I guess that – when you have been reading my blog for a while now, you know about my pet-peeves of Paint.exe covers and self-edited books. Yet still, there are days I receive unsolicited manuscripts (not even in an eBook format) that have not been edited. At all.
Whether or not to use an editor is often a big debate in the Facebook groups I frequent. And no matter how often I say: if you want to be a best-selling author, you need an editor, there will always be someone telling me that I am wrong, that the only thing a bestseller needs is a great story, and that Amazon and the readers will do the rest. They do not think editing books is important – in the end, readers who like the story will give a good review anyway…
Some people you just cannot help. I love giving great advise and I love seeing authors and writers thrive of the advice… but sometimes people are just too stubborn to listen.
Here is some advice I can give you when looking for an editor.
Hire editors that worked with publishers.
A lot of editors out there are freelancers and have only worked as freelancers. This is not per se a bad thing, but you can’t just wake up one day and think ‘hey – I read a lot of books, I am going to be an editor now.’ In fact: when working for a publisher, it takes 3 years before you can edit your own books.
I was browsing author and book promotion groups on Facebook and one of the admins had created a post that said ‘After promoting books for 2 years, I am now taking the next logical step and will be offering my editing services.’ – how is offering editing services the next logical step? What does editing have to do with promoting books on a Facebook Group? She is not an agency, she is not a professional marketer, she just runs a Facebook Group!
Anyway, there are a lot of editors out there that have no real experience editing books, that do not have the right education… and this is why it is always safest to ask about their previous projects. You can obviously make your own judgement, but always remember that paying money for the services of an inexperienced, freelance editor is just throwing money out of the window.
Figure out what editor you need.
There are many kinds of editors and you will need to make a conscious decision as to what kind of editing service your book will need. In fact: you might need several rounds of editing depending on the feedback of your editor.
You can read more about this via this link: http://thebookmarketingexpert.com/2018/06/04/how-to-select-the-perfect-book-editor/
Get a trial edit
Before you open your wallet, you will want to know that the editor you are hiring is doing a good job. This is where trial edits come in play. You can send off a piece of your writing to the editors you are prospecting.
Test the editor by putting in some difficult to notice spelling or grammar mistakes. This way you will know they will give your work the attention it deserves.
Still having difficulties finding an editor…?
If you are still not sure about what editor you should hire or where to find a good one? Ask referrals in author communities or send out emails to best-selling authors asking them what editors they are currently using.