Hiring An Editor? Here’s How To Make The Most Of Them

By on June 24, 2017
Hiring An Editor? Here’s How To Make The Most Of Them - Writer's Life.org

Whether or not to hire a professional editor is a decision every author must make after they have got their manuscript to the best possible version it can be.

Many believe that if you want to give your book the very best chance of success, passing it onto a professional editor before you publish is the only thing to do.

A professional editor, however, of course, costs money, and for many struggling authors this can mean they are simply unable to shell out hundreds or even thousands of pounds to have their manuscript checked.

If you do decide to take the plunge, suck up the costs and hire a professional editor for your book, there are some things that you can do to ensure you make the most of them. Getting your money's worth should be important because the more an editor can do for your book, the better shape it is going to be in when you do decide to submit it.

So what can you do to ensure you get the most out of your editor? Here are some useful tips.

Understand what they do

Before you part with any hard earned cash make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for. The role of an editor is complex and can vary depending on who you decide to work with, so it’s important to be clear about your expectations, but also the limits of what they can offer.

Your editor can read your manuscript objectively and professionally. They will know what mistakes to look out for, pinpoint where your story needs to be improved and why and help your produce the best-finished piece of work possible.

Make sure you have done everything you can

Before you hire an editor you should have exhausted all your personal resources to make sure it is in the best shape possible. Redraft, spell and grammar check and edit it yourself, and be as thorough as you can possibly be. This way your editor can spend their time giving you advice on the structure of your story and your character development rather than wasting hours correcting all your silly mistakes.

Understand what kind of edit you require

Many authors don’t want an editor to give them advice about the story structure or plot. Others are desperate for this kind of advice. There are several different types of editing available such as a manuscript critique, a comprehensive edit, or simply copyediting. Make sure you are absolutely clear what you expect and your editor is clear on what kind of service they provide - do this before you commit to anything or hand over any money.

Build a good relationship with your editor

The better your relationship with your editor the more mileage you are likely to get out of them. Be polite, friendly, warm and professional. Communicate with them quickly and often, respect their role and their time and they will want to work harder for you.

Accept they may know more than you

A professional editor will give you advice and suggestions about your book that you may not like or agree with. At the end of the day, it is up to you whether you decide to take it on board or not. However, if you don’t you might be cutting off your nose to spite your face - they are the professionals after all.

Working with an editor can be a fantastic experience and can really help you improve as a writer, so if you do decide to work with one make sure you follow the above tips for the most productive and enjoyable relationship!

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

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

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