Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Carla M. Dean, editor (U Can Mark My Words) and Publisher (Artistic Words Publishing) has been in the publishing industry for over 15 years. She’s edited hundreds of books, and published various titles. We caught up with this artistic beauty in the middle of her travels. See what she has to say about editing. The topic that so many beginning authors question.
TO EDIT OR NOT TO EDIT...
You have been in the publishing industry for quite a while. What are some things you’ve learned through trial and error?
One of my hardest lessons I’ve learned is not to get to personal with my authors. That was my first mistake. Everyone runs their company different and until you get to know what works for you, try to keep it strictly business. Even though, I want my publishing company to have a family feel to it, sometimes there are things that need to be left unsaid.
We all know that editing is a very important step in the pre-publication stages of writing and publishing, as an editor for over 17 years, can you explain the importance of this step from an editor’s standpoint.
Editing is one of THE most important steps next to writing your book. You have to have a polished product if you want to go out there and compete with others. There are so many people in this industry. There is so much competition out here, so when you come out with your book you want to bring your best work possible. You can’t SKIP EDITING. You can’t have your cousin or your English Professor editing your book because they may not be skilled in the type of editing you need for your book. There’s a difference between editing a term paper and editing an Urban Fiction book. That is a different style of editing. I put a quote up on my page that said, “A Good Editor Isn’t Cheap. A Cheap Editor Isn’t Good.” You can’t pay a bargain price and expect quality work. When you go out there and sell thousands and thousands of copies people are going to ask, “Who is your editor?” That’s my job [as an editor] to make your book the best it can be.
You founded Artistic Words Publishing (AWP) in 2013, what was your motivation behind the startup of your company and what needs did you see needed to be met at that time? I was looking for authors who could trust the editor. While I was editing people’s books, several of my clients where looking to me to publish their books, because they had heard horror stories about other publishers that was taking their money or bootlegging their books, and they didn’t want to go through that. My clients and I had established a very strong relationship…they felt they could trust me with their work. At the time they were asking me I didn’t feel like it was my time yet, so I had to wait until I got that word from God. It was always my dream to be an editor, because I love books. I love the English language. Then to become a publisher, and someday have my own bookstore.
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