Books you’ll want to read,
written by people you’ll want to meet.

On the Alchemy of Editing: How Authors Become Friends

January 22, 2016 • Posted in Authors, Editing, Writers by

Inking People into Friends

Except for all of my other favorite parts, editing is my favorite part of publishing. Months spent immersed in a subject I heretofore knew very little about. Following the story line. Teasing out nuances. Wrangling syntax and grammar into submission. Having an excuse to buy new books.

Editor's red pen at work

Pen at Work

But the best part? Getting to know the author in a way that probably no one else does. Mutual respect and friendship grow quickly under the pleasant pressure of working together and speaking nearly every day. Maybe it’s the feeling of comrades-in-arms as we battle to bring a book to press. Maybe it’s the sense of gratitude that we feel toward each other: author grateful for help bringing the story to market, publisher grateful to have a worthy project. Or maybe we’ve just been blessed with really great authors so far. Either way, I’m a fan.

Sure, we’re all in this to sell books. But the bottom line isn’t necessarily the bottom line. The making of a book becomes its own story in each of our lives.


Nancy Sayre is Golden Alley Press's old-school, hands-on editor. Max Perkins, Saul Bellow, and Robert Giroux are some of her role models. Her reading interests include classic literature, theology, and the subject matter of whatever books she is editing at the moment.

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