How to Find an Editor for your Book
After you finish your book and send it for printing, there is an essential step in between that shouldn’t be missed. When you are writing the book, your complete focus is on the story and completion of the book. There is no decision-making till this point in the book-writing journey. When your book reaches the final stage, you have a question to answer – what about the editing? Should you self-edit the book, hire a freelance book editor, or hire a professional book editing service?
If you are a first-time author, it may be a challenge to decide which best option to choose is. In this article, we are going to help you with everything related to book editing.
What does an Editor do for a Book?
Most newbie writers don’t even feel the need for a book editor. But somewhere, they couldn’t be more wrong. Hence, let us understand what a book editor does. It will help you understand their need for your book.
You may have written a perfect book as per your knowledge. However, in most cases, the sentences are not perfect, and polishing is missing. An author’s job is to bring a beautiful story for the reader and ensure the readers can connect with characters (in the case of fiction). In the case of writing non-fiction, the author focuses on sharing his thoughts through the book.
The book editor ensures that every sentence you have written is perfect. Whatever meaning you want to convey, the same is getting conveyed.
They are responsible for checking the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and facts in the book. Book editor ensures the final version of your book is polished and refined.
In some cases, the book editor may cut or trim certain content in your book if they find it irrelevant or find certain parts repetitive (non-fiction). They may return to the author and ask to rewrite certain parts of the book where the connection or message is weak enough.
Do I need to Hire an Editor for my book?
Answer the following questions to know if you need to hire a book editor:
- Do you understand the difference between there, their, they’re and weir, wear, ware and so on?
- Are you satisfied with your final work more than 200%?
- Has anyone else read your manuscript and said it looks perfect?
- Does your book have a perfect start and a perfect end?
If the answers to the above questions are YES, then you need a book editor. If the answers to the above question are NO, you still need a book editor.
Well, you should have guessed it. No matter what your answers to the above question or any other question related to editing, you need professional book editors. They know how to improve your craft and bring the best version of your book to the readers. The expertise and value they bring in cannot be quantified in words. Some of the most prominent authors have editors, and you should too.
Types of Book Editing Services
There are a variety of book editing services. If you are writing fiction or nonfiction, there are various types of editing that would help make your entire book worthy of a wonderful reading experience. There are several editors who will even help you with an idea for your book or help you create a plot for the novel. Few editors will only fix the missed period or typo in every sentence. Based on the level of editing, below are the different kinds of professional book editing services:
Developmental editing –
The developmental editor looks at the big picture and not only the sentences. The good editor will go through the complete book first and provide you feedback on the overall structure of your book and if any changes are required at the structure level. You can hire a developmental editor in the writing phase. Developmental editing assesses the idea of your book and the content and tells you what works (so you can build on it) and what could go better. Once the story or book is perfect at the structural level, developmental editing moves ahead to polish the words and sentences.
In line editing, the book editor goes through each line, focuses on each word, and phrases them to ensure each sentence is well-formed. When you hire a freelance book editor, they also ensure there is smooth transitioning between paragraphs and chapters. The complete focus is on polishing the book.
The copy editor focuses on punctuation, spelling errors, and grammar. Copy editing includes correctly commonly confused words like advice and advice. A freelance editor will also check the consistency in the book. For example, a copy editor will ensure the numbers at every place are either written as numbers (1, 3, 5) or words (one, five). They provide there is consistency with capitalization and hyphenation.
It is a final check of the book before the book goes for printing. If you think your book is polished with no errors, you still hire a proofreader to check for missed typos, missing words, repeated words. Proofreading is a speedy level of book editing.
What are the Things to Consider before Hiring a Book Editor?
Whether you are looking to hire freelance book editors or professional book editors, you need to hire them. Your book’s success will depend on the right editor you hire, and for that, you need to take care of specific points –
The genre the editor specializes in
You should hire a good editor specializing in the genre you have written the book. If you have written fiction, you should look for a fiction editor. An expert editor specializing in a particular area can ask better questions and point out the incorrect information. A good editor specializes in only one or two niches, and you should prefer to work with such editors. If you find freelance editors who have worked on four to five projects and all from different niches, and one you have worked on three projects but all in the same niche (same as yours), you should pick the latter one.
Check the past work
Once you go to social media or LinkedIn and make a post that you are looking for an editor, you will find hundreds of editors interested in working with you. To shortlist a few from the crowd won’t be easy. You can look for a professional book editor with an existing portfolio to showcase – through their website or on their social media page.
Next, you have to verify the claims that the editors are making. Someone may come and tell you that they have edited 15 bestsellers. If you are shortlisting them, you have to verify their claims. If not all, at least the majority of them. You can look at the book’s acknowledgment section (the first few pages of the Kindle version are free to download) and try to find their name. You may also reach the author on social media to confirm the claims of the editors.
Get the sample edit –
Getting the few pages of a book edited is helpful for both the author and the editor. With the sample edit from a professional editor, the author knows how the editor will make the book look better. The editor also gets to know what level of editing is required in the manuscript. It will help both parties decide the price.
You should approach all the shortlisted editors and ask them to edit a few pages. In most cases, the editors will not charge anything for sample editing, and they will edit 2 to 4 pages for you. Some professional editors ask authors to pay for the sample editing. Suppose you find the credential of the professional editor good enough. In that case, you should respect their decision and make the payment to get sample editing.
Look for sample work in detail –
The sample editing may not be enough. Different parts of the books need to be edited in different ways. To have 100% confidence in the work of the editor you are hiring, you should check one book in detail he has edited in the same genre as yours. It will help you make a more informed decision.
During the book editing process, you form a relationship with the editor. It is not like you give them the manuscript, and after X days, the editors return the polished manuscript to you. You form a working relationship with the editor. You interact with them daily, share ideas, explain to them your viewpoint, and so on. Experienced editors listen to your perspective and give you feedback.
You should look for a recommendation from authors directly and understand their working experience with the editor. It is not just related to the quality of the work but the overall experience of working with the professional editor.
What is the Cost of Hiring a Book Editor?
The cost of editing with self-publishing services depends on a lot of factors. The first criteria to be considered are what kind of editing service you are looking for. The developmental editing will cost on the higher side of the band. In contrast, copy editing and line editing may come at a lower cost.
There are different ways an editor may charge you for the editing services. The two most popular editing costs are:
- Cost per word – In this type, the book editor will charge you based on the number of words you have in your manuscript. The cost will depend on whether you want developmental editing, line editing, or proofreading. The cost per word will also rely on the experience of the editor. The price can start anywhere from 30 paise per word to Rs 1 per word.
- Cost per page – The editor will charge you based on the number of pages in your book. The editor will ask you to format the content as per general standards. Most editors keep the font style as Times New Roman and font size as 12. With this formatting, the number of pages is decided for your book. The cost per page can be between Rs 80 and Rs 250.
You will have to find the right editor who has a good number of years of experience and is affordable. It is essential to mention that sometimes even a new editor or someone with only one or two projects can deliver better work. So, it would help if you did not always run after the experience – your focus should be on quality.
In the book publishing process, the maximum cost goes towards editing the book. With publishing, you have a range of options to get your book into the market. For editing, there is also a range, but the starting price is high for most authors.
If you are a first-time author, you should take into account the editing cost. It should not come as a surprise to you at the publishing stage. You should allocate a budget for it.
You cannot skip the editing process just because it is costly. The editor’s skill set brings immense value to your story and the end product – your book.