What you need to find out from a potential editor before hiring them

When you decide to work with an editor for your book, there can be a few things you may want to know before you commit. Likewise, there is also some information you have to tell the potential editor before you hire them. This can help you determine if the two of you match. But there are some things that can wait until you start talking specifics while other pieces of information need to be part of the discussion from the onset. 

It’s worth noting that there are several categories of books that NY editors work with. These books can be of different lengths, and they can do different types of editing. Therefore, you need to tell the potential editor some crucial pieces of information when you contact them. The editor should also provide key information to help you decide if they are the right person to handle your project. This page discusses what you need to find out from a potential editor before hiring them.

The information about your book

It doesn’t matter if you are quite unsure whether your book is a memoir just because you included a few conversations of some people or it’s a mystery or romance simply because it has elements of both. Understandably, no one can expect you to know at this stage which book sub-category it may best fit under. 

The best thing you can do is to tell the potential editor an idea of the category you are writing in. In this way, an editor can know if they can handle the material. Even better, they may suggest a few similar books they have edited and the type of editing they performed.

If the potential editor is not familiar with the category, they can sometimes do copy editing on your behalf. Remember that they may not be of much help when it comes to structural editing because they don’t have the right experience with that category of books. And, if you are writing a book that is in the category that they don’t deal with at all, they can tell you to find another editor who works with such books.

It’s worth mentioning that editors can handle books of different lengths. Also, they offer different prices depending on the length of the book, so it’s a good idea to tell them the word count so that they can give you an idea of the cost for your project. Unfortunately, the number of pages is not useful because it can depend on the number of words on a page, which can be between 250 and 400 words. Besides, there are also standard lengths for various categories of books.

Book editing

Ideally, if you have been working with a structural editor, then you may need to find the services of a copy editor. Also, if you were with a writing group and may have done several drafts with them, there is a good chance that you have completed the content editing and are not ready for line editing

But if you have just finished your first draft and you need proofreading, then the editor will tell you that the text is not ready for this late stage of editing. They may suggest that you should first deal with the content. As you can see, it makes sense to tell the potential editor the work you have already accomplished so that they can know the type of work that needs to be done. 

There are different types of editing that you can need for your manuscript. But you should always have an idea of where your project is and where you want to be. Therefore, you need to know if you are dealing with the first draft, know the structure or plot and the language that can need some work, and many more. You can also be at a stage where you have written several drafts and it’s time to get a professional editor.

If you are an experienced writer and know some writing aspects that you struggle with, a good editor can precisely provide you the right service you need. On the other, if you are a novice writer, then you just need to tell the editor the writing aspects of your book that you are not quite pleased with. This can help the potential editor determine how to help you.

Any writer desires to experience something from their editors, depending on their experience of writing. A novice writer can require more explanation of the editing than a seasoned writer. A non-fiction writer who wants to switch to fiction can struggle with big elements, such as the plot regardless of how good you are at the sentence and paragraph level. A traditional published writer may also have never worked with a hired editor before, so they find self-publishing a huge challenge. 

It’s also crucial to tell your potential editor your time frame and goals for your book. If you decide your book to be traditionally published, it can be necessary to work on the content and structure rather than get a copy edit. This is because once the traditional publisher accepts your book, they can assign other types of editors to be part of the publication process. 

If the publisher is already interested in your book and wants assistance to revise and resubmit after their specific recommendations, then you should find an editor. Also, you may want to publish before a specific date, event, or anniversary, but the potential editor is busy at the time you contact them, make sure that you tell the editor the flexibility in your deadline. This is useful information that can be relevant to the potential editor. 

Above all, you should always ask your friends and family members for recommendations to the best book editor. Once you find the right editor, you need to be proactive when it comes to sharing your goals and what you expect from the edit regardless of whether or not the editor asks you for this. This can help the potential editor know what you want and can increase the chance that you may get what you desire from the editing process.

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