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October 15, 2013 / anthonykzullo

Finding an Editor

Recently, I’ve spent some time looking for an editor.  To achieve my goal of publication in April, I would need someone to edit my novel in January/February.  A lot of editors are currently planning their schedules, so it’s always good to look for someone a couple months before you know you’re going to be ready.  Don’t do it too in advance as your novel might take longer than you expect.  Plus, not as many people plan their work schedules longer than a year out.

Finding an editor is not easy. Actually… let me correct myself. “Finding an editor is easy.”

Finding your editor is not easy.

Why isn’t it easy?  This kind of process is similar to dating.  Your co-creating a relationship with another professional.  So you could kind of say an author/editor relationship is like marriage.  It’s a partnership of trust, commitment, and respect, and it creates the mutual goal of developing something successful with compromise on both sides.  Somewhere out there is your author/editor soulmate, waiting for you to sweep them off their feet… Well, maybe not. But there is someone out there who is going to give you the best feedback that will take your story from good to GREAT.

So now how do you find them?

Here are a few tips when I searched for an editor:

  • Make Sure You’re Done With Your Novel

    Don’t waste your money or your time being impatient. Impatience is an enemy of self-published authors. Wait until your draft is shining like a precious diamond, beautiful and nearly perfect. Then you can let your editor tear it to shreds! If you don’t wait, after you finish paying your editor, you will probably still need to edit your book, which would be horrible.

  • Interview A Few Editors

    Find a bunch of different editors. It’s not too difficult to find some. They’re normally hanging around Twitter or WordPress. Just search for editor in either websites search bar, and you’ll have a huge list to go from.

    Search through this list, and find about six or seven different editors you are considering. Contact them and send them a piece of your work and have them edit it. It’s easier if you give them all the same part since you can compare them easier, but personally, I like to give them each different parts and see if they can improve the work. If they’re not willing to do this, drop them like it’s hot. You don’t want anyone who won’t sample their work for you.

    See what they come back with. Swallow your pride, which is another enemy of the self-published author, and see if those tips and copyedits are really helpful. When you finally have two or three different editors you’re deciding on, give them a larger sample to make sure their quality is consistent. This one you’ll probably have to pay for.

  • Try to Find Someone Who Loves their Work and Takes Pride in the Books They Edit

    If you find someone who loves what they do and feels emotionally attached to every piece of work they perform, you’re going to find someone who is amazing and will give you their all. Isn’t that what you want? If you’re self-publishing, you can even tell them you’d like to add their name to the book. This will no doubt motivate them to do their best.

  • Try to Find Someone Who Really Loves Your Novel

    Above all, try your very best to find this person. If an editor loves what you write and loves what they do, then you’re going to have a really successful partnership. They’ll be so happy you’re offering them the chance to work with you and with a project this amazing! It’s tough finding someone who is going to love your work as much as you do, but they are out there. Don’t be fooled by flattery and settle for someone who leaves your work as is. Look for someone who wants to make your work shine.

  • Think Long-Term

    Find someone who matches your personality. This could be the start of a really long relationship, and you don’t want it to be a difficult one. Make sure you like the person.

If you follow all of the advice above and also look for someone professional and as punctual as you are, you’ll find a really great editor. By the way, I’m still in the process of interviewing editors. If you know of any goods one, please, comment below, and I’ll check them out.

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.


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