How advisor Rick Kahler uses an editor

As a financial advisor or investment professional, writing is not your focus. However, you can boost the reach and effectiveness of your writing with savvy use of an editor. I’m delighted that Rick Kahler of Kahler Financial was willing to discuss with me his experience with Kathleen Fox, the editor who helps with his books and columns.

By the way, unfortunately Kathleen doesn’t have the capacity to take on additional clients. If you decide to look for an editor, Rick says, “It certainly makes things easier if the editor has some background in your area of expertise.” 

Q. What prompted you to hire an editor?

A. My editor and I were both members of a civic group that often had coffee on Saturday mornings. One day I mentioned how I wanted to write a book and how difficult it was to get started. While I was accustomed to writing a 1200-word column once a week, writing a book seemed daunting. She helped another professional write a book by interviewing him. She suggested we do the same to get the book started. That sounded great to me, so we set aside Fridays each week to talk.  Soon she was sending me copy and it was easy for me to take that “primer” and expound upon it.  Kathleen ended up becoming my coauthor on that first book, Conscious Finance.

Kathleen then edited two of my other three books and continues today as my personal editor. She helps with my weekly online and print column as well as articles and white papers. We’re also looking forward to finding the time to coauthor another book.

Q. How do you work with your editor?
A. I talk with my editor once a week and bounce ideas off her. We’ve worked together now for almost 10 years.  She says she can hear my voice speaking to her or recall conversations from the past on topics that makes it easy for her to do my editing.

My editor often can start a column by putting my words on paper and sending them to me.  That saves me a lot of time, as I work fast off of something on a page.  Getting that initial kernel on the page takes a little longer for me.  Starting from scratch, I can write a column in one to two hours.  If I have 200 to 400 words already started, I can usually finish it off in 15 to 20 minutes.

Q. What’s the biggest benefit of this relationship?
A. This saves me time that I can be spending with clients, my family, or reading additional research for column ideas.