There are certain important things every writer should look for when hiring an editor. Not all editors and editing companies are created equal. So sorting through the editorial slush pile, there are things you can look for that will ensure a professional and positive editing experience.

One thing writers must decide before looking for a book or document editor is whether to pay by the hour or by the project. Both exist in the editorial services field, but there is a powerful argument for writers to choose the latter.

Consider this: Say you hire an editor to edit your book by the hour.

That editor is then going to download your manuscript of 60,000 words, and give you a date he or she expects to have it ready.

Now, let’s say that editor has an emergency during the editing process. What do you do? That’s the challenge of hiring an individual rather than a company. It presents the challenge of how to account for that editor’s hours. Do you pay her anyway and then have to find someone else? What if that editor works a few hours each day, but forgets to write his start and end time?

Now she has to make up an invoice based on memory. As far as price, what if you are on a budget, and the editor comes back to you and tells you it took more hours than planned? Then it comes to more than your desired budget. Last, is there any way to verify the actual time that editor has spent on your book or other project?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

As an editor with, I know that if the absolute worst happens and I have to abandon a project (it has not happened yet!) another professional, qualified editor can take over. And when I say professional and qualified, let me tell you—the screening process to get hired with FirstEditing was brutal!

There are a lot of benefits for the writer in hiring an editing company rather than an individual, one of which is that we guarantee our work. It means that if after the editing job is complete and you have questions, you can still communicate with your editor about them.

We stand by our work. If something isn’t right, we’ll fix it. We also give you a firm deadline, so you know exactly when to expect your document back. And, importantly, you will know the cost in advance.

So, your best bet as a writer is to hire an editor from an editorial services company that is professional, such as Besides pairing you with a qualified editor, offers a guarantee on its work, and gives you a firm price and deadline.

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