Find The Right Book Editor To Make Your Book Shine

By on November 9, 2016
Find The Right Book Editor To Make Your Book Shine - Writer'

Finishing your book is a glorious feeling! However, as all novelists know, the hard work is not over yet.

The editing process can be long and arduous and for many authors this is the part that they dread the most. The elation and satisfaction of completing a book is wonderful,  but knowing you might have months ahead of editing, reworking, chopping up and re writing can feel very daunting.

Editing your manuscript is however, completely essential. This is true regardless of whether you are sending your book off to publishers or you intend to self publish your work.

However, all is not lost! One piece of advice that is often given is to hire a professional editor to do the hard work for you. There is a lot to be said for this. For, no matter how eagle-eyed you are you are unlikely to be able to spot all your mistakes and inconsistencies, you probably aren’t an expert on grammar, and are also too close to your work, the story, the characters, to be able to look at the story objectively and see what needs to be changed.

A good editor can offer you all this, and get your manuscript in fantastic condition so you can feel confident it has the best chance of success.

So, if you have decided to hire a professional editor, what’s next? There are a huge number of businesses and individuals out there offering editing services, and there is lots to take into consideration. Finding the right fit is crucial, and you need to be clear on the timeframe, costs and exactly what the editor is going to do before you sign anything or part with any of your hard earned cash.

With this in mind, here are some handy tips to help you decide if a particular editor is the right one for you.

Their editing style

Different editors will have different methods they use to edit, and also when they go through your manuscript checking grammar and punctuation they may well have differing opinions on what is correct! Ask potential editors which style they use and make sure it fits into your way of thinking. Look at their previous work and see whether you think they have done a good job. Your type of book will also play a crucial part. Different editors tend to specialise in different genres or types of book, so make sure you pick one that fits yours.


While it is not expected that an editor can give you a exact figure of how much it will cost to edit your work, they should be able to give you a good estimate, and explain how they have come up with that figure. A good editor might ask for a sample of your work before they estimate the editing cost. Costs will vary depending on how much work they have to do, the length of your manuscript and whether you are just asking them to edit for grammar, spelling and punctuation, or if you need them to look at your story structure, character development and so on. Have a budget in mind and stick to it, if you can’t afford an editor then you may need to look at cheaper alternatives. There is no point getting yourself into a sticky situation financially before you have even begin to sell your book.

How they communicate

At the end of the day, you need to be able to work well with your editor. Make sure that they listen to you, are receptive to your ideas, and understand exactly what you want them to do. If you feel they aren’t taking this on board, it might be better to look elsewhere. Also understanding how they prefer to communicate and making sure that fits in with your expectations is useful. If you like to discuss your work at length on the phone where they prefer going back and forth via email this could cause upset further down the line.

Hiring an editor is making an positive investment in your writing so you need to be sure you pick one that you feel confident will do a great job for you. Your book is no doubt highly important to you, therefore don’t make the decision to hire an editor in a rush. Shop around, talk to your fellow writers, get recommendations and do your research - that way when you do hire an editor you can be confident they will make your book shine!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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