Last week we talked about the different types of editing services provided by freelance editors: developmental editing, substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Today we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how to hire an editor or editors for your project.
Deciding What You Need Will Help You Figure Out Whom You Need
In a perfect world, every writer would hire a developmental editor before writing a word, bring in a substantive or copy editor when the manuscript is nearing completion, and then send the finalized document to a proofreader before publication.
But we live in the real world—not a perfect world. Budgets and time constraints often dictate how much editing can be done. Of course, more editing (just like more cowbell) is always better. However, if resources are tight and you can only select one editing service, I suggest basic copyediting to address general grammar and punctuation issues.
Where’s Waldo? Finding Editors in a Crowded Market
Once you have an idea of the types of editing services you will need, the search is on! But the search doesn’t have to be complicated. You may find a perfect match just by searching the Internet using relevant keywords such as freelance copy editor, freelance editor in Chicago, freelance editor for business, freelance proofreader, etc.
You can also use the professional databases maintained by the following national organizations:
- Editorial Freelancers Association (United States)
- Editors’ Association of Canada
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders (United Kingdom)
And, don’t forget to check out local organizations. Here in Chicago, we have the Independent Writers of Chicago (which includes editors) and the Chicago Women in Publishing (which is not limited to women).
“How to Hire an Editor, Part 2—Interviews, Payments, and Schedules” will offer tips on selecting an editor, negotiating payment, and establishing a schedule. Finally, we’ll conclude this how-to series with some advice on making the most of your editing experience.