Step by step guide on how to find an editor for your book.
Let’s find you an editor!
Hey, you! Are you writing a book? Congratulations! The next step is to find the perfect match for an editor. The good news is that it’s super easy to find the perfect editor for your book and writing style. The bad news is that for most self-publishers, editing services are the majority of your budget!
Prep to find a book editor
When it comes to book editing services, it’s important to have the right editor for your project. But how do you find an editor? There are several factors to consider when choosing a book editor. First, you need to set the following before looking for an editor:
- Type of editing
Editors are the gatekeepers of your writing career. If your editor is good, they can improve your book exponentially. If they’re bad, they could be a big waste of time and money. So it’s important to find the right editor for you and your book.
Our goal is to help you publish the best version of your book!
What are the costs of editing a book?
The cost of editing a book depends on many factors. Large editing companies charge more than solo or small editing houses. Freelance services are another option, but you need to account for a 20% markup.
A good average for a standard copyedit service is $15 per 1K words, give or take, depending on the editor.
Working with a good editor will save you incalculable amounts of time
You can write the best book in the world and send it to a great editor, but the two of you will not be able to turn that book into a masterpiece without each other. A good editor will force you to examine all aspects of your book and decide where to make changes for the better.
Your target audience is the primary focus of your book. If readers can’t understand it, you’re lost. So, you NEED to hire a good editor. And that doesn’t mean simply finding someone who knows the mechanics of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Also, it doesn’t mean a friend or family member who “knows a lot about writing.”
No matter your level of expertise, having someone look over your work before you publish it is a great way to ensure that you’re sending out the best version of your writing. An editor also helps maintain the integrity of what you’re saying and makes sure that the writing flows and makes sense.
Tips for working with a book editor
Hiring an editor can be very intimidating. Fortunately, some people are experts at handling manuscripts and the writers who create them. Finding an editor is the first step, but it’s also important to create a good working relationship with your editor. This can make the entire editing process easier and more successful for both you and your editor. Here are some suggestions to help you start a good working relationship with your book editor.
No matter how well-written your story is, a book editor will make it even better. A professional will point out any inconsistencies, provide honest feedback, and help you find the path to publication.
- Understand what type of editing you want and order the correct type
- Get a sample edit, so you know exactly what you will get
- Tell the editor your concerns and if you have a deadline
Book publishing options
Hiring an editor before submitting it to a lit agent or publisher is a must. You want the book to look the part. If a publisher picks up the book, they may run it through their team to make additional changes, but a polished book stands a much better chance of being picked up than a sloppy 1st draft.
Pick an editor that has been recommended to you
Google has always been the go-to place for researching any product information. It is also the go-to place for finding an editor. There are thousands of editors you can choose from, but how do you know which one will deliver quality work for you? The best way to find an editor is by asking other people if they can recommend one and then interviewing them one-on-one.
The second best option is to go off the reviews of other authors. Go for third-party reviews only, not web-hosted reviews. Do they have a freelancer account? Check the reviews! What about a Google Review account or other third-party review site?
How to nab the best book editor
Sample edits. Yep, that’s really it. Take a page of the exact content of your book and give it to as many editors as you can. Compare apples to apples and pick the one that works with you the best. Of course, if you have other factors like a deadline or limited budget, you will need to consider those, but a sample edit will tell you everything you need to know.
Things to look for in a book editor
If you don’t know what to look for, you may settle for someone who isn’t the perfect fit. As an independent author, getting your book edited can feel like a luxury. Maybe you don’t have the funds, or you want to do as much work as possible. Whatever the reason, thinking about what makes a good book editor and a good working relationship with them is very important.
Often editors are gated behind managers or reps if you are working with a small publishing company. Try to find a small editing company or a solo editor.
Besides a sample edit, how fast do they respond to your questions? Do they offer revisions, and if so, how many?
