When seeking a professional editor, you need a partner for your manuscript. Many freelancers claim that they have editing skills. As you have so many options for hiring editing help online, beware of the red flags you may encounter.
Seeking an editor is like searching for a new mate. Set your boundaries and expectations first. Ask the right editor questions first.
Below are the red flags that your editor
may not be is NOT right for you.
Beware the person you are considering if they have:
No knowledge or experience editing your subject matter
Do not hire an editor who is not knowledgeable in editing your subject matter. Your editor needs to be familiar with your type of writing style, your genre & subgenre, your content & topics, and your intended audience.
2. No experience editing
Don’t be anyone’s guinea pig. You have invested your time and energy into your writing. Give it the final love and attention it deserves.
3. No expertise regarding the stages of editing
Different editors provide unique skills during different stages of editing. Professional editors are specialists who can significantly smooth and improve your writing.
- Structural, Developmental, Substantive Editing
- Line Editing
- Copy Editing
4. No training or certification as an editor
You need an editor who can
- Tell you what you need
- Clarify what you want
- Identify where you are in the editing process
Ensure your editor provides this information as it is vital to determine if they are the right person for you.
5. No samples of editing success
If a freelancer claims they are unable to provide examples of their work due to confidentiality and non-disclosure, this is a definite red flag. Any editor worth considering will gladly provide you with references, examples, or samples of their work. The easiest solution is to request a free editing sample of your writing.
Otherwise, buyer beware.
6. No standard operating procedure for editing and delivery
Editors provide professional services and prices based upon your
- Level of editing required
- Desired services
- Standards of editing according to where you are in the editing process
Although the methods of communication and delivery may vary from editor to editor, there should be no difficulty in answering your questions or quickly describing what you can expect.
If your potential editor cannot provide clear communication and processes, this is a red flag.
7. No guarantee for editing services provided
What happens if they return a manuscript with mistakes? What do they promise? How do they back it?
These are important questions. Make sure that your editor has an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction. Find out what they will do to ensure they also satisfy you with their work.
8. No prices outlined with an explanation of their calculations
Pricing is very important. You should discuss this upfront.
9. No timelines for delivery of manuscripts
Every editor worth their fees knows how to calculate their fees and delivery times. If they can’t give you an estimated delivery time, this is a sure sign of their lack of experience.
10. No “bedside manner” for your needs as an author
Only work with an editor you trust. Find out how it “feels” to work them via their client testimonials, examples of work, and their personal editing sample of your writing. If you are uncertain, try another editor before you commit to investing extensive time, energy, and money.
What You should REQUIRE from Your Editor
Editing is an enormous investment. Thus, you have a right to high quality. When hiring a professional editor, request:
- Editing services plus a professional evaluation of your writing and presentation
- Identification of your manuscript’s key elements with confirmation that they are in the right location
- Instructions on how to strengthen your writing
- Word count evaluations for each section to ensure balance
- Appropriate for your genre & presentation
- Correctly paced with support material
- Assessment of each chapter
- Determine if each section is balanced, engaging, and appropriate
- Objectively edited
- Professional Summary Letter outlining
- What you do well
- Explanations of what you need to change and why
Thus, beware of anyone who claims to be an editor who has
- No knowledge or experience editing your subject matter
- No experience editing
- No expertise regarding the stages of editing
- No training or certification as an editor
- No samples of editing success
- No standard operating procedure for editing and delivery
- No guarantee for editing services provided
- No established prices or standards
- No timelines for delivery of manuscripts
- No “bedside manner” for your needs as an author
Find out if we have the right editor for you by requesting a free sample edit today!