6 Tips for Choosing the Right Editor for your Book

Finding the right editor is crucial to your success and is also important for your confidence and your enjoyment of the process. I’m going to give you 6 suggestions on places to look.

Look for editors of your favorite books

If you find a book you love, get a hold of that editor. Go out of your way and make an effort to contact them. It is a great way to start; if you don’t have a particular book in mind and you want to find a book that you love, go look at the books in your genre.

Start reading the books in your genre and find the books that you love. This will not only help you write an awesome book, but it will help you find an awesome editor that you can potentially collaborate with.

Ask other authors

You should also consider asking other authors in your genre to help you find a reliable editor, so ask them who edited their book. Did they like that editor? Ask for referrals and recommendations.

Go to author meetups; go to networking, or on social media. Some authors list their teams on their websites. But that is less rare, but it is still one way you could go about it.

Freelance editors

Freelance editors are a great option if you are hoping to work within a budget while also getting the right value for your money. If you happen to write fiction books, then you can find fiction book editors for hire online. That’s another way to go.

Decide what type of editing you need

Now editors usually specialize in either one or two forms of editing, so you want to make sure that they have the expertise that you are looking for. When you feel that you are ready for an editor, take a step back and think about what type of editing you really need at this stage.

Because that is going to guide the rest of your journey to finding the perfect editor, so say that you are determined that you need a developmental edit as the next stage in your book’s journey, and you have a list of names of people who are developmental editors, and you need to now determine which one is right for you. Taking a detailed look at the background of the editor is a really important step.

Ask the editor for a sample

The next thing to consider when choosing the right editor for your project is to ask for samples. Any reputable editor will often offer a free sample edit of a certain number of pages so that you can get a feel for their editorial style, and this is a really great opportunity for you to determine if their style of feedback works for you, because as we know, editing is a very subjective business, so you need to ensure that the type of communication style in the actual type of feedback you are going to get from that editor is what you are looking for and is helpful to you.

Choosing the right editor for you is very important. You should also do your own research and find the one that’s best for you. The amount of data that you’re going to collect is going to be pretty extensive, and then it doesn’t help that some editors call copyediting one thing, and different ones will call it totally different things. So your notes will kind of get a little jumbled.

Make a list

One of the first things you should do is to make a list. This is your research phase, and it’s going to be by far the longest portion of your entire process. There are just about a million different editors out there, so this can kind of be a little daunting.

I’ll recommend doing a search of your genre followed by the editor and maybe freelance, and you’re probably going to get more options than you really want, but you can start narrowing those down and put your favorites into your spreadsheet so something that you should look at to include their previous works. It’s also handy to know their following on social media.

Some editors may blast to all of their followers all about your book whenever it comes out. It kind of helps you in your marketing efforts, so it’s a +. On your spreadsheet, you should include the pricing and the types of editing that they do in these specific names. For the social media accounts and then any special deals or offers that they may have.

Contact different editors

Number two in this process is to contact these editors. So now that you’ve got this huge list of your final list, these are editors that you actually like that you would really consider working with, so your email should always be professional because, after all, you want to develop a working relationship with this person.

Make sure there are no crazy typos. So the first thing you should do is address the person, and if you’re not sure what to address, Mr. Mrs. or anything like that, you can always say good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. And then continue on with your email.

Finally, in the end, you should definitely sign your name and then include any titles that you may have below that. And then any links that you may want them to check out below back, your title could be anything like writer or entrepreneur or author, and you could list the book that you’re an author.

Send the right email

So here are some things you should address in your email. Other than telling them what it’s all about. These ones are a no-brainer. You want to write a summary for a novel that spans only a few sentences because in this initial email, they might not even have room to fit you in this year, or they might not work on your genre or any host of things.

So you kind of want to keep this email relatively short. Include your target audience, your genre, and your word count. Usually, most of the quotes that you’re going to get from editors are based on your word count.

Finish your novel, yet you can include an estimate of how many words you think you’re going to be at when you finish. Then, if your estimates are not completely accurate by the time you’re editing date comes, your price will be adjusted, but you should let the editor know exactly what they’re getting into in case you choose to use them.

The second thing you should include is the type of edit that you think you need. This might not always be what you get because depending on your sample edit and how that goes, the editor might suggest some different types of editing.

You don’t always have to follow, but if you’re confused by what type of edit you need, the editor will definitely tell you, and it’s always helpful for them to provide a reason why. In fact, they should always provide a reason why, in the end, it’s up to you.

Final thoughts

If you find an editor you love, and you really enjoy working with them, they are fun. They give you confidence. They really dig in and help you write a book you really love. Share that luck with other authors. Refer to people you have worked with, and you love working with two other authors who are up and coming.