How to Find a Good Editor and Do you even need one?

How to find an editor for your book 

As a self-published author, one of your biggest tasks will be finding a good editor for your book. You are going to be trusting what you have written in the hands of someone that does not know you or your work.

This is not only emotionally scary, but is a very a serious investment.

So... how do you find one. Below I will list a few ways:

Editorial Freelancers Association
The Editorial Freelancers Association is a well-respected group based in New York. It has been around for years. You can submit a job posting as well as search for an editor in a geographic area or with a particular expertise (developmental, line editing, proofreading).

This writers’ resource is courtesy of Jane Friedman (a former publishing exec and a brilliant blogger on the future of publishing). Check out Hiveword results for book editor. 

Put freelance editing or a variation thereof in the search box for groups. You will find the Freelance Editing NetworkPublishing and Editing Professionals and many others. Some of these groups require you to “join.”

Author and publishing expert Joanna Penn used Twitter to find her editor, @noveldoctor. Don’t laugh. Twitter can be a great way to make contact with talented folks. It helps if you have a large following yourself as more people will see your Tweet query for a book editor. Try using a hashtag like #editor. Results not guaranteed.

This can also be a rather expensive task. A vast majority of editors charge in one of three ways: by the word, by the line, or by the page.

So how do you find a good editor without breaking the bank? The answer could be as close as your local college or university.

An inexpensive route you could use to find a good editor or proofreader for your work could be to find a retired English teacher, or even a high school English teacher who has enough time to devote to the task of book editing.

English majors and teachers are good because they learn various things about sentence structures, grammar and the like, which could really give your book the advantage it needs to compete in the industry.

If you do decide to go with a company to do the proofreading and editing for your book, be sure to ask to see samples of their work and check out their credibility with others. If they have a long list of unsatisfied customers, this may be a sign that you need to take your money, and your manuscript, elsewhere.

ALSO- I asked some of my FAVORITE Indie authors, and some of them answered me. Jade Varden, Amy Bartol and Tammy Blackwell all said they chose not to hire an editor. Instead they relied soley on their friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. People they could trust and rely on for honest answers and opinions.

I know that many authors choose to just use thier Critique Partners and/or Beta Readers. And this is something that I am currently doing. I have some amazing women who have graciously offered to lend a hand and give me advice on how to make my book better!

So the real question is... is this enough? Do I HAVE to hire a professional editor?
There are MANY who argue that you MUST, though as I mentioned earlier, some of my favorite indie authors didnt...

SOOO- All that being said, if ANY OF YOU know an INEXPENSIVE editor, let me know PLEASE.

I dont have $1000+ to spend on an editor! Not now anyways.

The info would be GREATLY appreciated.

And... then maybe I can hire an editor, if they are not so expensive.


  1. I didn't even think to take it off to an English professor.. that's smart. Teachers don't get paid much, that would be a fun way for them to get some extra pocket money. Does anyone say pocket money anymore? I think I'm too old hat. XD

    1. Yeah, I thought that was a good idea!
      I have an ex English teacher friend... BUT she is writing her own books and doesnt have time to read mine. :(

  2. This post has been successfully the name of true justice! (In the writing world.)

    My plan is to write -- or at least start -- an ebook very soon, so it's info like this that I'd best commit to memory. So, yeah, thanks for this. Truly you are an ally of justice! (In the writing world.)

    ...Aw, heck, why not? You're an ally of justice, period.

  3. Hmm... I'm only using CPs too, but then I don't want to self-publish at this stage.

    And I definitely can't afford the rates charged by editors. :-)

    1. Yes... I know you plan on querying agents soon! And Im hoping that you do get signed with a publisher.

      Maybe I will go that route too, some day. But I plan on following your journey still, to see how you do!! :)

  4. When I get to self-publishing a short story collection, I'll probably bank on winning something in a giveaway. Or relying on my Communication Arts teachers over the years.

    1. Well, thats really good!!
      I dont want to risk hoping that I win something... and then not winning anything. haha

  5. It is true that editors are not cheap. I speak from experience. But it can be an investment that pays for itself many times over. The trick is to find the right editor. And one must keep in mind that the best comma queen alive may not be able to help you structure your story. The best concept / developmental / content editor may not know the difference between a comma and a semi colon. Everyone has their areas of expertise.

    I've spent my life writing, but not necessarily storytelling, so I benefit more from a developmental editor who understands plot, structure, the building blocks of great story, etc. Others may benefit more from editors who excel in grammar.

    But few are adept at proofing their own writing so I recommend--at a minimum--a proofreader for anyone whether they intend to self-publish or query. The more eyes that scan a manuscript, the more errors are caught before that manuscript enters the real world. That's one reason why a larger beta reading or critique group is such a benefit.

    Great post!

    1. Yes, I have thought of this... WHICH kind of editor I would need. See... I think I would need a little of both. Though most of the grammatical stuff has taken care of, that doesnt mean I havent missed something or used past instead of passed, etc.
      ALSO- I think I would benefit quite a lot from a developmental editor, just so that I can make sure my book flows properly. See... I have had my beta readers reading it... and a common issue is that some chapters start to slow down the pace, BUT what is in the chapters needs to be in the book... SO- I need to figure out a way to have it, without slowing the pace down. maybe re-wording it... or putting it somewhere else. Im not sure, but I know an editor could help.

      Great reply though!! Thanks for reading my post

  6. There are great sources you can find online offering great deals and information about book editing services but make sure to deal only with accredited services because of several frauds common online.


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