How to Find a Good Editor

February 28, 2016

It isn’t easy finding an editor when you’re new to writing and you don’t know many people in the business. Where do you look, and who can you trust? As an indie author, the biggest expense is often the editor. Although there are writers who try to avoid hiring a professional editor, most understand that this is the area you don’t want to skimp on.  Some editors charge four cents a word and above. So if your book is 100,000 words, that’s $4,000. That is a lot of money! So you have to do your research. I really wish I had the money to hire several great editors for each of my manuscripts, but right now that’s not feasible.

 

For the first book of my Kung Fu Kellie series, I had a very patient editor who not only had edited my work, but also guided me through the art of writing. For my second book, I’d wanted an additional opinion on my work, so I had searched the internet for a second editor. I had found a website that represented editors (www.book-editing.com). They seemed to have many experienced editors, but after submitting for price quotes, I’d quickly realized that they came with high price tags. Because I didn’t know anyone who had used this website, I was also skeptical, but I took a chance. I had corresponded with an editor I was interested in, and she’d given me good feedback on a sample of my book. I’d hired her, and she provided me with excellent work and taught me a lot about grammar and how traditional publishers worked, since she used to work for Penguin. While I had waited for her to edit my book, Kung Fu Kellie and Sonam’s Prophecy, I’d decided to contact some of the authors she’d worked with. (It would have been a better idea to have done this prior to signing a contract with her.) I was curious about what other authors thought of her work. Two authors had written me back and had given her high praises. What a relief. I’d thanked them for taking the time to respond to me by buying their books.

 

I was lucky to have found a good editor, but realized that I should’ve done better research earlier. So my advice to other writers in finding a good editor from the internet is to search the editor’s name and ask other authors for their opinion. Authors in general seem to be more than happy to give advice about their writing and publishing experiences. I remember reading a story about a newbie writer who spent about $10,000 on an editor, and later had learned the poor work that was delivered. So do your research before signing that contract and paying the fee. Good luck, and happy writing!

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