Editing Tips

Five questions for your editor

There are so many editors out there and it can be a bit overwhelming when you’re searching for one. It’s important that you find the right one for you and your work. Here are some questions you might want to ask.

1. What are your fees? What do they include?

Sometimes it seems as if there are as many different editing fee structures as there are editors. Some charge by the word, others by the hour. Sometimes the fees are levied per single pass of a manuscript and others include more than one pass. There are editors to suit all budgets. It’s just a matter of finding the editor you can afford.

2. How much experience do you have?

Again, there are editors at all levels of experience, some just starting out, some who’ve been doing it for years. Ask if they would be happy to provide a sample edit of, say, 1,000 words of your work so you can see if you’re a good fit for each other.

3. What is the process? How long will it take?

It’s always good to know what to expect. You want to make sure that the editor can meet your deadlines and you want to know when you can expect to receive your edits.

4. Communication? Will you keep me informed? Are you easy to get hold of? How can I get hold of you?

Communication is so important. You’ll want to know if your editor is running late. Or, if you get your edits and there’s something you’re not certain of, it would be nice to know that your editor is always there to answer your questions or address your concerns. I always try to respond to emails as soon as I get them.

5. Have you edited books in my genre? Can you tell me what authors you’ve worked with?

Experience in a particular genre makes life a lot easier for you both. It would be comforting to know that your editor has a love for the genre you write in. Check with other authors they’ve worked with. Most authors are happy to make recommendations or point you in the right direction.


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