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10 Helpful Tips For Finding the Right Editor For Your Book

Helpful Tips For Finding the Right Editor For Your Book Editing is the process that bridges the gap between the current quality of your manuscript and what you envision your readers to get their hands on. It is the most pivotal aspect in the process of book publication. If you are an author, have completed your manuscript, the next step in the process is editing. An editor polishes and fine-tunes your book so that your readers get the best version.

If you are looking for an editor, the points in this article would be of help in finalizing the right one for your book.

Before sharing the tips, let’s get an understanding of an important question “What does a book editor do?”

What does a book editor do?

Did you know that there is more than one kind of editing for a book? Yes! The editing is categorized into four types & stages:

Developmental Editing:

Under developmental editing, the editor looks at the structure of the content, the development of characters, and other pivotal elements. The developmental editing makes sure that your book’s structure aligns in accordance with your vision. It is applicable for both fiction and non-fiction books. When it comes to fiction, it includes analyzing the narrative arc, dialogues, characterization, plot development, etc.

Line Editing:

It is a meticulous editing process. The line editor goes through every line of your manuscript to analyze the structure of lines and refines or polishes the sentences to make them clear.

Copy Editing:

A copy editor goes through your manuscript word by word to locate any typos, grammatical errors, word usage, punctuation, etc. They make sure of consistency throughout the book.


Helpful Tips For Finding the Right Editor For Your Book It is usually considered the last stage in the editing process. A proofreader reads your book thoroughly to ensure there are no errors and the book is ready for publication. A check on typos, formatting issues, and/or repetitive or missing text is conducted in the proofreading process.

Here are some tips that might be helpful for you in finding the right editor for your book:

1. What is your requirement?

Having understood the types of editing (mentioned above), you must determine the type of editing you are looking for. If you are a first-time author, you might need to opt for more than one type of editing. Some of the editors (or editing companies) offer different editing as a package. You can opt for one if it fits your requirement. The editing process is a learning phase in the life of an author, especially a new author. You can learn the mistakes and errors in the manuscript and avoid repeating them in future books.

2. Prefer hiring an editor specializing in your genre:

The editor who you hire is a pivotal decision. Prefer hiring an editor who is an expert in your genre. Every genre of writing is distinct with several intricacies involving it, only an experienced editor in the genre you write can suggest and guide you on the right steps to be taken to bring out the best version of your book.

3. Evaluate editor carefully:

Every book has the potential to be a winning material, and the Editing process has the power to make that happen. Hence, evaluate the editor carefully while choosing one. Here are some of the important parameters:

- Work experience: How many books of your genre have they edited before?

- Samples of previous work: Review the sample of their previous works to ascertain the know-how of your genre

- Responsiveness: Send a test mail or a message to check their responsiveness. In this way, you will be able to figure out if the editor responds promptly or if there are delays in communication

Helpful Tips For Finding the Right Editor For Your Book - Ask for a sample edit: Ask them to edit a sample of your book (typically a few chapters) and determine if you are satisfied with the edit. Figure out if the edits match the tone of your book or if the changes are harsh and can change the book’s tone. Remember that it is your book, after the editing it should be something you would like it to be, not what they want it to be.

4. When should you hire an editor?

Ideally, start looking out for an editor when you have completed the manuscript. But, submitting the first draft of the manuscript for editing will only make it lengthier and even cost you more money. You would essentially pay for those mistakes that you could have figured out yourself.

It is advisable that you complete the exercise of self-editing. For this, you could use the tools like Grammarly or Hemingway editor if you would like to. With this, you will be able to eliminate the basic errors and submit a polished version for editing.

5. Establish contact points and communication channel:

Understanding the modus operandi and the way you and your editor works is very important. Establish a contact point for any clarifications or discussions. Also, discuss and establish a communication channel. Figure out if the editor is comfortable with the calls, if not, his/her preferred mode of communication.

Also, establish the frequency of updates of the progress you would receive so that you stay in sync with the developments and are not in dark during the process.

6. Avoid doubtfulness:

For an author, the manuscript is like their baby. Hence, the apprehensions during the process of editing are natural. Though it is easier said than done, have confidence and trust that he/she would do a great job at editing. Apprehensions and doubts would only get the editor less interested in your work. If you want them to give their best, you will pass on your trust to them.

Helpful Tips For Finding the Right Editor For Your Book 7. Share your expectations clearly:

For the book to come out according to what you expect, it is pivotal that you share your expectations with your editor clearly. Share your insights on your writing style and the tone you would like the editor to retain in the book.

8. Discuss.. Discuss… Discuss:

Only when minds get together, the masterpiece gets created. Build a great rapport with the editor from the very onset, and create a room for discussions on any aspect of the book that requires it. Honest feedback and discussions are important so that there is no room for assumptions and confusion.

9. Establish budgets and time-frame:

Figure out how the costing of the editor works. While some charge for the number of words, others charge based on the number of pages. Have an account of the number of words and no. of pages in your book. It is advisable that you connect to several editors, evaluate them and compare the deals offered to you to pick the best according to your budget and requirement.

10. Common mistakes to avoid:

- Be open to connecting to several editors: Most authors make this mistake to finalize the first good editor they meet. Be open to meet more editors and then finalize the one that suits your budget, requirement, and expected quality.

- Be open to criticisms: Choose an editor who is experienced in your genre and be open to criticisms. To approve or disapprove of the suggestions is your choice, but being closed-minded to any kind of suggestion will do no good to your book.

- Don’t skip proofreading: The proofreading process after editing is an important part to make sure that there are no mistakes in the book.


If you want to make your book successful, it is not just about hiring any editor that works, you need to find the right editor for your book. We hope that these tips help give you clarity on the considerations while hiring an editor.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 24th July 2021.
Kunal Jain
Kunal Jain works as an Outreach Specialist at iU

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