Thursday, September 5, 2013

How to find an editor

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because it’s about finding an editor, not being one.

Whether submitting to publishers or agents (or for authors who publish independently), finding an editor has never been more important. The publishing industry no longer spends time or money developing new talent, so the new talent must develop itself.

Luckily, based on Writer Abroad’s experience, independent editors are relatively easy to find these days. With more publishers downsizing, there is a huge selection of editors eager to find work. But how does a writer find the right editor?

Writer Abroad had this dilemma a few months ago. So she wanted to share her editor search process with you.

At first, she researched websites like The Independent Editors Group. She read the bios of the editors and determined which editors might be right for her project. But rather than email them cold, she went to LinkedIn to determine if she knew someone who knew her chosen editors.

Turned out she did. One of her contacts on LinkedIn highly recommended one particular editor from The Independent Editors Group. So Writer Abroad was connected with her. This editor agreed to read the first 50 pages of her book. However, it turned out she was not the right editor for the book, as she preferred to do structural editing rather than copyediting.

So back to the drawing board.

Writer Abroad began emailing authors she knew (and whose work she respected) to ask if they had copyeditor recommendations (note: it’s very important to know what kind of editing you are lookingfor to begin with). One author Writer Abroad knew gave her the contact info for the editor at Bloomsbury who had edited her book. This editor was now working independently, however, the timing didn’t work out as she was very busy.

So this same author gave Writer Abroad another editor she knew and this one turned out to be a perfect match. After reading first part of Writer Abroad’s book, this editor already had initial thoughts that Writer Abroad loved as well as a reasonable price, so Writer Abroad hired her to copyedit her book.

It’s not a straightforward process to find an editor, but Writer Abroad thinks the most important thing writers can do from the first day they call themselves a writer is to network with other writers and publishing professionals. That way, when you’re finally ready, you’ll have trusted people that can help you out.

How did you find your editor?


  1. I have just finished working with a fab editor; she was recommended to me. I am not great at dotting the i's and crossing the t's, but boy this woman was a fiend. I also had hundreds of URLs in the book and she checked every single one of them, made sure they were all in the same format etc. etc. She also re-wrote sentences for clarity (first checking with me) and everything in between. It's essential to have a good editor and it's such a relief for writers like me.

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  2. Seems like a daunting process to find the right fit. Thanks for posting this!

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