How I found my Editor
I have gotten a lot of feedback and questions about how to find the right editor. Although I do believe this process is going to look different for everyone, there are a few things you'll need to take into consideration.
First: where to find editors. There are so many resources online to hire a freelance editor. Below are just a few options, but remember, the more active you are in the writing community, the more opportunity you will find to network and meet up with writers, critique partners and editors.
Although networking is so important, there may come a time when you want to work with someone who brings something more to the table. For me, I live in a larger city, but find connecting with like-minded, motivated and higher vibrating individuals, is challenging. I have found that they are either writing in completely different genres, have very different ideas of success than I do, or just aren't a fit personally for me. None of these make them less, bad or inadequate, it just isn't the fit I might be looking for. I wanted to work with someone that was actively in the publishing industry as either a writer or editor, and was very current on trends, wants, needs and expectations from large publishing firms and agents alike.
So let's start with a few websites to begin your search:
I chose to use Upwork. I've used Upwork in the past to hire freelancers for my "day job" and had great success with the site, the response and the level of talent available. I created a post about my needs, being very specific, raw and transparent about my requirements, my expectations and my work in progress.
I received quite a few responses, most were very clinical in their approach. I found them to be fairly dry, listing their experience chronologically; focusing more on their achievements and why they were the right person to work with me, rather than focusing on my needs and the struggles I was having with my manuscript. The editor I ultimately hired was more casual in her approach, while remaining helpful and professional. Not only did she address all of my concerns, fears and doubt in my work, she offered up free advise for how I could address some of the shortcomings of my book. She was helpful and relatable from the first message she sent.
Fit should be your number one criteria when looking for an editor. You should be looking for someone that you are comfortable with, who is easy to communicate with, and who understands what you need of them. This is going to be different for everyone. I needed someone who was going to give it to me straight, but who would understand that I needed to hear that feedback in a constructive and motivating way. I wouldn't have responded well to someone who condescended, criticized or made me feel as though I were inexperienced in writing. This might not be what you need. Find someone that fits your personality and style.
Second, you want to make sure that your editor understands your genre, your style, and your goals. If you are hoping to produce a self published book, more for yourself than anything, and are content to hold them on consignment in a few small bookstores in your home town, you won't want an executive level editor that works exclusively with a top 5 publishing house. In the same way, if your dream to write the next Harry Potter series, you wouldn't hire a hobby writer to edit your work, someone that has never published a book, and reads/ writes technical tutorials for the local machining shop - they might not be the right person either.
And lastly, don't be afraid to ask for samples of their edited work. Most editors are happy to provide you with examples, so that you can see if their style matches what you are looking for.
Ultimately, finding the right editor is a very personal process. It can take you to the next level with your WIP, or it can discourage you from ever putting yourself out there again. Take your time selecting someone that compliments you and your WIP.