Writing a novel is a hard enough task, let alone trying to find the perfect editor for your book. Nowadays, it seems like there are so many freelance editors and small editing businesses out there, but which one is the right one for you?
There are a plethora of factors to take into consideration when searching for an editor: price, what is their editing style, what type of editing you need, does their personality mesh well with yours, and are you just trying to build a business relationship or a friendship as well? Having a good relationship with your chosen editor is vital to making sure that your novel turns out how you imagined it would.
With all of these thoughts swirling through your mind, it can be hard to determine if an editor is “the one.” Here are five tips to help decide if an editor is a good fit for you.
- You feel like you are talking to a friend, not just a business partner. When you are building a solid relationship with your editor, it should never feel like they are only there for you from a business standpoint. They should be in your corner every step of the way. If you feel like you’ve become great friends with your editor, then you’ve found the one for you!
- They understand you and your writing style. An editor’s job is to elevate your writing. But if they don’t understand your personal writing style, they may be suggesting changes that won’t flow well or make sense to your readers. Every author’s unique style is different; it is essential that whoever you chose to edit your manuscript has a good feel for your writing style. Stephen King and James Patterson are both fantastic authors, but they have drastically different writing styles.
- Your editor keeps in touch throughout the editing process. So, you’ve chosen an editor, handed off your manuscript, and now…crickets. Handing over your manuscript is a nerve-wracking task, and an editor must keep in touch. Your editor should be updating you periodically on how the editing is going, and they should ideally be asking questions regarding your writing style and choices.
- They aren’t trying to impose their own thoughts and story ideas into your book. Your book is your personal vision and creation — no one else’s if your editor is suggesting changes that seem like they’re manipulating the story into their own vision, run! That editor is not the right one for you! Editors are here to develop your ideas, not their own.
- Their goal is to make your story the best it can be. An editor’s goal should always be to help refine your story into the masterpiece you’ve envisioned it to be. They are one of the last people to provide you with advice and feedback; elevating your writing should be their primary focus. If they are just in it for the money, or they don’t seem like they care if your book does well, dump them.
Finding the right editor can be difficult, but if you keep these five tips in mind, you’ll find the right one before you know it. And remember, if an editor isn’t living up to your expectations, it’s okay to dump them.