View Full Version : Confidentiality letter for editor

10-25-2009, 04:11 AM
Does anyone have a link to a blank template or a sample of how a confidentiality letter between yourself and your editor should look? I have hired an editor and I want to make sure that my ideas in my manuscript are not discussed by the editor to anyone or my manuscript is not shown to anyone whilst she edits it or after that for that matter.

Is this an odd request? I just feel if you have come up with an original idea which is difficult enough these days, its not something you want your editor to share with anyone.

10-25-2009, 04:31 AM
Very odd request.

1st of all, I assume you're paying someone to edit for you, which is a waste of money. Betas are free.

2nd, the idea's not as original as you think it is, only the execution is unique to you.

If the editor is a professional, he's not going to go blabbing anything, and even if he does, so what? Your book is finished, someone else would have to start from scratch. It's possible that an editor might show something he's working on to someone else.

This sounds a bit like the "poor man's copyright", which is also worthless, and it makes you sound exceptionally difficult to work with.

You're likely to have him tell you nevermind if you come up with another "legal" document. Unless he's a scammer, in which case he'll sign it because he has no intention of showing it to anyone, just going after as much money as he can get from you.

10-26-2009, 02:47 PM
It is a slightly odd request; it's your dime, but I really don't think it's necessary. I think it's probably an extremely rare occurrence for an editor hired by an unpublished author to steal from his or her client.

(I have always longed for a popular author to reply to the where-do-you-get-your-ideas question with "I steal them from unpublished manuscripts".)

10-26-2009, 11:40 PM
It's your choice, but I think hiring an editor is the worst possible thing you could do. Writers not only have to do their own writing, they have to be able to rewrite, revise, and edit thier own writing. If you can't, you're sunk.

And, yes, it's an odd request. I can pretty much guarantee you do not have an original idea, and even if you do, ideas are all completely worthless. No one makes money off an idea, and no idea is any better or any worse than the writer who turns it into something wonderful.

Whatever your idea is, give it to ten writers, and they'll come back with ten very different stories. . .nine of which will probably be bad.

10-27-2009, 03:31 PM
I'd have to agree with fellow writers above. Ideas for plotlines etc are generally not as unique as you think.

If you are worried, check our your editor's terms and conditions. There is probably a note on their confidentiality practice in there saying that they agree when they take the work on not to disclose it to others and to delete all files from their computer once you're happy with the work undertaken.

Personally, I wouldn't hire an editor. As said above, you need to be able to write and rewrite yourself, really. And once you get an agent, they usually want to make their own editorial suggestions.

10-27-2009, 04:54 PM
Confidentiality agreements are usually reserved for proprietary information such as software or lab research, projects where such information can be readily passed between sources and financial losses big. In the case of a novel or short story, as mentioned above, ideas aren't entirely original or new and it would be easier for an unscrupulous editor to make a client pay outrageous fees than to steal somebody's work.

10-27-2009, 11:25 PM
Thanks for all the info. I am a chartered accountant – hence my need for all types of signing any forms of clauses and agreements – I think it eventually becomes first nature (skips second nature).
Seen as this is my first novel – I would rather ensure it is free from all spelling and grammatical errors. This seems to be an unpopular choice hiring an editor that is but I would rather give my manuscript the best chance in being published. From what I have seen though, from some of the editing, the suggestions that have been made I will definitely learn from and be able to use in my next manuscript.

I don’t believe that I will ever be far too good to be taught anything new by someone. :)

10-28-2009, 12:00 AM
As for the wisdom or otherwise of hiring an editor, there is a discussion ongoing on the topic here