When it comes to “giving birth” to a fiction book, an editor is one of the parents. While plenty of work lies on the author’s shoulders, without an editor, a book is half-baked. Choosing the right editor for your writing project is highly important for its quality.
How do you hire an editor who can improve your writing rather than change it to become unrecognizable? Finding a creative assistant who can respect your thoughts and ideas while making subtle, or sometimes drastic, changes seems impossible.
Let’s talk about questions to consider before hiring an editor.
1. What Type Of Editing Do You Need?
Are all editors the same? Not at all. Several types of editing exist:
- Proofreading – one of the final editing stages, which doesn’t involve any structural changes but eliminates discoordination, inconsistencies, and typos.
- Copy editing – this editing stage addresses grammar, syntax, and language problems. It deals with punctuation as well. No structural changes are made at this stage.
- Line editing – this type of editing deals with idea flow, tone, style, and transition elements. These editors make suggestions on sentence structure and paragraph construction. They review style, story development, and narrative.
- Development editing – this extensive editing style deals with the structure of the text. It often involves all of the above types coupled with criticism of the setting, plot presentation, marketing potential, and more.
According to romance novel editor, Michelle Morgan, most writers are looking for the “all-in-one” editing type.
2. What Are My Sources?
Googling an editor is an easy way out. But can you find other sources to help you select one? Usually, the top editors in the search are either expensive or booked months in advance. However, if budget and time are an issue, it’s better to look elsewhere.
One of the first places to go is to friends, family, and co-workers. If they don’t manage to recommend anyone, you can visit writers’ forums. At these forums, you can find active editors who advertise their services. You are likely to find some reviews of their services there as well.
3. What Is My Budget?
Here is a question that bothers everyone. Editors set different prices for their services. The most popular ones are likely to be unaffordable for an average writer or a beginner. When setting the budget, keep in mind the possibility of this book not being published or earning any money.
Be reasonable about the amount you are ready to spend. The money you pay the editor doesn’t guarantee high proceeds from the book. Editing is highly important for completing a book, but it may not make it more sellable.
Editors can charge per word, per page, or per hour. Make sure you understand what they consider a page and how many hours they expect to spend on your book. It’s better to settle on the total cost before the editing starts.
4. How Much Time Do I Have?
Good editors are usually highly demanded. So you have to book one’s services in advance. You may want to consider talking to editors before you finish the book to make sure they start working immediately when you need their services.
Work out your timeframe. If you are planning to get an editor at the last minute, be ready to wait. Usually, experienced writers know how much time they need to get to the point when they need an editor.
However, basing your choice on whoever is available at the moment is a bad decision. It’s better to wait for an editor who suits your requirements.
Choosing a fiction book editor is tough work. Allow yourself sufficient time to understand your needs and goals before explaining them to the editor.