses—and too, too many have minimal, if any, editing. Think “ruthless editing.” Cut and shape, hire a pro—and, when in doubt, cut it out.

Look for an editor who “gets” your topic … it will save you hours in their education. Let them know if there are quirky or unusual phrases or words in the beginning. If all the editor is doing is copy–the grammar and punctuation–he won’t be thinking about what sub-heads and layout should be.

Somewhere along the line, authors began to think that editors worked at minimum wage … wrong. You will pay from $25 an hour and up. The cleaner the copy you give them, the less you are going to spend. Give them a chapter or two as a “test” — it’s common to get a sampling. The last think you want is for an editor to take over your book; make it his or her voice–and leave yours out. It happens.

Book publishing and editors are like peanut butter and jelly–finding the right combo will enhance your book from the get-go.



Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35, How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos has earned 7 national book awards in 2017Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged Bootcamp, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2018, the dates are June 23-25.  Participate in her Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Bootcamp held in March and November. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at


AuthorU® and The Book Shepherd® are registered trademarks


Was this helpful? Get more FREE tips and insight:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you're human: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.