SPQ 012: How Do I Find a Book Editor?
Eric of ThirtybyForty.com wants to know how to find an editor and how much money to budget for editing.
Finding an editor is one of the most important things you can do as a self-published author. In fact, Steve says it is one of the two best investments you can make (the other is cover design). Investing in a good editor will turn an average book into a great book.
Steve pays anywhere from seven-tenths of a cent to two cents per word, but it can be as much as five cents per word. There are actually three different types of editors out there, so it’s important to know which one you need.
- Developmental editor
- Copy editor
A developmental editor provides honest, direct feedback about your work. This type of editor checks the content for flow and tells you what is or isn’t working. Copy editors check for spelling errors and grammar errors and fact-check your content. Finally, a proofreader reviews the content and makes sure it is ready to publish.
Steve uses a copy editor and a proofreader. After the first editor reviews the book, Steve corrects his mistakes and then sends the document to a proofreader for a second review.
There are several ways to find an editor:
- Network with others via social media or professional networking groups.
- Visit author websites and look for editorial contact information.
- Write to authors in your genre and ask who they use for editing.
- Hire a freelance editor via Elance or Odesk.
- Check Fiverr or Craigslist (Steve has never done this).
Before you hire an editor, ask the person to edit a short piece of content. Steve even adds a few mistakes on purpose to make sure the editor catches them. You’ll be paying someone to find your mistakes and show you what you are doing wrong, so you need to know the editor you hire is capable of helping you.
Steve also recommends reading “How to Find the Right Editor” by Joanna Penn before you hire an editor or a proofreader.
Writer’s Digest: Articles and resources for authors in a variety of genres
World Literary Café: A site with content to help authors connect with readers
Elance: Hire a freelance writer, graphic designer, programmer or administrative professional
ODesk: Find talented freelancers to help you with your book
How to Find the Right Editor: An article by Joanna Penn on finding the right editor for your work
4 Levels of Editing Explained: Another great article that explains the different price points and quality you’ll get from an editor.