How to Find Your Perfect Editor Match

Or, How to Find the Best Editor for Your Indie Book

Finding your perfect editing match is easier than you think – if you do a few things first.

You’ve written your book, and now you’re thinking about getting it published. But before you take that exciting leap into the world of self-publishing, you realize you have to tackle one thing first, and that’s getting your book edited. Or proofed. Or reviewed for big picture issues to be fixed. Or having a blurb written for the back cover…

You get the picture. There’s a lot to do before you hit publish, and you now need to find someone who can help. Maybe you’ve worked with editors before and been let down. Maybe you’ve never worked with an editor before and don’t know how to begin. These tips will help you create the dream team that’s right for you.

Tip 1: Do some research, and ask for referrals.

Whether you’re new to writing or you’ve been doing it a while, it’s worth joining some writers’ groups online and in person so you can get tips as you work on your book. These groups will have lots of suggestions for editors they like, and you can begin gathering those names anytime—even months before you’re ready to hire someone.

As you research editors, take these steps:

  • Take notice of anyone who gets referred frequently. It’s likely that person or team is well liked and reliable.
  • Check out reviews. Satisfied clients are happy to share their positive experiences, and you can always reach out to the author directly if you have questions about how well they liked their editor.
  • Ask writers you know (and love) who they use. If you know someone who’s already publishing, find out who they use for their editing and author services.

Tip 2: Define what type of working relationship you want with your editor.

A great editor isn’t just someone who’s good with words and style. That person should be a good partner—kind of like a thriving friendship or romance. You don’t just swipe right or left and leave things to chance, not if you want a long-term partnership that makes your book its best.

But every editor is different, and so is every author. To find a good match for your book, start by thinking about what kind of situation will suit you well.

  • Do you want to have lots of email and phone interactions?
  • Does it help to have copious written notes to refer to as you revise?
  • Are you looking for someone who ‘does it all’?
  • What matters more to you — super-fast turnarounds (which may be priced with rush fees), or a lower price (which may mean you’ll need to book far in advance)?

All these questions and more can help you define what you hope to get out of the relationship, and that’ll make it easier for you and the editors you speak with to see if the connection will be a great fit.

Which brings us to the next tip.

Tip 3: Connect with several editors before making your choice.

When working with an editor for the first time, it’s smart to learn what options you have. While you can’t exactly interview 50 people to find your dream editor, think about chatting with at least 3-5 different people before you hire someone. This gives you a sense of what you can expect, and you can learn if anyone’s offering something that’s especially appealing to you.

A great way to find the best fit is to request a sample edit. Editors like this because they can see your style and assess what services would fit you best. Authors like this because they can see how different editors approach the process.

A few notes about sample edits:

  • Expect to get a short sample back. Here at Two Birds, we edit about 1,000-1,200 words from the middle of your book to give us a good idea of your writing, and provide recommendations based on what we’re seeing as well as any other services you ask us about.
  • Ask if there’s a fee. Some editors charge for this, and understandably so. It is their time, after all. Two Birds doesn’t, and some others don’t either. It’s a matter of preference. We want to be sure there’s a good fit before we work with you.
  • Compare what you get. Remember that every editor is unique, and so are you. Some people like blunt comments that pull no punches. Others prefer a gentler touch. Some people like specific suggestions to fix problems in the text. Others want their editor to simply say, “You need more setting details here,” and allow you to figure out what those details should be. Comparing samples allows you to figure out what you want, which makes the process go smoother.

Request a sample edit — or ask us questions anytime!

Finding the right match between author and editor is something that matters to us here at Two Birds Author Services. We want you to have confidence that we’re right for you. That’s why we offer complimentary sample edits, answers to your questions by email, and even a quick call to help you narrow down your choice of editor for your next book. If it doesn’t seem like a natural fit to us, we’ll tell you. That way, you can be assured you’re getting honest, helpful feedback from the get-go.

Interested in possibly working with us? Contact us today, and let us know what you’re working on, and how we can help! We’ll get answers back to you within one business day, and a sample edit back within 3-4 business days.

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