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Hiring the Right Book Editor

You’ve spent a lot of time writing your book — now, make sure it’s the best it can be by hiring an editor.

Working on a book or novel is a labor of love. You spend hours, days, months or maybe even years working on your story. You pour your heart and soul into it. If you’re a fiction writer you’ve meticulously created your world and developed each of the characters.

If you want a checklist for publishing your bestseller then click here to get our 46-point guide.

Your story has a great arc, and the climax is heart-stopping. After editing it numerous times on your own, you’re now ready to show it to the world.

Before hitting the upload button, we strongly encourage you to consider hiring a professional editor to go through your work. Sure, you’ve gone through it with a fine-toothed comb, but there are still things you’ve overlooked.

As the author, you are too close to your work and know it too well to see all the little issues. By having a fresh set of eyes look over your masterpiece, your book will become so much better.

Bah! you might be thinking. Readers won’t care if your book isn’t grammatically correct. Your content is interesting enough that a few mistakes will be easy to overlook. That might be true for a few readers. After all, not all books are 100 percent perfect. Mistakes still happen.

However, there are many readers who will notice every error, and they might point that out in with a negative review. Here at Authority Pub, that is not a chance that we’re willing to take.

Different Types of Book Editors

When it comes to finding an editor for your work, there are three different types of editors to consider: a developmental editor, a content editor and/or a proofreader. Each one of them fulfills a different role when editing your book, and the price for each one varies widely, so you’ll need to decide which one you’re willing to hire and pay for.

Developmental Editor

This type of editor will go through your manuscript and make sure that the writing flows properly and makes sense. They’ll offer feedback and suggest changes to make your book better. Depending on the type of developmental editor you hire, they may or may not go through and find grammatical or spelling errors. Their main focus is to make sure the your writing makes sense and all your details remain consistent.

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Copy Editor

If you hire a copy editor, you will be hiring someone to look at the grammar and spelling within your manuscript. They might pay attention to some of the details of the story, but their main job is to make sure sentences are structured correctly, that your grammar and spelling are consistent and that you are using the right words in the right places.

If you write nonfiction, a copy editor may fact-check your work or ensure any links you’ve incorporated are correct and not broken. A copy editor will also make sure the structure of your manuscript complies with the publisher’s guidelines — assuming you’re submitting to a publisher. If not, a copy editor will make sure the work is consistent with style use.

Hiring a good, professional copy editor means you’ll have someone who has a sharp eye for details and a passion for the mechanics of language. They’ll also enjoy fact-checking and making your work as easy to read as possible.

Proofreader

A proofreader is the last line of defense before your book goes to publication. They will be looking for small mistakes — a missing comma, a straight quote instead of a curly quote, missing words or misspelled words. Proofreaders won’t check style or that your facts are correct. They will mainly focus on the mechanics of language and formatting issues and take care of minor edits before you share your work with the world.

Which Editor Is Right for You?

Depending on what you’re looking for from an editor, any or all of these editors might be right for you. Having more than one set of eyes look over your book will ensure it is the best it can be before getting into the hands of readers. Will hiring a professional editor guarantee you become a bestseller? Not necessarily, but you won’t have to worry about readers complaining about bad grammar and plot holes because you’ve taken steps to ensure those aren’t present in your work.

Read Related: Why You Should Write a Crappy First Draft

Another thing to consider when deciding what type of editor to hire is how much they cost. The prices of developmental editors, copy editors and proofreaders varies widely, and how much you pay also depends on several other factors, including how long your manuscript is, how complex your story is and what your deadline is.

It’s possible to find good editors for cheap, but you need to be wary of what type of edit you’re getting in the end. Don’t sacrifice quality to save some money. Investing in your book by finding a good editor is well worth the price.

Here 5 Questions to Ask To Find a Book Editor That is Right For You

When you’ve decided what type of editor will be the most beneficial in improving your manuscript, there are some questions you should ask before hiring them.

1. What type of editor do they claim to be?

It’s totally possible the editor you’re looking to hire has experience in development and copy editing, as well as proofreading, but be cautious if they claim to have experience in all three. Each editing type requires a different skill set, education and credentials, and you don’t want to waste your time and money on the wrong kind of editing.

2. What is their background?

Has the person you’re looking to hire ever worked for a publisher(s)? If so, which one and how many?

Working for a publisher means the editor probably has the experience and knowledge to help you with your book. However, just because they haven’t worked for a publisher and may have only freelance edited, that doesn’t mean they are terrible editors.

Read Related: How to Outline a Book

Ask them for a list of works they’ve edited and check those works out. Email the authors and ask what they thought of the editor. If most of them were happy with the editor’s work, you might be too.

3. How busy are they in a given month?

Editing takes a long time. It’s an involved process. If an editor takes on more than two or three books in a month, they probably aren’t giving each manuscript the time and attention they deserve. You want to find an editor who will be dedicated to improving your book and writing, not padding their bank account.

4. How much does the editor cost?

Again, since the price of editors varies so widely, it’s hard to say whether or not the price you pay for your editor is worth it. However, more experienced editors tend to charge more, which might indicate you’re getting a great edit. But at the same time, more affordable editors might whip your manuscript into shape at a fraction of the price.

Read Related: The Perfect Writing Software for Your Writing Style

In the end, it all boils down to your budget and what you’re willing or able to spend on an editor, but it’s worth the investment to get the best talent that you can afford.

5. Do they offer a sample edit?

One of the best ways to know if an editor will work for you is to ask them to edit a sample of your work. This sample will give you an idea of how they work and what they can do for your manuscript. It will also give you an opportunity to talk to an editor over the phone or email about your story so you can decide if you’ll work well together or not.

Writing a book takes a lot of time and energy. When it’s ready for the world, make sure it’s the best it can be by hiring a professional editor to fix your errors and make the creative work shine.

We recommend Archangel Ink for editing, formatting and cover design, but there are dozens of good professional editors out there.