There are writers who are also editors, and then there are writers who are strictly writers. If you happen to be in the latter group, then chances are you’ve probably met with some frustration here and there throughout your writing career from clients who send work back due to various grammatical errors that you have to figure out how to fix yourself.
Now, you’re striking out on your own, be that in the form of a website/blog, or a book. Sure, word processing software goes a long way in terms of correcting things like spelling, but true professional polish can only come in the form of an actual, human editor. There are several things you should take into consideration when it comes to the process of hiring an editor to look over your work.
There’s more than one sort of editor.
Hiring someone who does general editing to fix what needs fixing so that you can move on to getting your work seen would certainly be the easiest scenario. Yet (no pun intended) that could still leave a lot of room for error, especially when it comes to book editing. There are several categories within the editing field:
- Developmental editing is for when you need the tone and plot evolution critiqued. This might or might not include checking grammar – even if it does, though, it’s not meant to be at a detailed level.
- Line editing, which is more familiarly known as copyediting, is what you’d want if it’s detailed content consistency, sentence structure/grammar/spelling/punctuation that you’re looking to have corrected.
- Proofreading means evaluating writing at more of a cursory level for grammar, punctuation, and errors of that nature.
Note that these categories can sometimes overlap each other (with price elevating accordingly), depending on the agreement/contract that you and your chosen editor agree to.
Perfection is difficult to attain.
We’ve all seen articles and books released for and by major publications that have the occasional typographical error in them. Therefore, hope, but don’t expect everything to be noticed and corrected, no matter how professional the editor you hire is. So, you might want to hire an editor initially, and then use a browser extension for a backup. Newer versions of Microsoft Word also have a grammar check. Whether or not either/both of these methods yield reliable results will be up to your own discernment
Finding “the one.”
Assuming you’ve already established your budget, there are a bunch of different ways you could go about the hiring process. You could…
Post an online advertisement via known job boards such as:
Join a platform for the same reasons:
Utilize your social media networks, with the most applicable in this case being LinkedIn.
As to the specifics beyond a resumé, ask for an editing sample – editors should have one to show as part of their portfolios. Also, evaluate their testimonials, even perhaps contact some of them. Be thorough in your research before you make that final hiring decision, reasonable and receptive with your chosen editor throughout the actual process , and the results should speak for themselves.
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