(Note: This was supposed be published on June 5th, but for various reasons, I wasn’t able to post🤭)
Today, I’m really excited because Michaela Bush has launched a new business that helps authors whether they’re a beginner or experienced. And as part of celebrating the biz launch, Michaela is giving us some of her tips on finding a good editor.
The day has come: your draft is written, you have a sweet cover, and the finish line is almost in view — but now you have to make a pretty big choice. Finding the perfect editor for your book is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be a hard or drawn-out process. Here are some tips to make sure you find the best editor for your book!
Search for editors that edit in your genre.
Check out Twitter, Facebook groups, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goodreads, or even your friend’s favorite blog for editors who offer their services. You might notice that some editors look for specific things or have a set of requirements for manuscripts that are sent in, so take note if they have preferences concerning genres or book styles. I have even noticed editors who prefer certain character archetypes or storylines, so make sure that your book is the right fit for the editor’s requirements before you contact the editor. The editor, of course, may or may not accept your request to work on the book – but you can cut down the time spent emailing editors by double-checking their requirements first! If an editor doesn’t have any specific genres listed on their website, all you can do is send them an email and see if they’re interested in editing your work.
Join writing groups on Facebook to see if you can connect with a trustworthy editor.
If you’re involved in groups that are filled with authors who write in your genre, it’s likely that you can ask for recommendations for good editors. You might even connect with editors in the group who will gladly offer their services when the time comes. Some groups may also have specific days where editors and other author-services businesses can advertise their services! Besides, you’ll find a lot of great writing pals this way — win-win!
See if the editor offers a free sample edit.
Give special notice of editors who offer sample edits! With an offer like that, you’ll be able to take a look at how the editor will improve your work. Sample edits usually don’t cost anything, but they’re extremely valuable because you’ll see how well the editor works with you, as well as how well you work with the editor. This is a very important relationship, as you’ll be working closely with this individual as they polish your manuscript. It’simportant that you are able to get along well with the editor, and vice-versa. Not to mention, if the editor doesn’t seem to put a lot of effort into the sample edit or doesn’t work on areas that you’re concerned about, it ought to be apparent in the sample edit. While you will ultimately have the final say concerning how your final manuscript will be changed before publication, you want to make sure that the time spent with the editor is time well spent! If you take advantage of the sample edit and have any concerns whatsoever about working with the editor, make sure to voice your concerns before you sign a contract. You aren’t obligated to use their services just because you utilized their sample edit – and actually, that’s why samples are offered: so the editor and author can essentially do a “test drive.”
See if the editor has any testimonials.
This allows you to see who has been satisfied with their work – which in turn may allow you to see what kind of books the editor works best with! If they don’t have testimonials listed on their website, you may consider asking the editor what books they have worked on or if they have any testimonials that just aren’t posted on their website. This helps you weed out anyone who may be scammy – scammers won’t have legitimate glowing reviews!
If you’re still unable to find a good editor, you can resort to the good ole Google search. You can especially find editors if you search for ones within your genre, or perhaps editors who work with independent authors. You’ll still want to follow the above tips, though, to ensure that you’re hiring an editor that will work well with your manuscript. However, this may bring up a lot of scammy businesses: if they charge a consulting fee or request the entire manuscript up front just to ask them about their services before the project is accepted and contracted…flee immediately. Or close the tab on your computer – you know what I mean. Basically, you shouldn’t have to pay submission fees or send your entire manuscript when you are sending an initial email to an editor or company.
You always want to make sure that the editor you’re hiring will be a good fit for your book. If they refuse your book for any reason, don’t get upset. Maybe the editor realized that their talents weren’t a good match with your talents.
Before hiring an editor, you’ll also want to double-check their contractual requirements: what is their turnaround time? Do they have any content limitations or require a percentage of the fee up-front? Once you have that information, you’ll be good to go!
Essentially, it’s good to follow common sense when you’re hiring anyone, especially an editor. Making sure that you’ll be able to work well with the editor, that the editor works well with your manuscript, and that the editor is legitimate and trustworthy. If you find that perfect editor, you’ll be likely to have a great professional contact for future manuscripts as well!
Thank you so much Michaela for sharing with us some of your wisdom!
If you want to learn more about Tangled Up in Writing services and about Michaela herself, simply keep reading 💖
Professional author services now available for an affordable price!
Michaela Bush is now offering affordable and professional author services! She has a brand-new B.A. in English, as well as a passion for helping current and aspiring authors achieve their publishing goals. She offers editing, proofreading, consultations, and more
Michaela Bush is a Christian author, freelance editor, and entrepreneur. She graduated in 2019 from Clarion University in Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Psychology. When she’s not spinning together her next story or working, she enjoys spending time with her family or horseback riding. She is also a crazy cat lady.