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Tips on Finding a Book Editor

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

Lets talk about finding a good editor, especially when you are on a tight budget. We will also advise on how to find the right person for your project, so you don’t waste your editing dollars.


A few reasons why Self-Publishing Authors need an Editor:

  1. If you want to publish work that you are proud of, you will have to engage people with experience producing books.

  2. Assuming you are human, trust us your manuscripts has mistakes that you haven’t caught, especially if you’ve been working on it nonstop for months. Anything you can do to produce an error free manuscript is going to help get you as close to an error-free book as possible.

  3. Self-publishing is a business- and if you hope to succeed in it, you have to manage it like a business. You wouldn’t promote your store for selling name brand clothing and sell bootleg would you? This will reflect poorly on you. People have an expectation of reading top quality work. Its not the quantity its the quality. No one wants to read something poorly written, and you definitely do not want poor reviews floating in the internet.

  4. Regardless of the type of book i.e. E-book or paperback, you’ll need to it to look as perfect as possible and only a professional can assist you in doing so.

Now, we are going to walk you through the process of finding and hiring the right editor for your project. There are lots of good editors out there with various skill levels and rates. Quality content should be on the top of your list, which means that finding the right people to help you polish your manuscript is super important. Don’t cheat yourself, you can still find this help even if you cant spend much. But first…

  • Know what you’re looking for. How can you explain to someone what you need if you don’t actually know? There are different types of editors that come in handy at various stages of the editing process.

  • Have you self edited your book?

  • Have you had your story critiqued by more than one person?

  • Has your book been read by beta readers?

  • What sort of feedback are you ready to receive and have you made any changes?

An alpha reader or beta reader, also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption.

Knowing the answers to these questions will help find the type of editor you need.

Types of Editors

  • Content/Development Editor: This type of editor works on the overall picture of your story including plots, timelines, characterization, inconsistencies, and pacing. This type of editor can help develop a detailed outline and brainstorm solutions to any plot holes or empty spaces in your book. This type of editor is most commonly needed early on the editing process.

  • Line Editor: This type of editor edits line-by-line for consistency and word usage. A line editor can help you tighten up sentences and rearrange words to improve the flow of your story. Line editing is often grouped with copy editing.

  • Copy Editor: A copy editor checks your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This type of editor also acts as a fact-checker, making sure that your logic and clarity is consistent. Copy editing is most commonly used after content editing.

  • Proofreader: Proofreaders are typically the last step in the editing process. A proofreader is used to check for typos and formatting issues when your book is in its final form.

*Note: in some cases you might find that the book needs bits and pieces of more than one type of editing. Its ok to ask an editor for a custom package. Once you know what you’re looking for and how to ask for it, most editors will be willing to make adjustments for you. Try using editors whoa re familiar with your genre. You can also ask for a beta read.

Once you have determined the type of editor you need you may start your search.

Where to look

Some editors have their own websites and post their rates and services online. Other editors can be found on freelancing websites. You might find that the best way to find someone willing to work within your budget is by posting an ad on one of these sites. Try

What to pay

This is a frequently asked question and there’s no set answer. What you pay an editor depends on their skill level, work experience, the type of editing you’re looking for, and the length of your book. An experienced editor will be more expensive, and a newbie editor will be more affordable. To figure out the range of what an editor might cost, do some comparison shopping.

  • First, determine what you’re looking for (skill level & type of edit). The search the freelancing websites for want ads that are most similar to your own needs.

  • Next, search for prospective freelancers that meet your requirements. Look at previous job histories and ratings from past projects. What rates have these freelancers been paid? What rates do they post on their profiles and do they state that their rates are negotiable. Once you see what others have paid, you’ll get a good idea of what you can expect to pay for similar services.

*Note: If you’re on a tight budget, be willing to work with newbies. Freelancers whoa re just starting out are actively building their portfolios and will be very flexible with rates. Less work experience does not always mean lower quality. You can find talented editors within your budget.

What to ask

Besides skill level and services offered, its important to pick an editor you feel comfortable with. Think of it as selecting a co-worker or business partner. You want someone that suits your personality and communication style. Another thing to consider, whether the editor is experienced or just starting out, is attention to detail. Pick someone who is very thorough with their work and wont pass over small mistakes.

Questions to ask when hiring an editor:

  • What’s your rate?

  • What’s your timeframe for completion?

  • What’s your file preference (.doc, .docx, .pdf)?

  • How do you track changes you’ve made on manuscripts?

  • Will you review my revisions?

  • How soon will you notify me if you cannot make the deadline we agreed on?

Once you’ve selected someone to work with, ask for a sample edit of your first chapter. Doing this will help you determine if the person is a good fit for you and your manuscript. A sample edit involves paying a small portion of the total fee in exchange for an edited piece of your book. From a sample edit, you’ll see the editors skill level (is it as advertised), and you’ll also see if you’ve correctly communicated the type of editing you want to be done. Be patient and ask for a sample edit when working with someone new. It has the potential to save you time and money.

Here’s a list of editors we have worked with, please email them with questions. Their rates vary depending on the editing work you need. Ask about a payment plan!

Vanessa Martir Bio: Writer at Writing Our Lives Workshop Email: Genre:Fiction & Nonfiction, Essays, Memoirs Language: English

Raquel Penzo Genre: Poetry & Fiction Language: English Website:

Glendaliz Camacho Email: Genre: All genres Language: Spanish & English Website:

Melanie Marquez Adam Bio: Escritora at Vice Versa Magazine. Escritora at La Nota Latina Email: Genre: All genres Language: Only Spanish

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