3 Tips for Changing Editors in the Middle of a Series
Last month, I talked about a few signs it’s time to part ways, sadly, with your current editor. Several readers came back with a very important question, one especially relevant to speculative fiction authors working on multi-volume stories:
Can you change editors in the middle of a book series?
The short answer: yes. But here are 3 tips for changing editors in the middle of a series to make the transition less painful.
Create or Send Your Style Sheet
Hopefully your previous editor created a style sheet or series bible for your previous books. If so, get a copy and send it to your new editor. If not, do your best to create one that at least includes major character names and settings and their proper spellings and characteristics. It would also be helpful to add any style choices you and your editor made: Oxford comma or not, comma before “too,” etc. (If you need an example style sheet to use as a template, you can download mine here.)
Send Previous Books to Your New Editor
It’s a good idea for a new-to-you editor to have copies of the manuscripts already written or published in the series. That way, he or she can refer back to them for established grammar/usage/spelling conventions while editing the next book. (Note: Send Word files if you can, so your new editor can do global searches of the text.)
Pay Your New Editor to Read Your Series
Although definitely not required, reading the previous books in full could help your new editor pick up plot threads and character arcs important to your overall series, which will help keep the editing consistent from one book to the next.
But please don’t expect them to do it for free! Offer to pay a reading fee or work the cost into the overall project estimate.
Bonus Tip: Include a Tactful Note About Your Expectations
Here’s some bonus advice, courtesy of a sweet client who hired me after parting ways with their former editor because of some . . . well, not-so-great work.
If you’re switching because you weren’t pleased with the work your previous editor did, you might include a professional and tactful list of things you found less than satisfactory for your new editor to keep in mind.
Conversely, including what went well with your former edits would be great too!
If you’re looking for an editor to take over forthcoming releases in your epic series, I’d love to explore how I can help make this transition easy on you.
Head on over to my application form to start the process, and I’ll be happy to show you how I can make editing your next books an amazing experience.