Hey friend! Did you just finish your novel? Congratulations! That’s such a huge achievement!
Once the happy dance winds down, you might take a nap, do some of the other life things that have piled up, or stare into space marveling at how a project that took months, maybe even years to write is now done. You might even cry (I’ll pass the tissues).
Once that’s over, you might ask yourself: Okay, what next?
If the phrase: “How to Find a Book Editor” has already been typed into your google search bar, chances are you’re already making that face you make whenever you eat lemons or wasabi.
Entering the editing stage can be exciting, but it can also come with some confusion. Should you self-edit? Hire an editor? Both? And if you choose to hire an editor, where do you even start? How do you even know what you need?
As a Developmental Editor myself, I’m uniquely qualified to guide you through this process! (Get to know me on my About Page).
In today’s post, I’m providing a guide to answer your biggest question: How To Find A Book Editor that’s right for you.
Step 1: What kind of editing do I actually need?
There are four different types of editing: Proofreading, Line Editing, Copy Editing, and Developmental Editing.
- Developmental Editing is the first type to occur and focuses on analyzing story elements such as characterization, plotline, setting, structure, and flow. Tends to be the most expensive, most time-consuming of all editing processes because it requires both in-draft edits as well as an editor’s letter that describes the overall changes suggested. To learn more about the process, check out my services page!
- Line Editing is the second round of editing. This ensures the elements of a story are consistent throughout and that the language used is polished overall. This process is the second most time-consuming editing process, as the editor must scan each line word-for-word.
- Copy Editing is the third round. It only fixes the grammar/spelling errors in a manuscript, and is typically done by a Copy Editor.
- Proofreading is the final editing stage and can also be done by a Copy Editor. It occurs right before publication to catch any errors that might have slipped through the cracks and is done right before the book is sent for distribution.
While it’s recommended you seek out all four of these types of editing, finding the right editor for your needs is important. While having each of these types is the best-case scenario, it may not be necessary for your manuscript or realistic for your budget (especially if you’re self-publishing). In the end only you can decide which best suits your needs so do your homework and use your best judgment!
Step 2: How to find a book editor
While it may seem daunting, finding book editors is as easy as a Google Search. However, to make the process a bit more streamlined (and to guarantee reputable editors) using an editor finding service can save you a lot of time. These sites host editors all in one place so you can easily find them. Depending on their associates and genre, each offers something different. A few examples include Reedsy, EBook Launch, Servicescape, and Scribendi.
Hey friend, did you know I’m a Developmental Editor? Check out my services page to see how I can help you make your book dreams come true!
Step 3: What does my book need?
If you’re confused or unsure about what kind of editor your manuscript needs, reach out! Editors, regardless of their trade, are happy to help you figure out what’s right for you and your book. Most reputable editors also offer free sample edits to help you determine whether or not their style and service will be the right match for you and your project.
Step 4: Think about the money ahead of time
Let’s face it, no one likes to talk about money. Unfortunately, when you’re looking for an editor you’re going to have to face the music and realize that book editing comes with a hefty price tag. There’s simply no way around it.
However, don’t let this discourage you from getting it done. The likelihood of an unedited book being a success is slim to none. Readers are merciless when it comes to grammatical errors, and when every reader review counts, you don’t want the one stars to pile up because your book is filled with errors.
This isn’t to say that you can’t find an editor to fit your budget, because you can! There is an editor for every price range. As an author, it’s merely your job to define what works for your pocketbook. Doing your research, collecting relevant information in an excel sheet, and reaching out to editors about their payment plans are all ways you can ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck- and yes, I do provide payment plans as an editor myself to help make things more affordable!
Step 5: Not all editors are created equal
Pay special attention to reputation, reviews, and credentials when researching editors for hire. Not everyone will provide the same level of service, or be of the same caliber. Often editors will offer slight differences in their services and pricing as well.
The goal is to find someone who is experienced, credible, trustworthy, and efficient with proof of their work and client recommendations.
Trust your gut here. If something feels too good to be true (like they promise a too-quick turnover), they refuse to provide a free sample, don’t use an editing contract, or they are hard to get in contact with, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Step 6: Do you “vibe” well together?
Lastly, and arguably the most important point, is to make sure you feel comfortable with your editor. Do they understand your story? Your overall vision? Are they excited to work with you? Are they able to provide feedback in a way that feels good to you? All of these matter!
Bottom line, an editor’s job is to make sure your book remains “your” book, not change it to suit their idea of what it should be. Make sure that you feel one hundred percent comfortable before moving forward with signing a contract.
Editing is an investment of time, money, and trust. Choose your editors wisely, author and they’ll be a lifelong connection that will help ensure the success of your author career and novels, be an invaluable fountain of writing knowledge, and source of support to help you achieve your dreams.