- Ask your author friends for recommendations. It’s one thing to hop online and find an editor’s website, but talking to someone who has worked with that editor will tell you more than the website will.
- Talk to the editor via e-mail or on the phone and get a feel for their personality and work ethic. If you want someone who’s friendly and outgoing or if you want someone who’s more reserved and professional, these conversations will be invaluable in helping you find the right match.
- See if the editor will give a sample edit. Some will do a few pages for free or they’ll offer twenty pages at a discount so you can get a feel for the kind of work they do. These sample edits should come with no obligation to you to hire them—if you don’t like what they’ve done, you should be free to go elsewhere.
- If you have concerns, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. A good editor will explain their process or address other issues you may be having. I emphasize “don’t be afraid to ask” because some authors feel that they just have to accept what the editor says with no explanation, but often, a quick Q & A exchange makes all the difference in the success of the relationship.
- Keep in mind that you’re not married to your editor. If you find someone else you like better, it is all right to take your manuscript somewhere else, once any agreements have been reached or resolved.
- Also keep in mind that editors are human, and no one editor will find every single mistake. That being said, there are some mistakes an editor should never let slip past them, and as you’re auditioning a new editor, you’ll want to evaluate their skill level and make sure that they are really doing a good job for you.
President of Trifecta Books
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