Everything you should know about hiring a freelance book editor

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freelance book editor

As successful authors already know, you cannot overlook the services of a book editor. You can decide to work with an individual or team of experts to make sure that they look over your content. In this way, they can ensure that things are stylistically and grammatically correct. 

Remember that writers who fail to get the services of freelance book editors risk publishing incorrect information or misspelled words. With this in mind, it makes sense to find a book editor with experience working in the genre of your book. This page discusses everything you should know about hiring a freelance book editor.

Hiring freelance book editors

Understanding how to freelance book editors is now a crucial thing in the self-publishing process. But it’s always hard to find the right freelance book editor that deals with the genre of your book.

If you have finished the initial draft, and are now looking to get a freelance book editor, then you need to know the steps you need to take. The first step is to figure out the type of editing services you want to have for your manuscript. 

There are usually three forms of editors you can find on the market. In most cases, you may consider hiring a developmental editor and a copy editor. A developmental editor refers to a professional who checks the broader aspect, such as the structure, layout, and flow of your book. A good developmental editor can comment on several issues like the setting of the book and many other issues like the character development and plot. This form of feedback can have a huge impact on your writing skills. 

Besides, this kind of editorial feedback can give you direction on the things you have to change to get your book to another level. The book editor can offer detailed guidance on what you need to change and how to do it. This is usually a complicated and time-consuming type of editing process. It’s also the most expensive type of editing you can find out there.

Another kind of editing you can get is called copy editing. The freelance copy editor is responsible for fixing line-level problems in your book. This means that they can fix grammatical errors, and typos, and check the consistency of your book. Unlike developmental editing, copy editing happens to be less intensive.

It cannot be a good idea to publish your book without doing a copy edit. This form of editing can give a detailed list of changes that you have to make. But this doesn’t address structure and plot issues. The good thing is that this kind of editing is usually affordable compared to developmental editing. Also, it often takes less time and effort to complete.

When choosing a freelance book editor, your choice should depend on your preferences and book. With the traditional publishing process, a book goes through  a minimum of a single developmental edit. In most cases, it can be more than one while a copy edit requires at least one edit. Most traditional editors tend to have a large publishing budget, so they can manage to do several edits. On the other hand, a self-publisher can usually seek the most cost-effective way to publish your book.

It’s common for some self-publishers to skip the developmental editing stage and do a copy edit. But missing this crucial editing stage can mean that the book may not be polished enough for your readers. 

You need to get a freelance copy editor to do the editing on your behalf. A book needs to go through a minimum of a single copy edit before you publish it. You can choose to have several copy edits for your book, though you need to do the first one yourself. 

What to look out for before you get a freelance book editor

When you decide to work with a freelance book editor, qualifications may sometimes not be a determining factor. Once you get the services of a developmental editor, you will realize that there is no standard qualification. Therefore, the onus is always on you to make sure that you are getting the best freelance book editor on the market. Still, there are a couple of things you should consider that can show that the book editor is a good fit.  

A graduate-level qualification is usually a good indicator that the potential freelance book editor is a good fit. This means the editor can have a good understanding of the type of editing you need to improve your book.

In most cases, the experience of a book editor tends to outweigh their qualifications. You can find potential book editors with many years of experience but they don’t have the right qualifications. An experienced book editor can easily edit several books a year. This editorial experience is crucial and outweighs any qualifications.

You should check the testimonials of the editor before hiring them. A good freelance book editor can have several satisfied clients. They can be happy enough to refer you to their clients or at least direct you to testimonials. 

Therefore, if you decide to work with a freelance book  editor, then you need to request a list of testimonials. Aside from this, you can ask them to provide a list of their previous clients whose book is similar to your writing. The potential book editor may not offer a full list because of privacy issues, but they can give something to note. Any freelance book editor who refuses to provide testimonials should be a red flag. 

In conclusion, it’s always a complicated process to find the right book editor. The chances of getting the correct book editor who can complete the project within the time frame that meets your needs can sometimes be overwhelming. This means that any editing you can find may need some form of compromise. What is important is to make sure you know the elements of the editing process you need for your book and which ones you are ready to compromise.