How to Hire a Freelance Editor in 5 Easy Steps

Hiring a bad editor — or more likely, hiring someone purporting to be an editor but without the credentials — can do more harm than using no editor at all. That’s scary. But it’s no reason to skip editing. Instead, make sure you are hiring the right editor for you. Just follow these 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Gather the names of editors you think you want to work with.

Where do you get the names of editors? Start with other writers you know who have worked with an editor. Ask if they liked their editor,  and if they answer in the affirmative, get the editor’s contact info. If you don’t know any writers personally who have worked with editors, ask around at any writing or publishing groups you can find. You may be surprised by what you can turn up. Read more…

Step 2: Research your potential editor.

If you have completed Step 1: Gather the names of editors you think you want to work with, you now have the names of four to six editors in hand. Just in gathering these few names, you have probably already done some whittling; however, you will want to research some specific criteria before pursuing a professional relationship with your editor. Unfortunately, there are a lot of frauds out there, so look closely. Read more…

Step 3: Call or send an e-mail to your potential editor.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but believe me, knowing how to initiate a business relationship is not intuitive for everyone. You may be overeager and want to share too much, or you may try to keep your e-mail to 140 characters, in which case you’ll be getting a lot of follow-up questions or no response at all. But once again, it’s not so hard when you know what you’re doing. Read more…

Step 4: Ask for a sample edit, cost estimate, and scheduling information.

Finding the right editor for you means more than just finding a qualified editor. You have to determine whether this person is going to meet your needs and expectations — and do so within your budget. Read more…

Step 5: Evaluate what you have learned, then add the crucial element of personality to decide if this is the right editor for you.

The ultimate determinant in whether you have found the right editor for you and your project is something I call workability. Workability encompasses the editor’s qualifications, editing style, time allowed for each client, as well as general personality traits. These four criteria can make the difference between a good editing experience and a bad one. Read more…

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