After enduring a long, grueling, bumpy writing experience, you probably find yourself confused and stressed about how to find the perfect Editor for your work. It surely takes serious determination, patience and hard work to finish a book. It’s a heroic process and well done for doing it. Great job soldier!
How do I find an Editor now that the work is done?
Editors plan, revise, and coordinate material for publication. Finding the perfect editor for your work can be challenging but with the right editors within your reach, it shouldn’t be hard.
7 quick ways to help find a book Editor
- Know your book and what you want to achieve
- Understand the Editing process
- Trust that Editors are experts in what they do
- Find an Editor in your niche
- Ask a friend
- Don’t shut out inexperienced Editors
- Google Search
- Know your book and what you want to achieve
The first step to finding and identifying the perfect editor is understanding one’s own work. This will help you select the perfect editor. Understand what you are writing about and who your target audience is. You should know your book from the back of your palm, that will help you know what has been taken out or what has been added. It will also help you identify your book when your Editor talks about it to you (review comments).
Knowing your book will also help you evaluate the work done by the Editor and be able to assess whether they’ve done a great job or substandard effort, especially if they will give you a marked-up copy (track changes).
This reminds me of the first time I tried to get a website. I didn’t understand anything about websites hence the web developer simply put together what they thought was it. Because I also didn’t understand the process and what really a good useful site looks like, all was perfectly well for me, until I read more and researched about websites and the different plugins that make them work well.
The same applies with finding a book Editor, it’s important to understand your project and what will constitute as a good book to both yourself and your market.
2. Understand the editing process
Understanding the editing process ensures that you stay on the same wave length with the Editor as both of you work on your book. This eliminates confusion from both parties as half the time authors tend to add in content after the editor has gone through the first steps of editing, without consulting the editor or marking it up for them to know. Understanding the editing process also ensures that the author knows what to do and at what stage. You know what to introduce and when.
Getting this step right will ease off frustrations from both parties. You want to be the best client to your Editor and they also want to be your best Editor. Get to know the editing process and be able to create a long standing working relationship.
3. Trust that book Editors are experts in what they do
As an author of your project, you need to understand that while you are a master in writing, the Editor is also a guru in her editing job. You can only do this if you know your book, know what you want to achieve and basically understand the editing process. You may come across ruthless editors like myself and get frustrated when you find your manuscript full of red markings and comments.
Editors are always on your side and when they commit to work on your book, they want the best for you. Where you do not understand their comments, you should be free to ask. Always trust and consult your Editor where you need help and clarification. Your Editor is your silent partner in your book project, they value the project as much as you do. In any case, if the book gets out with their name, they also want it to be a success and build on the fame and achievement.
Your Editor will suggest what should be added, taken out, the best cover design, the best format and layout, great colours, typeface and fonts, etc. In as much as you may have your favourites, it’s always good to discuss and trust the Editor’s recommendations.
4. Find an Editor in your niche
Just like doctors, Editors can also specialise on a particular subject although there can be general Editors. It is always good to find an Editor in your niche. However, at times Editors can collaborate. A subject Editor may not necessarily be a publishing expert and their work might only end on editing content.
It is important to know your market and find the best Editors who have published in that niche. For instance, my favourite books are the type that are produced by NGOs, I’ve a strong passion for sustainable development work and I do my best with such projects. This is a niche that I have fallen in love with over the years, although I have worked for textbook publishers and produce children’s books as a publisher, but most of my publishing consultancy work is targeted on NGOs and individuals who produce such publications.
5. Ask a friend
Word of mouth is arguably the best marketing strategy in terms of instant results and effort. Nowadays people like testimonials, especially if they’re coming from close people (those who have actually used the product or service) – because people also don’t exactly believe website testimonials – so what better way to get an editor than through talking to a few friends and getting some references?
Trust is always at stake and in fields such as Publishing and Editing, people find it hard to assess the actual work. The finished product is not always so obvious as compared to maybe a designed outfit, a cake or a vegetable hamper. The quality of the Editing work is in the content, the text, the words. Relying on referrals can go a great deal in helping you find the best Editor.
6. Don’t shut out inexperienced Editors
The general expectation is to want to work with seasoned Editors but just like with any trade, Editors start small as well. We all build our CVs up as we grow and gain experience. However, fresh Editors usually possess the zeal and excitement to perform well and it might not necessarily be a good idea to always shut them out.
I always like working with inexperienced illustrators and groom them to what I want. Not only does it save me the money but it also gives me the satisfaction of grooming and developing new talent from the grassroots. Likewise, give the newbies a chance and you may be amazed with the results.
The digital age is no longer the future. The digital age is now. It’s here, and with a bang. Everyone is creating a digital presence hence google should be your best friend. Some call it aunty Google. Bottom line, it always gives you the answers.
Unlike other trades such as mechanics where you may have to actually drive your car to the garage or have the mechanic come and fix it, with editing services, even if the editor is miles away, they can still do a great job for you. We are now in a global village and distance is no longer a barrier. Google search to find your Editor and your work can be done from anywhere at any time.
It wouldn’t be fair to end this discussion without giving you insights as to how much it may cost you to hire an editor. Book Editing rates vary from one editor to another. Some freelance editors will work for $10 to $20 per hour, but you can expect experienced editors to charge $25 or more per hour. A good deal is when your editor charges a flat fee per manuscript and this is always determined by the estimated number of hours the Editor will spend on your work.
Best of luck with your book project. I hope this has helped and you’re in a better place to identify your perfect Editor. The most important factor is to know and understand your book. Set out a clear objective and everything else will fall into place. You are the next bestseller, nothing can stop you.
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Are you going to dig out and complete your archived manuscript?
See you next week. Stay safe!