Today we continue our interviews with Editors from different publishing houses and I am so pleased to introduce today’s Editor, Dawn Binkley from Hellfire Publishing.
Welcome Dawn and thank you so much for taking time out from your extremely busy schedule.
I am so honored to be here.
How long have you been an editor for? I am an executive editor, which is a fancy word for slush reader, lol. I have been an executive editor since September 2010. I have been a writer for over twenty years.
Could you please describe your job as editor? My particular job is to make sure that the stories that come across my desk, have the complete package. I look for stellar writing, fresh ideas and work that will sell. Number one ingredient we seek in a manuscript is writing that we don’t feel we have to change, because we don’t do that. We will make suggestions, correct punctuation as well as grammar and make sure that certain criteria from our handbook is met, but we will not write the story for the writer. Being a small independent publisher, we share the PR responsibilities, so I look for authors that have a strong web presence and always conduct themselves with tact and professionalism.
This may say sound silly, but I also look for likeable authors. Seriously who wants to work day in and day out with an asshole or buy a book from them? J I contacted an author once to tell them how great I thought their book was and they were such a jerk to me that I will never read a book of theirs, again.
Do you do a fully comprehensive edit, line by line edit, and a plot and continuity edit, or only one of these? Our editors do the complete package, and then our copy editor catches anything the editor may have missed, we have several reader’s that look over the finished product to make sure it measures up to our high standards.
Are you completely honest and blunt with an Author if there are problems with the manuscript? We have to be…for their sake as well as ours.
Are there any other jobs that you do above and beyond editing? For instance do you help the Author pick a title for their book; help the Author when they are having problems with their story line etc. We will give an author any support or advice that they need. However at Hellfire Publishing we pride ourselves on letting the author be the author.
How do you keep abreast of what is currently trending genre wise? Lots of reading, some more reading, and did I mention reading?
Do you find it easier if you have basic knowledge of the genre you are editing or do you feel it doesn't matter? Oh yes, you have to have knowledge of the genre because what is acceptable editing in one genre, isn’t in another. It’s all about what your audience expects.
Have you or would you, ever approach an Author due to the quality of their work, and ask them to submit to your publisher? Yes and I have. I don’t look for them, but if a Facebook note or a blog appears that peaks my interest from a struggling writer, I will approach them.
Thank you so much for having me :)
It has been our pleasure and we appreciate your wonderful and insightful answers.
Have a great day!