There are millions of editors out there, so it can be challenging to narrow the list down and pick the right one for you. Editing your book is crucial before you publish it, and often this is an undervalued topic but it is actually the essential step that will sell your book. A professional editor can help you ensure your book is a high-quality product ready to be published.
So, as we all agree on how important choosing the right editor is, let's get to the core part and go through some helpful hints to consider.
Your genre and your editor-to-be
Go for an editor who matches your genre and even region. Different genres have different conventions, and this is what makes them specific. Let's pretend that you have written a fast-paced vampire thriller, so it won't be helpful if you hire an editor who specializes in literary poetry, for example. That might sound obvious, but writers tend to forget and neglect it.
You'd better find an editor who works in a positive and constructive way for you. Maybe you can drop an email and ask your questions - just strike a conversation and check if instantly you go along with the editor.
If your book is full of idioms and specific spelling, ensure that the editor is comfortable and familiar with that particular region and subculture.
A sample edit is something you will appreciate.
It is helpful to ask the editor to provide you with a sample edit and maybe a list of criteria. Some editors might look for the first chapter or a few pages from the middle of your book, and usually, the sample edit takes about a week or two to be completed. That will give you a better idea if the editor you are about to hire is competent enough to do the right edit for you. Also, you will get a perception of what they will be looking at and if their style matches your style so that together you can achieve the best results. A sample edit is the best way for you to determine if you are about to hire an editor that could provide the correct type of edits for your particular work and also if you can establish a trustworthy professional relationship with him.
As usual - time matters.
Usually, the editors are pre-booked, and it shouldn't come as a surprise for you to find out that they won't be able to edit your writing in the next couple of months. Therefore, if you are waiting for the last minute to hire a professional editor to edit your book, you have to be aware that this might affect your budget or the quality you expect. So, don't forget to preplan, as this will only work for you.
Well - money also matters.
Firstly, think about and decide how much you are ready to pay to hire a professional editor. You can go online and visit the editor's website to get an idea of their charging rate. However, if the editor does not have that information mentioned on their website - that should be a huge red flag for you.
(Keep in mind that 100K word novel is $3000+)
Editing might be painful.
We all will agree that facing the editor's comments on our draft or even sample might be confusing, if not discouraging, at moments. Be realistic and admit that no matter how good you think you have done your writing, there will always be something that the editor might advise you to change. An experienced editor will always catch things that you would never notice yourself.
References are always good.
You'd better stay on the safe side and always check the editor's references upfront. Talk to other fellow writers and ask them which editors they work with and whether they would recommend them. Otherwise, you can check recently published works and who has edited them so that you can get in touch with them. Choose an editor who has the skills and drive to get the best out of your book.
The editor mustn't fundamentally change your book, of course. The professional editor would take your 'mess' and turn it into a professional product. We have to trust the editors because they are familiar with the publishing industry's trends and market. That is why they are capable of giving you the best advice on how you can even make your writing shine in its best light. So, if you have done your research consistently, you should have found the best editor who can help you turn your baby book into a best seller.