Author Advice: How to Find a Book Editor
6th May 2019
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Congratulations! After countless hours of outlining, planning, writing—and rewriting again and again—you've completed your novel. Your book is polished to the best of your abilities.

Over 1,009,188 books are published each year. For your book to join this number, the next step is to find a book editor. Whether you plan on self-publishing or going through a traditional publisher, an editor's touch is often the difference between a book's success or failure.

The question is: How do you find a book editor? Perhaps you've used a search engine and found some book editing services—but are they the best for you? We'll cover what you should look for in your editors, and where to find them.

What Type of Editing Do I Need?

Before you find a book editor, you should know that editors specialize in different types of editing. Do you know which type of editing you need? There are roughly three types of editing:

Developmental edits: An editor who specializes in developmental editing will focus on your book's story. From character development to structure and pacing, these editors are essentially beta readers who can offer comprehensive suggestions to enhance your story.

Copyedits: A copyeditor inspects the structure of your prose and style and will rewrite your book with improved flow, style, and effectiveness. Copyedits tend to require the most work from the editor.

Proofreading: Proofreaders look for typos, errors, and grammar mistakes that were missed by either you or the copyeditor. Proofreading is basically a form of quality assurance, in case the copyeditor missed something.

If you are self-publishing, all three types of editing are beneficial. You should seek out developmental edits first. If instead, you plan to bring your manuscript to a professional publisher, you might only opt for developmental edits as most publishers handle copyediting in-house.

When Should I Look for an Editor?

It can be tempting to seek out an editor before your book is complete. And by complete, I mean that you can no longer make substantial improvements to your novel. If you find yourself making infinitesimal edits to random chapters of your book, that's a good sign that you've done all you can.

Before you seek out an editor, you may want to consider enlisting the help of beta readers. Whether friends, family, or online strangers, beta readers are typically free and can give you some idea of the overall quality of your book.

If it's excessively negative, try to make improvements based on this feedback before seeking a professional editor. Beta readers may not know how to write a good hook, but they can tell if you made one.

Where Do I Find a Book Editor?

Online resources have created a plethora of different venues that offer publishing services. In fact, it's more difficult to decide which editor to choose than it is to find them.

Have a budget in mind before you start your search—and stick to it! This will give you a good baseline to begin. With that in mind, here are a few places you can find an editor:

1. Check Professional Editing Services

If you used a search engine to find book editors, these book editing services are likely the first you found. The quality and experience of professional editing services vary wildly.

While cheaper, I don't advise you to use an editing service that specializes in pumping out a high number of poor-quality books. Instead, it's worth the price to find editors who are either in-house or have several years of editing experience.

Typically these editors will have a list of books they've worked on. Be sure to glance at some of these to gauge the quality of their editing work.

2. Search Your Niche

I strongly urge you to be as specific as possible in your search for an editor. What's your niche? If you just wrote a dark fantasy novel, your best bet is to find an editor with notable experience in the genre.

Look at other books similar to yours. Who were their editors? This information is easily found online on the book cover.

Once you collect a few names, see if these book editors are accessible and within your monetary means. Even though you like their work, request an editing sample to see if their editing style compliments your personal prose.

3. Ask Your Network

Even in the internet age, referrals aren't a thing of the past. Tap your network and request referrals from other writers. They can point you in the right direction and also give you information you wouldn't have known otherwise, such as the wait time, the editor's professionalism, and additional fees.

Is your network lacking? An author's platform is an important keystone for budding and experienced authors alike. In fact, some editors and publishers won't even look at your work if you don't have a good platform.

If your author platform is weak or nonexistent, these details can help it grow.

4. Try a Freelancer

A multitude of experienced (and not) editors reside on freelancing sites such as Upwork. Check some of these freelancing domains for those who specialize in the editing you require. Freelancing fees tend to be more transparent than other editing services, which can help you make a wise financial decision.

If you're willing to take the chance, you can find editors new to the freelance world who will offer lower prices to make up for their inexperience.

Finding a Book Editor is Easy

The hard part is choosing the book editor that's right for you and your financial situation. Remember that professional book publishers have their own editing services—if they choose to publish your book. In this situation, you may only want to use an editor for developmental edits, to increase your odds of being chosen for publication.

But for self-publishing, splurging on an editor can be a luxury. Just keep some simple writing tips in mind before you publish and promote the book yourself.

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About the Author

Tom Clark

Member since: 26th November 2018

Having enriching experience in the world of digital marketing, I have created a niche for myself in the industry. The primary focus lies in writing, blogs, articles and different stuff that help businesses...

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