First, it's best to send your best work to an editor, otherwise you waste time and money. Once you polish the draft, here are some tips:
- Referrals are preferable, even in a nonpaying arrangement.
- Problems will arise, so professionalism, even with friends, is key.
- Don't react immediately when you see the corrections, which are likely to be more extensive and different than you thought. Instead, put the manuscript aside for a day.
- When you come back to it, review all the observations before passing judgment. Then test the changes by implementing them. Most often, you'll see improvement.
- If you're still in doubt, write out your questions and review them before sending them to your editor, making sure to use the opportunity for clarity and not to sni
- Each writer-editor relationship is unique, so don't be surprised if your experience differs from that of others even when you're working through a referral.
- At some point the honeymoon will be over, but this can be an opportunity for the relationship to mature. How you handle it sets a precedent for how you'll handle other aspects of the writing life, like reviews and publicity.
- Remember, this is a business — for both of you.