Short answer: with me, yes.
Long answer…with others, they should be, and you should ask.
In a law office, people are familiar with attorney-client privilege. Communications between a client and his or her attorney are protected against disclosure. There are several loop holes and what-ifs to that, but the gist is–attorneys are not supposed to blab.
But their clients can.
Having worked in law firms for six years, it makes sense this practice rolls over to my editing business. It’s not intentional; it just does.
Here’s what’s confidential. Who has hired me, when they hired me, what they’re working on, and what they’re paying me (though, really, the fees are on the site). There are no Facebook posts, no tweets, no Google Circles are alerted. It’s between the author and me unless they give me permission to do otherwise.
Also, like with attorney-client privilege, the privilege can be broken when the client breaks it. To me, that’s when the book is published with my name in front as editor. This is a great thing. Authors get to release their babies into the world and I get to point at their novels and shout, “See?? TOLD you I had a job!”
And I do shout it. When I say I’m working, my husband does not believe me.
But more than that I want to help sell the novel. Why wouldn’t I? I’m proud of it, too. By now the author and I are buds. Again, why wouldn’t we be? We have one of the strongest common interests in the world: shared love for the writing process.
Promoting the novels and authors that have become (and are becoming) dear to me is something that is going to happen. I have no idea how I’m going to fit it in the day, but I will. It’s that important. (7/19/13 update: See Home page’s scrolling images and book pages. Author list coming soon [with authors’ permission].)
An editor’s relationship with an author is private. Hell, it’s sacred. That relationship should be solid. Don’t listen to any bafoon who tells you to nix a character, delete an entire point of view or change your hero without trusting them completely. And what happens in the editing process stays in the editing process unless the editor has permission to bring it out.
But claiming an author as a client? Claiming a book as your adoptive child? Yes, that happens the very moment the book becomes live (hopefully sooner). Because that baby is beautiful and I love it too.
Do you have any editing experiences–good or bad? Do you think editors should be on the hush-hush or wear their authors and their work loud and proud?