Choosing your Editor

The following are questions for you, the author, to ask the freelance editor you are considering approaching. Originally by Jenny, for the website Writers Edit

Pexels-photo-220312 onPixabay
Picture by Pexel, on Pixabay.com

What should I ask a prospective editor?

  1. If they have any qualifications or memberships.
    You might prefer someone with the theoretical grounding of a degree or certificate, or someone who upholds the standards of an editing society.
  2. If they have experience or a portfolio.
    Do you want the seasoned veteran who’s been in the game for twenty plus years, or the enthusiastic novice who’s just starting out?
  3. How and what they charge.
    {For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2IyGJ3n}
  4. What systems they use to edit.
    Are they on a Mac or a PC? Do they prefer MS Word, Adobe Acrobat or InDesign (or hard copy)? Be sure that your systems are compatible.
  5. If they respond quickly to enquiries.
    As we said, editing is all about communication, so make sure they’ll give you the time of day rather than ignore your email for a week.
  6. If they seem honest and respectful.
    You want your editor to be upfront, but not insensitive. There’s a difference between telling someone that their writing needs improvement and telling them it’s garbage.
  7. If they genuinely appreciate the story you have to tell.
    Editors who believe in your writing will be more committed to its success, and will thus be more likely to go the extra mile on your behalf.
  8. If they respect the boundaries between author and editor.
    At the end of the day, it’s your work: will they give you the final word, or will they try to steamroll you, based on what they think is right?
  9. If they know what they’re talking about!
    Do they know what a style guide is? Can they justify their editorial decisions? Or are you the one having to explain the difference between en- and em-dashes?

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