As we continue to highlight great authors, let us not underemphasize the importance of a professional editor whose role is to help authors adequately develop ideas and polish their work. Despite the demand for increased diversification in editing, according to a Lee & Low Books study, Blacks only represent 5% of all book editors.
Elaine Flowers, a bestselling author, and president of Before You Publish Professional Services is one of the rare few Black book editors.,.
After years of being an author, Flowers initially resisted the idea of becoming an editor; however, after a push from her peers and being asked by her editor to edit someone else’s book, Flowers, over time, began to enjoy the process of helping other authors.
“It’s more fulfilling for me to help other Black authors become published, and even if I don’t publish them, I can help them to present their best work, “said Flowers. ” I teach authors to write from their experience in order to get their readers to actually learn something from what they’ve written.”
Flowers is a retired beauty salon owner and Wichita native. After moving to Dallas, she pursued her dream of becoming a full-time writer and in 2004, she released her first novel Black Beauty 2004. Set in a beauty salon, the novel tells the story of three Black women’s journeys full of hope, determination, and deception.
That book went on to become a Dallas Morning News bestseller, and since then, Flowers has released four other novels, including a sequel to Black Beauty titled Broken Appointments, a spin-off from two of the characters from the salon.
Flowers believes using her experience as a writer has helped her become a better editor. She can empathize with what authors go through and show compassion, while still providing a thorough edit of their book.
At the Midwest Black Book A-Fair, Flowers will be selling copies of her books as well as copies of some of the many books she’s helped edit and/or publish. In addition, for interested writers, she’ll give a brief presentation on how to become a published author. To learn more check out beforeyoupublish.com.