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Things To Take Into Account When Hiring An Editor #MyFriendAlexa

If you’ve been following my blog or know me professionally, you know I am a full-time freelance editor-cum-writer since a good number of years now. I have been editing manuscripts as an independent editor and once in a while I come across authors wanting to hire services of an editor but without any clarity on how to select a right one. Recently, someone wanted me to send samples of my editing. Now this is not how you select an editor. A paragraph of edited copy can not and will not help you decide the correct editor for your manuscript. Reason?

Related: Reasons Why You Need A Professional Beta Reader For Your Manuscript
  • Editing a manuscript is an all-round experience. Someone who is good with grammar can do an excellent job with that one para/page/chapter you want as a sample, but there is no guarantee that they’d be able to tie all loose ends, check plot continuity and character definitions, and basically be a second mother to your manuscript. How good is your grammatically correct manuscript if it has loopholes and weak characters? Not much.
  • No editor worth their salt should be okay with sending fresh samples of editing. Think again, does the person not know how in-depth the process of editing actually is?
  • Lastly, editing is more than writing. Getting ‘an idea’ is not enough. You will need to be more knowledgeable about the editor you are about to select.
Related: Five Reasons Why Every Freelance Writer Should Have A Blog

So what can you do? Easy.

  • Ask for references. Speak to authors the editor has worked with and get their point of views. Your editor will be more than willing to divulge with one or two names. People who have paid for the services, will always tell you the truth. You can also buy one of those books and read to check, if you wish to be that stringent.
  • Ask the editor for the link to their own blog. Mine is this, for example. I write blogposts for two reasons – to spread information like in this post, and to create a database of my writings. This is for prospective clients to see my writing skills. I aslo have links to published articles from my journalism days and from recent times, uploaded in this website for even more clarity on how I write. How I write would be directly proportional to how I will edit.
  • Speak to your author friends. Make sure these authors are those who had hired an editor and their books were well-edited. The easiest thing to do is take reference from people you know and connect with an experience editor.

It really is very simple. Yet, extremely crucial.

Remember that good editing comes with a cost. A cheap service provider cannot be a good editor and if they are, they shouldn’t be selling their services for cheap. Every good thing comes with a price, so please be prepared.

If you have reached this post because you are looking to hire services of a writer or an editor, here is where you can know more about services I offer and a rough estimate of what it will cost you.

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16 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing such an informative and insightful article. I’ve been on a self-edit mode for my first e-book launched with Blogchatter. But now that it is time to put it up on Amazon, I’m not satisfied with my own editing. Certain things should definitely be left to the professionals.

  2. This is a good guide not only to the why but also the how of choosing an editor who suits your requirements.
    Thank you for the tips.

  3. Thanks for sharing this information. I am going to bookmark your page for future reference. 🙂

  4. Editor is different from a writes – thanks for pointing that out

  5. Informative post! loved it #viddhreads #MyfriendAlexa

  6. Many aspiring authors think they can self-edit their work, and they can. But that’s not enough. They need a second set of eyes—and sometimes a third—on their work before it gets published. Self-editing can become a waste of precious time and cause you to overlook major grammatical errors. Having an objective person, like a book editor, look over your book is a powerful way to produce outstanding work. An unbiased person won’t hold back. A stranger reading through your writing will be able to pinpoint areas that need more detail or are grammatically incorrect. A professional editor can help you avoid the frustration, loss of time, and potential errors created by looking over your own work. Plus, you’ll be left with a polished manuscript ready to be handed to a publisher.

  7. Abhijit says:

    You know I so agree with your statement, “what good is a grammatically correct manuscript, if the plot is weak.” I had a similar experience with my M Sc. thesis. I had shown it to my friend, who was in publishing business, for a birds eye view. This person instead of looking at my content started pointing out my grammatical errors. All my peers from science had liked the presentation of topic, but because I valued my friend more I threw away my first draft. My friend most likely did not have any wrong motivation, but he had poor training, besides I had a low self esteem. I was so expecting a pat on my back.
    Now that I read your post, that incident came to my mind.

  8. I read this article because I believe at some point in the future I might be in need of an editor. Thank you for this informative article.

    Namratha from #firstgreenstep #MyFriendAlexa

  9. Hi Samarpita, thank you for sharing the post. Am working as a copy editor and have a blog of mine, which serves the purpose to fulfill the creative side in me. But till now, I have not linked it with my professional sphere and I think I should rectify this soon. Thanks again for sharing these pointers.

  10. Thank you for sharing such good advice.

  11. Great pointers….thank you…bad editing can completely destroy a book..so yes editors do play a very very important role

  12. High five from a fellow ex-editor, Sam. Totally my kind of an article. Most writers these days don’t even know the importance of good editing.

  13. This is a very helpful post for all writers .. editing is a big task and can make or mar any piece of writing.

  14. Being an avid reader, I completely get your point. I have read many self edited books. The author may have great writing skills, but while doing self edit it is not necessary that every error comes to notice.

  15. A know it all post about editing.
    I take freelance editing projects and the pursuasion for finding a publisher often comes up.

  16. A very good guide to find an editor who knows the job.Great tip about asking for references.

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