After you’ve finished writing your novel it’s time to edit it. You’ll want to self-edit first, but if this is your first novel you’ll want to consider hiring an editor. Good editors stay on top of industry trends and understand the difference between different levels of editing.
So how do you find these trust worthy editors (especially when literally anyone can create a Facebook page and call him/herself an editor)?
Here are my suggestions for finding the right editor.
- Check editing credentials, not writing credentials. Just because some has written and published a book is no guarantee that he will be a good editor. Look at what he has done/is doing in the world of editing, such as:
- Professional affiliation: Is he a member of any professional associations? (This isn’t a guaranteed standard, but association memberships cost money and most people won’t invest in them if they aren’t serious about their craft.)
- Accreditations/Certificates: I’m a certified substantive editor with the Christian Editors Connection – to be listed as such, I had to pay a fee, take tests to prove that I know what I’m doing, provide references, and show that I had been professionally editing for at least two years. Anyone else with the CEC accreditation has done the same.
- Awards/Honors: Has the editor been recognized as a top editor? By whom?
- Resources: Does he blog about writing/editing tips? Has he taught writing/editing classes online or at conferences? What does he use as his editorial resources?
- Get referrals. You can’t beat word-of-mouth referrals. Ask other authors who they’ve used. You can also check the acknowledgement section of books to see if the author thanks his or her editor.
- Contact the editor. I don’t know a single editor who won’t respond to queries about his or her services. Send an email and ask questions. Your interaction with the editor will give you a feel for the type of relationship you can expect.
- Trust your gut. If you’re a person of faith, pray about it. Otherwise, go with your gut. Just because an editor has a great reputation doesn’t mean he’s a good fit for you. Editing is very personal (you’re asking someone to point out all of your mistakes!), so it needs to be someone you’re comfortable with.
While you can and should ask to read what the editor has worked on, just because he doesn’t have a book for you to read doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Here’s why:
- An editor has no control over whether or not a book will be published. Even if the manuscript is polished to perfection, it may not find a home at a publisher (or it may be several years before it’s printed).
- Just because someone edited a book doesn’t mean the author took the editor’s suggestions. I know many editors (myself included) who’ve had clients ignore the editorial suggestions. If those authors self-publish, it’s not uncommon for editors to exclude their names from the projects.
There you have it – my suggestions for finding the right editor. If you’re still figuring out what kind of edit you need, click here to find out what each service provides. And if you still have questions about finding the right editor, leave a comment and let me know!
Were her plans a bust? Was she wrong?
Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track.
Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right?
Trying to figure out God’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best laid plans were truly God-inspired.
Summer Plans and Other Disasters, my debut novel, releases September 15 – sign up for my newsletter now to receive your free copy of the unpublished prologue!