Writing is great fun. Editing is not. While I don’t mind re-writing some pages, the multiple revisions often necessary to get it right can sometimes take longer than the process of writing the original draft. As I mentioned in an earlier post (Your Manuscript and the Home Edit), those long and slow revisions are necessary. When you’re finished, it feels great. You take a deep breath and celebrate for oh, about a nanosecond, because then, it’s time for the Professional Edit.
If you plan to query your manuscript, a professional editor may be helpful for story arc and pacing. An agent will be less concerned about typos but will expect a finished product. If you are self-publishing, editing is mandatory in achieving a professional product. Either way, writers need editors.
Editing Services come in many different types. Some services only offer manuscript critiques and others are focused on grammatical edits. Many companies offer a wide range of services and prices will vary. Finding the editor that’s right for you and your manuscript is not an easy task. To make it easier, I’ve prepared a short list of freelance editing services to get you started. While the editor I have hired is on this list, I am reluctant to make recommendations until my project is complete. As I said, although I cannot (yet) personally vouch for any of these editing services, many have been recommended by other writers and writing bloggers. If you are currently in the market for an editor, use this list as a starting point to learn more about what is available.
When researching freelance editors, it’s best to keep the following in mind:
- You will have to spend some money. Price ranges do vary, however, but if you shop solely by price, you may not get the full range of services your manuscript needs.
- Be honest with yourself about what you need. If agents have been rejecting your manuscript without positive feedback, you may need a full critique. If they praised your writing, maybe you need something less. If you are self-publishing, you must have an editor search for typos, misspellings, and grammar mistakes.
- Do they specialize in your genre? What is their experience? Check out their testimonials and which books they’ve edited.
- Do they offer a free sample edit? Often this is a helpful way to decide if you like their style and if they like yours. Typically, this is also where you may get a price quote and projected timeline.
5 thoughts on “A Good Editor is Hard to Find”
A good post and a good list of some of the many editing services out there. It’s dangerous to fall into the trap of “Oh, I can edit it on my own.” Very, very few people can. Writing and editing use two very different sets of neural pathways, and once you’ve spent so much time writing your manuscript, it’s hard to get your brain to move fully into the editing mode. Someone else can give you that much-needed perspective.
You’re right, Ben. Getting perspective on your own work is one of the hardest parts of writing. Hiring an editor is one step but listening to the editor can sometimes be even harder. Thanks so much for your comment.
All the best to you,