Why An Editor Is Just As Important As My Book

Former professional poker player Glenn Gamble is an author from Chicago, IL who doesn’t have one of those inspiring stories where he goes to the state penitentiary to discover his gift for writing amazing stories. Instead, he worked on his craft during long romantic dates at Starbucks and Panera Bread with his laptop and a story. His inspiration came from friends who encouraged him to pursue his dreams to become a writer. Without a prison sentence, Gamble has managed to pen A Thousand Chances, Bon AppetitEscape, On the Run and James; and is currently writing future installments of both the Jim Money and Darius Blaylock Poker Series.

In his spare time, Gamble likes to watch Chicago Bulls games, drop twitter bombs from the sky, slam facebook with status updates, and bet on low-stakes rat and roach races taking place in various public housing project apartments across the United States.

Today I’m collaborating with Jim Money –the main character in the Jim Money series—to discuss why hiring an editor is a vital step in the book publishing process.  I believe that I’m a pretty good writer, generally speaking.  I have good grammar, communicate well on paper, and I write in complete sentences.  With all of those variables working for me I still hire an editor to proofread and more importantly, to fish out the weaker parts of my story and make suggested changes.  Having an extra set of eyes to look behind me enables me to put out the best book that I possibly can.

Jim: You definitely need the editor buddy because you tend to have me tripping over misplaced words in my scenes.

Me: Jim, who the hell asked you?

Jim: This thing is a collaboration, right?

As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, it’s not enough to have beta readers critique your work.  You must have an editor who edits books as her profession.  A good editor will make sure that you don’t publish a book filled with punctuation and grammatical errors.  More importantly, she’ll point out some parts of your story that can be improved or eliminated to make the story move forward.  With that said, you must enter your relationship with an open mind.  Sure you are the writer and you did the heavy lifting in writing a good book, but listen to your editor because they help writers polish their books for a living.

There’s been instances where I’ve submitted a book to my editor thinking “ah ha, I nailed it this time,” only for her to point out that one of my paragraphs should be eliminated because the verbiage is unnecessary for the reader.  I’ve also had instances where she’ll highlight a portion of my book and tell me to dig deeper.  “Describe what the forest preserve was like.  Was it dark, was the ground wet, was the air cold, or were mosquitos biting everything breathing?  What was it like for that character under the duress of the situation and those conditions?”

I respect the craft of writing a book far too much to neglect these weak points in my writing by not hiring an editor, because how else would I know where I’m falling short within a book?

Jim: But you’re not short at all.

Me: Quit being a wise ass.

Glenn’s books are available on Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gamble/e/B002BMGSVK and Barnes and Noble Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Glenn-Gamble?keyword=Glenn+Gamble&store=allproducts and Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/glenngamble and most recently in the iBookstore for all you iPhone, iPad and iPod users.