Now—*puts on editor hat*—let’s get to business.
With so many changes to publishing, the role of a freelance editor has become more in demand than ever before. Authors can do a quick Google search to find an editor for any plethora (how fun is that word?) of reasons. Perhaps they want a second pair of eyes to critique the story. Or maybe they’re looking for the full package of edits before they self-publish their book. Or maybe they’re just looking for someone to give guidance on how the industry works in today’s ever changing publishing world.
The most exciting part of finding a freelance editor is that you, the author, can choose who you want to work with. Yet, this can also be an intimidating choice. How do you find the editor that’s right for you?
Thus, I bring you 3 tips to use while searching for a freelance editor…
1. Research. I know, after all the research you’ve put into your story, the industry, the various publishing choices, the word ‘research’ probably has you grimacing. But the truth is, there are a lot of editors out there. Don’t limit yourself to only scrolling through the first few who pop up in an internet search. Ask fellow authors (especially those who work in a similar genre!) who they work with—or who they’ve heard good things about.
You also want to find an editor who has the publishing credentials that meet your standards. A bio page should give you a sense of what that editor has worked on in the past. If not, don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials! A professional editor should have them available.
2. Find the editor who is passionate about your work—who can’t wait to dive in and immerse themselves in your story. I’ll use myself as an example. I love my job. Why? Because I work with authors and stories that I love. If that passion and intrigue isn’t there, it’s not fair to me or the author if I’m simply trying to fill a quota. You want someone who you can build a relationship with—someone who wants that book to succeed just as much as you do! Don’t be afraid to take your time in searching for the editor who will act as a partner in helping to make your story the best it can be.
3. Know what services you would like from an editor before you contact them. Look at the services they offer and be clear about which option you are hoping to work with the editor on. Time is a large factor in edits. If it takes four emails to just figure out what types of edits an author is looking for, there’s a good chance I’ll pass on the project. While there are exceptions to every rule, this would most likely raise a red flag that an author isn’t really ready, or prepared, to begin the editorial process.
I’ll use myself as an example again. I offer the following services to authors:
- Content Critiques: These include a detailed editorial letter for authors who want insight/feedback on their manuscript.
- Phone or Skype Consultations: This includes follow up phone calls to discuss revisions, brainstorming, questions regarding the publishing industry, and/or advise on how to take the next steps in reaching your goal.
- Developmental edits: These consist of an extensive edits focusing on the work as a whole.
- Line Edits: Line edits take a deeper look at the prose/dialogue of the manuscript. I look at each sentence isolated and as a part of the paragraph, the scene, the book as a whole.
After having researched (there’s that word again!) my site, know which service you want. It’ll make both our lives a lot easier and let us get to the fun part faster!
These may seem like fairly simple tips, but they’ll go a long way in helping you make your decision on who the right editor is for you.
With that said, I’ll close this post with my motto: Behind every great book is a great partnership–an author who has a dream and the editor who helps refine it.
Mallory will read just about anything—except horror. She’s especially on the look out for historical romance, mystery, sci-fi, urban fantasy, speculative fiction, and dark paranormals. More than anything, she loves character driven stories. Make her believe in your characters— give them real depth and vulnerabilities and quirks—and she’ll be putty in your hands.
You can follow her on Twitter @MalloryBraus or visit her website at mallorybraus.com
And, saving the best for last:
Mallory is offering a special goody. If you contact her between August 6 critique or consultation, she’s offering a 10% reduction to her pricing if you mutually agree to work together. In your email, make sure to reference the Nine Naughty Novelists to redeem the goody!