If you do an Internet search, you will find innumerable book editors out there. It can be overwhelming trying to sort through them. And like any other business, editors and writers range from incompetent to excellent. No matter who you choose to edit your manuscript, here are some questions to consider:
1) How long has the editor been in business?
I have been editing for 18 years.
2) Has the editor also worked as a writer? If not, are you confident in his or her ability to understand the writer’s unique concerns?
I have worked as a writer for 20 years, in nearly every capacity, and still do.
3) Has the editor ever worked for a literary agent before?
I worked for a literary agent for two years.
4) Is the editor really a writer who does editing on the side?
I am a full-time editor.
5) Will you have a solid price in place before the editor begins work on your manuscript?
You will know the exact cost of your project before starting. Unlike other companies who give “estimates,” I give you an exact number.
6) Does the editor have an advanced degree (higher than a bachelor’s) in writing, editing, or publishing?
I have a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in publishing.
7) Will the editor offer you a sample edit of your own work?
Unlike many editorial companies, I am happy to provide a sample edit.
8) Does the editor keep up with the latest trends in publishing and continuously work to improve his or her book and manuscript editing skills?
Many professions (especially in the medical field) actually require employees to take continuing education classes. I believe that book editors should too. I recently completed a short story class at UCLA and a class with the renowned writing teacher Christine Hemp at the University of Iowa. I also keep abreast of publishing trends by attending Book Expo America, the largest publishing conference in the world, and by subscribing to numerous industry publications.