Six Factors to Consider While Hiring a Manuscript Editor


Writing, revising, and rewriting your manuscript can be considered some of the most taxing tasks undertaken by an author. While every author can assure that they are very thorough while writing and editing their manuscript, there is always room for some improvement.

The best way to boost the accuracy and potential of your manuscript is to ask a professional editor for your manuscript. While having an editor for your book can have several benefits, picking an ideal professional from the crowd is yet another challenge.

Instead of letting all the questions and possibilities overwhelm you, here are some of the most important factors you must make sure to consider.

Know Your Budget

One of the most important things you must know is that editors do not come cheap. After all, they are not your average friend from the study circle who can read your manuscript as a favour only to point out a few grammatical errors.

An editor is a professional who may have spent years studying the language and excelling their editing skills to gain recognition in the industry. They understand the worth of their talent and charge for their services accordingly.

Most book editors typically charge by the word, but some may charge by the hour. It is important to clarify the payment terms in a contract before commencing the work to avoid any miscommunication down the lane. 

Considering all these factors will help you hire the editor that not only fits your needs but also your budget. While hiring the professionals offering the lowest rates for their services can be tempting, exceptionally cheap rates may be a sign of scams or unreliable services.

 Learn About Turnaround

The best manuscript editing services are often provided by the busiest editors. A packed schedule of an editor is a positive sign because it is proof that several other authors consider their editing services to be reliable.

While you may want to hire the editor who is trusted widely, it is important to consider their turnaround time. You do not have to make changes to your publishing schedule just because you want to work with a certain editor.

It is possible for you to find an editor who is an ideal match to improve your manuscript and help you meet your deadline. You have to explore enough options till you find someone who is a perfect match for your needs.

Make sure to communicate your deadline with your editor so that they can confirm their availability for a project. Editors have reliable professional conduct. Hence, you can believe that they will not mislead you, especially in terms of deadlines.

Learn About Their Editing Format

Just like authors have a unique style of writing, editors are also individuals who can have their own preferences and way of working. It is important to consider the way an editor will work on your manuscript to see if they are compatible with your needs.

While the way of editing can vary from one editor to another based on many big and small details, most editors either mark changes on prints while others may use tracker features on different writing software. However, only an editor’s comfort does not matter in this regard.

If you have a history of working on a project with an editor, you may already know your preferences. You can take some time to figure out which format works best for you if you do not have prior experience working with an editor.

Ask for Transparency Regarding Editing Style

Every editor is different from the other editor in more ways than you can assume. Not every editor is a grey-haired person with a welcoming smile. Just like professionals in any field, editors also have unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Authors work closely with editors and they must know about the editing style of their editors before it is too late. Of course, every author has different needs, and they must have a conversation with themselves and their potential editors before making serious decisions, such as hiring an editor. 

Ask yourself if you prefer light and chatty editing sessions or if you are okay with someone being harsh while providing their feedback on your manuscript. Answers to such questions can help you ensure a successful collaboration with your manuscript editor.

Learn About Preferred Genres 

Just like a brilliant memoir writer may not be equally good at writing fantasy fiction, you cannot expect an editor to be a master of all skills. Editors also have specific genres they specialise in. It is never a good idea to trust someone who claims to be a jack of all trades.

Before you hire an editor, it is essential to ask them about the genres they specialise in. For example, someone with a manuscript of their autobiography must hire an editor with experience in editing the relevant manuscripts.

If an editor claims to be well-versed in editing manuscripts of your genre, do not just take their word for it. Make sure that you ask them for relevant samples. You can use these samples to determine their level of expertise and how they can help in improving your work.

Chat About Their Experience

Editing is not a field in which the importance of experience can be compromised. In fact, experience is one of the key factors that sets an ordinary editor from an expert in the field. When hiring an editor for your manuscript, considering their experience is very important.

An experienced editor is not just anyone who thinks that their meticulous nature is the only qualification factor they need to improve manuscripts. In fact, years of experience and training make professional editors experts in the ins and outs of the publishing market.

Do not let your wish to save some money or to help a beginner let you compromise the potential of your manuscript by becoming their first client for editing. Instead, remember to ask the book editor about the publishing houses they have worked for and the specific books they have edited to make your final decision.