Do you want to know more? Read more!

Don’t you just love the internet!

It’s so easy to spend hours reading article after article on how to do any and everything from, publishing an ebook to refinishing a table.

First off, let me start by saying I am not an expert. I’m still learning, but I’ve learned a lot over the last few years. A lot about writing, publishing and blogging. The world-wide web is a wonderful place. And with the help of other writers, editors and bloggers learning more every day. One thing I’ve learned. There is only so much editing a writer can do on their own. 

Unless you are a professional editor, hire one. This is one thing, it’s best not to do yourself. At least not all of it. For a book to be edited to a polished spit shine it takes a professional. 

So If you’re looking for an editor here are a few tips.

First, a couple of don’ts.

  1. For the love of God, don’t ask friends to edit your book.
    • Well, I guess it’s okay if you have too many friends and this one has gotten on your last nerve.
  2. And, unless you hate your family, don’t ask Aunt Tillie, that’s got disaster written all over it.
    • Of course, maybe you don’t want to attend Thanksgiving dinner next year.

Now that we’ve gotten the don’ts out-of-the-way, where do you find an editor?

You can start at your local library. 
  • This might surprise you, they might fuss because you didn’t bring back that book from 1989 but they’ll still help you out.
You can ask for referrals on Linked In
  • I found my wonderful editor through a contact on Linked In.

After you’ve found an editor – now what? 


Ask lots of questions.

Do they have a website?

  • Does the website look professional? 
  • Having a website is not a must but it does raise more questions?
Does their style match yours? The correct genre.
  • Remember, different strokes for different folks. Blood and guts, BDSM, or Hot in Texas is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you write murder mysteries, but they edit children’s books this editor is going to barf at the first bloody scene. 
smiley-151562_640What is their price?
  • Ask for a flat fee based on your project. You don’t want any last-minute surprises.
  • Don’t know about you, but I don’t have money to burn! money-598816_640
  • Will they charge for additional consultation should you want a last look-see?
When is payment due?
  • Will they provide a sample based on your manuscript?
  • Most editors will edit a section of your book so that you can see how they work.
  • This should be done before a contract is signed.
Ask for details of the editing services they will provide.
  • Grammar, rewrite suggestions, flow, structure, concept, etc.
Determine and understand the expected schedule.
  • Remember, you aren’t their only client – chill.
  • The editor is an artist too. Patience is a virtue.  

Someone, once said, “Information is power,” or something like that. So don’t be afraid to ask questions.information-1015298_640

What did I forget? What questions did you ask your editor?

What did you learn about editing your first book?

Tell me in the comments section.

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! Please remember to with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


13 thoughts on “Do you want to know more? Read more!

  1. I was having a conversation about self-publishing with a bookstore owner friend of mine last week, and we think a big reason why a lot (not all) self published stuff is pretty bad is this: in the traditional publishing world editors are hard on writers. Like really hard. In a tough love, we have to get the best book we can kind of hard. It’s not just rewrite suggestions, it’s rewrite instructions. With deadlines. I’m not an expert either and I have not had the experience of hiring an editor for a book-length work, but when revising you need someone who will be hard on you. Who will push you. Who will make you “kill your darlings” as they say. If you don’t have that person, it’s going to be hard to make your book as good as it can be, and without experience I don’t know if there are editors out there that you pay yourself that will do that for you. Are there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so. Like I mentioned in my post, the trick is to not just find an editor you can work with but one who understands your genre. And of course one you can afford. I don’t think these things are impossible, just like everything else with writing – it takes work and time. Thanks for writing a really thoughtful comment. It means a lot to me to hear how others are doing.

      Liked by 1 person

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