Who should edit my book?

Choosing your editor, be it for your book, thesis or business blog, takes thought.

Consider:

  • qualifications
    • It’s been easy for someone to say ‘I was good at English at school, I’ll be a good editor’.
    • Things have changed since then: common usage, readers’ expectations and new ways of communicating over-ride so many of the ‘old rules’.
    • Ask about their editing, writing or publishing qualifications, and if they are a member of or accredited by a professional body.
  • experience
    • Editing covers a wide range of skills (structural or developmental, copy or line, proofreading) across a range of industries (publishing, journalism, academia, business, technical, corporate, government) and genres (non-fiction, fantasy, children’s).
      • Can they explain what editing level your project needs? A proficient copyeditor without structural editing skills may miss those things that will make your document shine.
  • client feedback
    • Was the editor recommended to you?
    • Can you relate to the testimonials on their website?
  • standards
    • Do they work to a dictionary and style guide that’s appropriate to your project?
      • If you’re writing for an Australian audience, you’ll want to use an Australian dictionary. If your report needs to cite other sources, can they work with the referencing style you nominate?
    • Will they set up a style sheet for your project? Will they share it with you so that your additions to the writing is consistent?
  • how they work
    • Will they track their changes electronically, and can they help you understand the process? Do they work on hard-copy if that’s what you need? Can they mark up a pdf file?
  • contacts with other professionals
    • Can they recommend a designer or illustrator, a printer or e-publishing expert or software, a traditional or independent publisher to help you complete your project?

That’s your starting point.

Enjoy your writing and your relationship with your editor.

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