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Who is a writer? Do you write? Yes? Then, you are a writer.

                                         (paraphrased) S-King/ On Writing.

Shopping for the Right Editor

Can Take Time

By R.L. Coffield

Hiring the right editor takes time and often involves trying out or interviewing several before you find one that you can work and feel comfortable with.

Many neophyte writers who want the services of an editor, don’t realize that the relationship between an editor and a writer is critical to the success of the project. Too often inexperienced writers hire the first editor they encounter without really checking the person’s credentials and style of communication.

Being able to express what is wanted and what is and is not acceptable is extremely important. For example, there are editors who get so carried away with corrections that soon the manuscript no longer has the author’s “voice,” but rather sounds like the editor’s writing. Other editors leave glaring errors in their rush to move the manuscript along.

Finding an Editor

So, where exactly does one shop for an editor? There are many places, ranging from internet searches, professional organizations, personal recommendation from successful writers, and writing conferences.

Websites like Preditors and Editors will have information on both editors and publishers, as will Book Editing Associates. Of course, it’s best if one can meet one’s editor face-to-face, but this isn’t really necessary. Email, fax and phone can provide adequate contact.

An excellent place to locate an editor is at a reputable writing conference. Attending a conference affords one the opportunity to meet prospective editors personally and spend time talking with them.

Most professional writing organizations also have member editors, and this is also another excellent way to meet editors and get a sense of their credibility and abilities. In addition, writers will also be able to recommend editors that they have personal knowledge of.

If all else fails, most published authors have a page set aside in their books where they express their gratitude and thanks. Often editors are mentioned here. Read the book. Lots of mistakes? Shop elsewhere.

Be Clear About Needs

It’s very important that the writer remember that he/she is an employer in the editor/writer relationship. Don’t think of the editor as an demi-god. You are the boss. The editor may have the upper hand when it comes to serious critiquing and technicalities, but carefully contemplate an editor’s suggestions before making significant changes in a manuscript.

On the other hand, you are paying for an editor’s expertise. Accept without question corrections made regarding passive voice, point of view, dialogue construction, grammatical errors and corrections of this sort.

Editing Costs

The more corrections an editor is asked to make, the more the editing will cost. The more in demand an editor, the higher the cost. Prices vary widely, and different editors charge differently: some charge by the word; some charge by the page; some charge by the hour. A cheap editor is not a bad editor, but simply may be one that is just getting established or needs the work more than someone else.

Communication is Key

It’s very important that the person you hire as an editor is able to tell you negative things about your book in such a way that you don’t lose confidence in yourself. Remember that you want your book to be the best it can be, and so does the editor. Find someone who has a manner that will not upset you. For many this is a mute point, but for others this is essential.

The copyright of the article How to Find a Good Editor in Editing is owned by R.L. Coffield. Permission to republish How to Find a Good Editor in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.