So you’ve finished your manuscript, you’ve written and rewritten, you’ve had beta readers test it, you’ve made every member of your family read it, and then you’ve rewritten it some more, what is the next step? A next step would be to consider looking for a good editor.
Before you begin your search, you need to decide what type of editor you need. There are two basic types of editors: Developmental and Copy.
Developmental editors provide a more thorough examination of your manuscript. Their edits range from word choice and phrasing to major plot holes. These are the heavy edits that can lead to a major rewrite. These editors will, hopefully, have both your intended goals and audience in mind as well as professional standards and industry expectations. Since there is a chance that the manuscript will go through an overhaul after this editing session, it would make more sense to make use of a developmental editor before turning to a copy editor.
Copy editors are there to polish your piece. They will help with sentence structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation and all those important nit-picky rules that readers care about. Grammar is hard! But luckily Copy Editors are there to help! They will also help you with some of the crucial details that lead to clarity in your writing like transitions, subject-verb agreement, slang and vernacular language, accuracy of references and footnotes, and errors in continuity, just to name a few. Additionally, they will make sure that your manuscript is formatted correctly (including those tricky running headers). It is those tasks that make a copy editor different from a proof reader, who will stick strictly to grammar and spelling.
Try an editor finding service:
There are a lot of services out there dedicated to matching editors to authors. Most of them are paid services, but this option may be worth the cost. They are often tied to reputable editors, agencies, publishers, and companies.
Here is a list of just a few that I found:
Try one of these lists of resources and editors:
Ask around. Pick the minds of other authors you know or join a writers group online and ask them where they found their editors. Read the bios and interviews of your favorite authors and see who their editor was and if you can find out how they were connected to them. You can even ask on twitter; there are a lot of authors and editors on Twitter.
No seriously! Never underestimate the power of google, but don’t just choose the first result the search engine spits out. Make sure to check reviews and make sure you have all the information you need before you decide that an editor is for you.
Pricing is really individualized per editor or editing service. Some editors charge a few cents per word, or a few dollars per thousand words, others by page count or by the hour. Some editors will offer to edit a few free pages so that you can get a feel for their services, but don’t expect or rely on this, especially from busy or high-demand editors. Many of the editing services offer an individualized quote per project. As with all industry, the more prestigious the editor or editing service, the pricier it will be. You just have to decide whether that is worth it for you or not. The price may be an indication that the editor is in fact top notch, but you may find that a more reasonably priced editor just perfect for you.
You should also look and see what genres a potential editor is comfortable working in and see if you can find out which authors they have worked with in the past. The most important thing is choosing an editor who will give your manuscript their full effort and make sure it comes out as the best version of itself.
BookHive Corp. does beta reader editorial research for authors with Fiction (all kinds), YA/Middle Grade & Memoir manuscripts.
$699 for 8-10 beta readers, $1,099 for 16-18 beta readers.
The results are a 35+ page report full of quantitative and qualitative feedback.
Kim Batchelor is a recent graduate of University of Michigan and avid consumer of media. She is the Buzz Manager at BookHive and is working on creating her own blog.