How to Choose an Editor

How to Choose an Editor.

Hiring an editor who you have not previously worked with can be a daunting task. Various factors come into play, including skillset, reputation, cost, and compatibility. However, I can assure you that choose the perfect editor for your particular project can actually be an enjoyable process. In particular, posing a few important questions and considering a few crucial factors will greatly simplify your journey.


When researching editors, the first question to keep in mind is if this particular editor possesses the right skillset for the job. What do they specialize in? For example, although I provide copy editing, stylistic editing, and proofreading, I do not provide developmental editing services. However, if you wish, I can refer you to one of my colleagues who specialize in this field. In addition, consider which genre the editors work in. I work with both fiction and non-fiction, however, my expertise lies in literary fiction, as well as plain language and inclusive language. I do not take on projects, such as Young Adult (YA) novels or children’s books. That said, I can definitely refer you to a fellow colleague.


Next, consider the reputation of an editor. Are they well-known in the editing sphere? Have they blogged about editing in professional industry blogs? Are they members of professional editing organizations? One way is to check for a profile on Editors Canada’s Online Directory of Editors. Do they have a website?


Although understandably cost is a factor when hiring an editor, the editing process does require investment. A throughout edit may take many hours, and most editors charge standard industry rates. Admittedly it may be possible to find slightly lower rates, but these may often be from beginner editors who are just starting to build their professional portfolios. While many beginner editors provide quality work, it is possible they may not yet possess the experience that is required for your project. Ultimately, the choice is yours.


Finally, consider compatibility with an editor. This is a working relationship and you may be working closely together for quite a long time. Do you feel comfortable with the editor? Do you feel comfortable with their suggested edits? Are they willing to discuss these changes and explain how they came to these conclusions? How do they query, or, in other words, how do they approach you with questions? How is their communication via email, telephone, or video conferencing? Do you feel understood as an author?



Was this helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts! For copy editing and stylistic editing projects, please visit my copy editing and stylistic editing pages, which list my experience and rates. Questions? Comments? Contact me for more information about your project needs.

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