How To Choose Your Editor (Tips from mine)

Kelly Hartigan – XterraWeb Editing Services writes…

Finding a “good” editor is an important decision. Hiring an editor is not a decision to be made lightly. An author and editor should have a good relationship–the two are a team and should work together. Here are some things an author should consider when he/she begins the search for an editor.

1) Price and payments. Price will often be at the top of the list for many indies. Keep in mind that a high price is not always indicative of high quality and a low price is not always indicative of poor quality. Does the editor offer a standard payment arrangement? Is the editor open to alternative payment arrangements?

2) Recommendations. Talk to other authors about their editor. Would they recommend this person? Why or why not? Are there reviews/testimonials from past clients on the editor’s website and/or Facebook page?

3) Website. Does the editor have one? Can you find information about the editor, the type of editing provided, the editing process, past projects, and reviews/testimonials from past/current clients? In addition to the website, does the editor also have a blog and/or Facebook page?

4) The editing process. How does the editor provide the service? Does the editor use Microsoft Word Track Changes and Comments features? Does the editor provide any updates while editing your manuscript?

5) Communication. Is the editor available by e-mail, Facebook messenger (or other online chat program), phone calls, and/or text messages? Will the editor communicate with you before, during, and after editing? Does the editor address your questions and concerns? Does the editor communicate in a professional, friendly, and courteous manner?

6) Time. What is the average turnaround time to edit a manuscript of a certain length? What type of availability does the editor have on his/her schedule? How far in advance can you schedule editing?

7) Editing services contract. Does the editor provide a contract that not only gives details about the editing service, editing fee, and payment, but also protects the author and his/her work?

8) Experience/Qualifications. Does the editor have a list of past projects available? Is there an about page providing information about the editor (e.g., education, experience, membership in editing/writing organizations).

9) Sample edit. Most editors provide a free sample edit of at least 1,000 to 2,000 words. Each author and manuscript are unique. The degree of editing required will not be the same. A sample edit allows the editor to provide a fair quote based on your manuscript. A sample edit will provide the author with an example of the editor’s work.

10. Fit. Is the editor a good “fit” for you and your book. Has the editor edited your manuscript’s genre before? Will the editor maintain your voice and writing style? Will the editor listen to you regarding your preferences for comments and follow directions for specific editing requests? Does the editor explain things?

My own personal opinion…

Kelly is my editor of choice and makes a point of ticking the above boxes for any prospective client. I have found her to be professional and patient with a genuine desire to retain the authors ‘style’ in any given work. To find out more details about how Kelly could help you, please visit or drop me a note and I’ll happily pass on the details to you directly.

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