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What to Get a (Nice) Manuscript Editor for Christmas

Nice manuscript editors deserve the perfect Christmas presents. Don’t you agree?

Not naughty ones, of course. They deserve horrible Christmas presents, as discussed further down.

How do you know nice from naughty in the editorial profession? Well, it’s usually pretty easy to tell. But just in case one manages to sneak their status over you, here’s how to break ‘em down:

Nice Manuscript Editors:

  • Genuinely care about you, including but not limited to your authorial feelings, intentions, expressions and goals

  • Genuinely care about your manuscript; not just what it conveys but also how, why, where and when (the who is already covered in the bullet point above)

  • Charge reasonable rates, like, perhaps, $25-$35 an hour for true quality work.

Naughty Manuscript Editors:

  • Will cut you to pieces for misplaced commas or incorrectly conjugated verbs, much less anything more serious, all because of the ridiculous worldview that their professional craft is more important than your personal existence

  • Think more highly of their editorial opinion than your authorial supremacy as if it’s their manuscript and not yours

  • Charge exorbitant rates, like, I don’t know, a flat $4,000 per manuscript without taking into consideration your word count or proficiency levels.

That latter category doesn’t deserve coal. Coal can be useful, particularly if you have a coal stove. If you really want to get them back for their evil ways, buy them a Christmas present that says, “I want you to suffer.”

Sound expensive? Think again!

You can typically get copies of horribly written and atrociously edited books for under $20 on Amazon. Most editors (naughty or nice) will go into absolute conniptions if you simply mention novels like Fifty Shades of Grey, Twilight or The DaVinci Code, all of which I found on a “Worst Books of All Time” list on GoodReads.

So buying one for them – a special token of your esteem – is the absolute insult. And if the editor in question was off-the-charts atrocious, you’re in luck. Those books do come in series!

However, if your manuscript editor was a good girl or boy this year, then consider the following really awesome Christmas presents as a way of saying thank you…

  1. The Jefferson Lies by David Barton – should your editor be a history buff, this fascinating non-fiction book is bound to be a hit. So what if she already listened to it on Audible earlier this year? She really wants it in hard copy too!

  2. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey – should your editor be a fantasy fiction fan, she may or may not have heard that this was a worthwhile read.

  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – should she (or he, of course) love scientific studies, particularly when she (or he) can easily understand them, this could be a truly awesome gift.

Your nice neighborhood editor might also love an orange purse like this one, perhaps; a writer’s t-shirt like that example featured on the blog post back in June; or half the stuff on, which feature lines like, “Hedgehogs: Why don’t they just share?”

The only way a manuscript editor could not appreciate something like that is if they're naughty, not nice. In which case, you know what to do.

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