So, you’ve finished writing your masterpiece! Congratulations! We bet you’re proud of your work, and you should be. Completing a manuscript is one of the most challenging things to do, especially if you’re new. But now it’s time for the hard part: finding the right editor for your work.
The idea of bringing in an editor to look over your work can be daunting to authors both new and established—but the good news is that you’re not alone. Read on to learn more about how you can start the process of looking for an editor!
Consider Your Editing Needs
Before you start your journey in editor speed-dating, you need to understand what you’re looking for in an editor. Every author has different needs, which means you should look for an editor who can fix whatever issues pop up in your manuscript.
An excellent way to start is to figure out where you are in the writing process and figure out which kind of editor can help you out from there.
Types of Editing
Despite popular belief, there are more types of editing than just fixing the occasional typo. Here are the different editing types to help you figure out where in the process you are.
If you’re in the early stages, then Development Editing might be right for you. A developmental editor focuses on the aspects of your book that pertains to the narrative and structural components, such as the voice, plot, character, pacing, etc. Anything that the reader might pick up on, the developmental editor analyzes.
The editor will look over your work then give you feedback and helpful critiques that will help you develop the story.
On the other hand, if you’re already past the developmental stage and need someone to dig into the nitty-gritty grammatical and structural aspects, then it may be time to find a copy editor.
A copy editor will analyze the mechanical and logistical aspects of your writing—things like punctuation, grammar, paragraph structure, etc.—and eliminate any typos they find in the manuscript.
If you’ve made it past the other editing types, then the only thing left is proofreading. A professional proofreader is there to check over your manuscript one last time for any mistakes that might have slipped past previous editors to make sure your book is publication-ready.
Start Your Search on Reputable Websites
After figuring out what type of editor you need—or rather which step of the editing process your work falls into—it’s time to start your search. Just remember: finding your special editor is like finding your special someone, so don’t lower your standards.
Websites like Reedsy, TheCreativePen and Upwork have been proven to offer credible editors who do right by their clients. Reedsy even developed their own criteria to make sure their clients get nothing but experienced and professional editors promoted on their site.
Of course, if you're in need of editing help, Night Heron Media also offers editing services! Click here to learn more.
What Should You Look for in an Editor?
A good quality to look for in an editor is someone with a good amount of experience—especially if it’s in your chosen genre. You also want someone who won’t rip you off, or offer you subpar work, so it’s a good idea to check the qualified and trustworthy websites mentioned above when you begin your search.
Narrow Down Your Options
Once you’ve gotten a feel for what kind of editors are available, make sure to contact several. There’s no crime in keeping your options open! You want to pick the crème of the crop, so don’t be afraid to slide into their DMs and figure out who’s the best match for you.
Send them a sample of your work and figure out which one is both interested and passionate about your piece. When the editor responds to your work, you should be able to get a sense of their style and if it suits you.
If you’ve done your research right, then you should have a list of credible and enthusiastic editors ready to go. If you’re having trouble figuring out which is the one for you, here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your options:
Hopefully, by following this brief guide, you'll be able to find your editor soulmate in no time! While the process of finding the right editor for your work may be difficult and even time-consuming, when you find your match, you'll know it, and it could be the beginning of a beautiful, long-lasting and professional friendship. And chances are, if you find the right one, you’ll only need to read this blog once.