Working With An Editor

Working With An Editor, guest post by John Kaniecki

Many writers might not want to work with editors. I'm not talking about fixing grammar and spelling. But rather changing parts of a story or a book; or even a poem.

A healthy attitude is always a good approach. Understand that an editor has a job to do just like the author. It is the editor's job to make sure that the book is of the highest quality possible. In this way everybody benefits. As an author this would translate into more sales and a better final product.

Please check your ego in at the door. As far as I know everybody goes through the editing process even the biggest names in the industry. There are basically two approaches. One is to work cooperatively and the second is to resist. If you chose to contest every correction you will most likely frustrate the editor. You will be stopping him from doing his job. A much better approach is to consider the editing process as synergy. That is you are harvesting the editor's creativity and putting it into your manuscript.

Give a lot, take a little is in my opinion the best policy. If you listen to the editor the majority of the time the whole process will go smoother. It is wise to insist on not changing things only when you feel very strongly about it. That what you have written is remarkably brilliant and to change it would be robbery to the world.

You have to understand that when you get published that you have in fact joined a team. The publisher is investing a lot into you, at least if they are legitimate. The publisher would be doing to cover art, the marketing and of course paying for the editor. They want your book to succeed as much as you want to. They have a vested interest as your success is their success. The editor is not the enemy.

Always consider the future and be wise about it. While it might not seem fair, publishers like to work with people who are cooperative. That is if they like the quality of your work they might decline to publish your manuscript because of how you have worked with them previously in the past. With that in mind make every effort to please the publisher. Work hard on edits and try to have them back to the publisher not only on time but ahead of time. To do such shows a professional attitude.

Remember the future. I can think of at least two clear instances where I really objected to the changes of the editor. However they felt very strongly about the amendments; to the point that they were adamant. In the end I buckled under, at least for now. If by the grace of God I am very successful I can always revisit those manuscripts and rewrite them to my liking. If I'm not a smashing success then what did it really matter?

Editing poems are a harder thing to accept. A well written poem has every word painstakingly chosen. I have declined publication rather than to change my poetry. Then again there was no contract signed and I wasn't getting paid for it. But if I can see a way to improvement then I am more than happy to make a change.

If you are a serious writer you take pride in your work. They become like your children. Think of editors as baby sitters. In the end it's your child they just help you out in the upbringing. You can always self publish to avoid editing. But in all honesty the services of the editor are in my eyes the greatest help to a good final product.

John Kaniecki is a native of Brooklyn, New York. While he has no memory of New York City but he is proud to call himself a native New Yorker. John spent a few years in Illinois but grew up in Pequannock, New Jersey. After graduating high school John went off to Hoboken to attend Steven's Institute of Technology.

Despite being in engineering school, John was clueless to the direction his life should take. After two years John dropped out of Steven's. He became a Christian and hitchhiked across the United States. Several months later he was hospitalized with bipolar.

At this time John began to write poetry. A self published book called "A Day's Weather" shows his mind at this time. After years of struggle John eventually returned to college and graduated from Montclair State University. John went to work stocking shelves at Sears and then worked with an engineering firm. John married Sylvia Kaniecki in 2004.

Once married John returned to writing. His writing has been published in over seventy outlets. His books are "Murmurings of a Mad Man" a book of poetry by eLectio Publishing, "Poet to the Poor, Poems of Hope for the Bottom One Percent" by Dreaming Big Publications, "Words of the Future" a collection of science fiction stories published by Witty Bard and a horror novella "Scarecrow, Scarecrow" published by Fat-Lip Press. Also there is a soon to come out book of poetry called "Sunset Sonnets". 

Presently John is a full time caretaker for his wife. Also he volunteers as a missionary for the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue; which is in the inner city of Newark. He stays up light at night and writing in any free time in hopes of becoming a professional writer.

Twitter         @JohnKaniecki
Goodreads   John Kaniecki 


  1. As an aspiring author, I love this advice. Meeting with an editor is daunting and can strike fear in the hearts of many. Great post.


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