A good book editor will take your manuscript to a better level
Often, book manuscripts are edited by the author. However, professional editors exist to make your book better. If you are self-publishing, then you need to find yourself a good book editor. Software programs like spell checkers can help you take it from the 1st draft to the 2nd, but an actual editor will elevate your work and make it shine.
It’s best to self-edit and address as many issues as you can before sending it over to an editor. If, as the author, you think your book is perfect, get a sample edit. That way, you can see the changes a real editor will spot and make.
What type of editing should I expect?
That would depend on the type of editing you pick. In general, authors go for copyediting. It helps improve sentence-level flow and improve clarity and readability. If you need light rewriting or have major issues in the book, go for a line edit. If you have had the book edited but want a final set of eyes, go for proofreading.
Either way, if you are hiring an editor and aren’t clear with what to expect, you haven’t received a sample edit. So make sure you get one. Most professional editors would offer one and if they don’t, move on.
How long will it take to edit my book?
Two major factors contribute to delivery dates. How much work is in the editor’s queue and what your word count is. If the editor has no projects, they can get to work immediately and focus on only your book. Expect a long wait if they have a lot of business and your book is 100K words or more. Contact the editor directly and ask. They will give you an exact date.
Find a top-notch book editor and setting expectations
I’ve seen a lot of authors struggle to find the right editor for their projects. Whether it’s finding one, negotiating contract details or setting expectations, after you get a sample edit, the editor should present you with the total fee to provide the service and how long it will take once ordered. Be upfront with things you want to see in the edit and address any concerns in the sample provided. Also, be clear with any deadlines. If the editor states the process will take ten days to complete, don’t set the publication deadline for the eleventh day. Chances are you’ll have more work to do based on the editor’s comments and suggestions.
Self-publishing takes time and has unexpected twists and turns. There may be notes in the edit that you will need to address. You may want to make changes and have the editor take a look, which adds time. Be flexible and allow for bumps along the way.
Don’t fall prey to a “cheap” editor. Choose quality over cost.
A low-budget editor often runs the document through a program. That’s great to get the project from 1st to 2nd draft. However, that is something you can do for free using programs like Grammarly. A real editor provides a manual read and is worth every penny.
Editing takes time, don’t go for fast and cheap. It will cost you more in the long run if you are serious about publishing your book.
Finding a great editor will be worth the price (and effort)
Editing is an expensive and necessary part of publishing. You want your book to shine long-term and be profitable. The importance of a good editor for your book can’t be emphasized enough. Sure, your writing is important, but what you write will be even more powerful if it’s edited well. And finding the right editor for your book will make a huge difference in how you and others feel about it.
A bad editor or skipping the editing process would spell disaster for your book. Editing and your book’s success go hand in hand. Think of editing as an investment in your book’s future.
Find an editor who gets your voice
Editors are the best people to tell you where your writing is going wrong – and to help you make it better. When you look over those sample edits, check if they are keeping your voice intact. You don’t want an editor that changes your writing style or voice.
More isn’t better. A common mistake when looking for sample edits is going with the editor that made the most changes. They often change tone and voice and the book doesn’t sound anything like you. Any editor can trim down a sentence to improve flow, but a great editor knows what to keep to allow your voice to shine through.
What editors do
Editors take what you wrote and polish it without changing it. They improve flow and clarity without removing anything from your style. It’s an art, and an actual editor improves your work and takes it to the next level.
An editor can’t turn bad writing into good. They won’t rewrite your story or change your content. An editor is a polisher and flow improver.
Interviewing your editors
The best interview is a sample edit but dig around for reviews and what others have to say. You want an editor with a long track record. You want to see and compare the good with the bad.
Most editors won’t do a phone or video call. They are busy people, and a lot of what self-publishing authors feel is important to share isn’t what the editor needs to know. Getting ahold of an editor is difficult, and many have editing managers to help filter and process questions. Always ask if you can communicate one on one with the editor.
Here at Editmojo, you can contact the editor directly with a request, and revisions are automatically one on one after the edit is complete.