Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Editors and Critique Partners by Margot Justes

 As writers, we finish a manuscript, then go over it a dozen times. We continuously change the wording, descriptions,  grammar, anything that doesn’t satisfy, then we do it all over again; it seems in perpetuity. The revision of the last revised revision. An endless process.

Critique partners are not necessary,  but I found it’s helpful to have someone look over the work. It is essential that a critique partner be honest, otherwise there is no point in having one. It is also important to take that critique professionally, and accept the review. You can disagree, but should always think it through; another pair of eyes looking at your work. There are meetings, discussions, ideas are tossed to make it better. It’s a continuous process until the manuscript is ready for an editor.

As an indie author, I never question the necessity of an editor-it is a must. A trained and impartial eye is needed to correct the grammar, the abundant or missing commas, flaws in plot, along with anything else the editor will notice. I always get a comprehensive content edit; that means the whole manuscript will be examined, and any weaknesses pointed out. An editor is essential, but finding one is not that easy.

I found that the most important aspect for me was that the editor understand my genre. l always ask for recommendations from fellow writers. I also ask to submit five pages for a free evaluation, but I have found there is more to the selection of an editor.

Check out the editor’s website, the work that has been done, who the clients are...due diligence is important. You’re submitting your hard work, and want the best results.

I was looking for a new editor, and at a conference I approached indie bestselling author Kallypso Masters, and asked her about her editing staff. She was gracious, gave me her business card and asked me to e-mail her after the conference. I did, and got back a quick response. 

I did my research, looked at the testimonials, and samples of her editing, and e-mailed her on the spot. I didn’t even ask for a free evaluation-because I was able to see that she worked with many other romance writers, and I liked what I saw. She was well established within the romance community, and she showed her editorial capabilities.

Editors are absolutely essential to a good finished product, but not all editors are equal.
You’ve put a tremendous amount of energy into creating a wonderful world, invest in a good editor to make it masterful. 

Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Blood Art
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks


  1. Very true. Critiques are very helpful for an author. A different point of view sheds light on things you never even guessed could be a problem. Also, a good editor is an absolute must!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. I usually don't send anything off to my editor at TWRP that hasn't had at least a first chapter critique session. Another set of eyes is invaluable when editing and reviewing a mss. Even sitting in on sessions that aren't about my projects helps to make me a better writer.

  3. Too many times this is where the writer tries to skip a step in the journey to publication. Great advice, Margot!