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SPQ 012: How Do I Find a Book Editor?

Written by Steve Scott on January 5, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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How Do I Find a Book Editor?

The Question…

Eric of ThirtybyForty.com wants to know how to find an editor and how much money to budget for editing.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

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.

  1. Developmental editor
  2. Copy editor
  3. Proofreader

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:

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.

Resource Links

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.

  • Sheila Anderson

    Great resources shared along with extremely helpful info. Thank you!

    • Steve Scott

      Glad to you like them Sheila! Just let know if you are looking for other tools for your self-publishing business. I’m always open to adding more to this page.

    • Glad to you like them Sheila! Just let know if you are looking for
      other tools for your self-publishing business. I’m always open to
      adding more to this page.

  • Steve,

    Do you use beta readers at any stage of development? I like the idea of using a copy editor and a proofreader, but I wonder if beta readers have a place in an effective writing process.

    George

    • Steve Scott

      George — I don’t use beta readers because I publish at a pretty consistent pace. I might use them for the reissue of Habit Stacking. Overall though, if you have the time, I think beta readers can really do wonders for shaping the content and helping you identify the problem areas of your book.

    • George — I don’t use beta readers because I publish at a pretty
      consistent pace. I might use them for the reissue of Habit Stacking.
      Overall though, if you have the time, I think beta readers can really do
      wonders for shaping the content and helping you identify the problem
      areas of your book.