Updated: Oct 11, 2019
So, you've finally decided that your book is in need of a professional editor. Great! Now comes the challenge of finding the right person for you and your project. Where do you even begin? There are hundreds, if not, thousands of talented, experienced editors on the market, so sifting through the masses to find the perfect one for you can definitely be a struggle. Below are a few tips on finding editors that can help ease your stress and make the search a million times easier.
Figuring out exactly where to find editors is probably just as hard as picking the perfect one for your project. Most book editors work in the freelance realm, which means they work as independent contractors, separate from the tethers of publishing companies. If you're self-publishing your book, this is most likely the type of editor you'll end up hiring. Finding a quality freelance editor takes some time and research; the editing process is not a cheap venture by any means, so it only makes sense to take your time in selecting someone you're comfortable with. Below are a few places that are sure to have experienced editors waiting for writers like you.
Freelance websites: Freelance websites, like Fiverr and Upwork, provide an expansive list of editors that are available to work with you. The upside to these sites is the sheer amount of editors that are at your disposal. When you post a job onto Upwork or inquire about services from an editor on Fiverr, you are sure to receive many responses from eager professionals, which will allow you to easily choose an editor that is best for you. The downside is that quality is not always guaranteed. Fiverr, for example, bases their entire business model off of clients hiring freelancers for services starting at $5. While this may be great for writers on a tight budget, the chances of you receiving quality work from your editor at that price is slim. If you do decide to go the Fiverr route, I'd suggest using FiverrPro, which provides a list of trusted professionals who are verified by Fiverr. The only potential downside to this is that you'll most likely end up paying more for a quality editor. But remember: You get what you pay for. Upwork, on the other hand, requires freelancers to submit an application and be approved before they are even listed as a potential option for clients; this ensures that the editor you are hiring has some experience and isn't pinning themselves as something they're not to make a quick buck. It is still possible, however, that you will come across an editor that may seem perfect for your project but will not deliver the work that you both agreed on. With hiring anyone over the internet, there's never a 100% guarantee that you'll receive the work you were expecting.
Professional associations: Another way to find freelancers is to check out member directories on professional associations, like the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), ACES: The Society for Editors, or the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE). These associations require members to pay annual dues, so this is yet another way you can ensure that the editor you hire is serious about their craft. I doubt anyone would pay hundreds of dollars in dues if they weren't really interested in the work. Associations like these also provide their members with newsletters and online classes that help to educate and cultivate efficient professionals. With possibly thousands of editors to choose from, it can seem virtually impossible to pick one, so associations will often host their own job boards that perspective clients can post to and have available editors contact them directly. It takes most of the leg work out of sifting through lengthy lists of potentials online.
Social media: Probably the most entertaining way to find any type of freelancer is on social media. Nowadays, everyone is active on at least one social media platform, which means it's not difficult at all to find a freelancer online. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the top websites that most freelancer editors use to market themselves, but you may have some luck with Pinterest or even Youtube if your search takes you that far. With social media, you can easily interact with different editors through their page by messaging them directly or having quick access to their website. The great thing about social media is that you can also get a glimpse into who your editor is as a person from the posts they share. The process of editing a book is a lengthy one, so you want to make sure that the editor you choose is someone you wouldn't mind being in close contact with for an extended period of time.
Whether you're writing a book, blog posts, or content for a website, an editor's expertise is essential in creating polished copy that will wow your readers. While the search may seem daunting at first, there are many places on the world wide web that are home to some of the industry's most efficient editors. Take your time, and find the editor that is perfect for your project!
Let me know in the comments what criteria you look for in an editor, and as always, subscribe for more tips, tricks, and advice!