How To Find An Editor

man writing at desk illustrating an article on how to find an editorIf your book is being published in the traditional way you won’t have to worry about how to find an editor.

Your publishing company will appoint an editor to edit your work.

This will probably be someone they have used before and whose work they have come to know and trust.

Your editors task will be to search out structural, story and other problems.

You should welcome this – a good editor can improve your book hugely and dreams apart, no writer is perfect.

However, if you are self-publishing, appointing an editor is one of the many tasks you will find yourself responsible for.

In an ideal world all writers would be able to afford the best of editors. However we are not in an ideal world.

In this post recession world it is writers and artists who tend to feel the bite in their income.

Good editors can be expensive and sadly, so can bad ones.

Spend some time searching for a good editor. A great place to start is here on Kboards.

Also join some writers groups on social media forums and ask for recommendations.

Ask for references and samples. A good editor will often do a sample edit on your work so you can see what they are offering.

But what if you can’t afford editing?

If you have made the decision to try self-publishing and cannot afford an editor then the question is would you be better off waiting until you can?

My answer would be yes. No matter how tiny your budget is I think you should prioritize editing.

There are people who will perform editing work for you quite cheaply. If you can wait until you can get the money together then that is your best option.


Man working on a laptop sitting on a bench man writing at desk illustrating an article on how to find an editorCheaper editors may be gaining experience by charging less and their work will not be of the highest professional standard yet.

But they might be willing to work very hard in order to build their portfolio of writer references.

At the very least they can provide a fresh eye to look over your work and therefore see errors that you miss.

Remember, that as writers we can be too close to our work to get a clear view.

It is amazing how easy it is to miss glaring errors in our own work! 

It is important to realize this.

You don’t want your readers, or other writers posting snide remarks in your reviews.

Before hiring any editor you should ask for samples of their work and check their references by contacting the writers of books they have edited.


If you really don’t have any money then you might consider swapping editing services with a fellow writer who is the same financial boat as you are.

Be very careful here. You don’t want to find yourself trying to edit a complete load of unintelligible rubbish.

Badly written work can take a long time to edit so don’t be stung.

Exchange samples first so that you both have a clear idea of the work involved and know that your books are of a similar standard.


If you have no budget at all for editing and don’t know any writers to trade with then you need to call on a friend and ask for a favour.

Remember reading and editing a book for you is a big favour so don’t forget to return this favour.

You will wear out friends very quickly if you use them badly.

Good friends are worth their weight in gold.

magnifying glass on a book llustrating an article on how to find an editor Before you ask your friend – use your spell checker and check through your work at least three times before you give it to them.

Ask your friend to use a review feature such as the track changes option that Microsoft word has.

This gives you the option to accept or reject changes and is an excellent feature for writers.

Don’t reject changes quickly, read carefully – right the way through and assess each suggestion.

Sleep on them before acting. Sometimes it is the change we feel most strongly averse to that is the one that really needs to be done.


Don’t throw out suggestions without at least sleeping on them. One of the mistakes beginner writers make is to think every word is precious. This is not the case, words can and should be changed and deleted in the interests of improving the work.


The last thing you can do is to read your work aloud.

It takes time but believe me you will always, always, find a typo or three, hiding in the small print.

If you don’t find it there will be plenty of people out there who will!

At the end of the day my best advice to anyone self-publishing is to pay a good editor.

Your reputation as a writer is precious and you don’t want to ruin it before you’ve even begun.

By the way if you are just beginning your writing journey I recommend you read this.

If you are stuck for ideas try some writing exercises – they do work.

Best of luck!


P.S. All the creative writing tips and information are provided here free for you. All I ask is that you leave a comment in the box and like, or share so that others may learn too.


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