Some Tips For Hiring An Editor

By Jennifer Blanchard

If you’ve been working on your writing for a while now, it may be time to consider hiring an editor.

Although it may seem like an unnecessary “purchase,” an editor is actually pretty important.

Yes, if you get picked up by a publishing company, they will have editors who will edit your writing. But you first need to have a manuscript that will attract the publishing deal, and that takes some professional editing.

When I was considering hiring an editor for my soon-to-be-published novel, I did a lot of research. It was a long road, but I finally found an editor that I’m happy with.

Here are some tips to help you throughout your journey to find an editor (if you so choose):

  • Keep in mind a reputable editor will give you one chapter or up to 10 pages of edits for free. This is to make sure that your style and the editor’s style mesh. If the editor you’re considering won’t do this for you, you may want to reconsider.
  • Interview all the editors you’re considering. Aim for at least three if possible. Choose the one that best suits your writing style.
  • When you do finally choose an editor, make sure the contract you sign with them has a specific time limit for the first round of edits. Ninety days is usually the quickest turn around time. Some editors take up to six months. Any longer than that is not worth it.
  • Make sure the contract has a per page charge, not an hourly charge. Hourly charges are too open-ended and could cost you a lot more than you budgeted for. A per page charge helps you keep track of exactly what you will owe the editor.
  • Your contract should include multiple edits without additional charges. Most editors give you three edits. After that they start charging again.
  • Remember, all your editor’s comments and changes are just suggestions. You do not have to make any or all of the changes. Ultimately, it’s your book, so you have to decide what changes to make and what changes not to make.

Hiring an editor is a big step. It’s telling yourself and the world that you think your book is good enough. That you think your book is worthy of money and someone else’s time.

That in itself is a huge accomplishment.

What about you, Procrastinators? Any experience with hiring an editor? Any additional tips to add? Please comment below.

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