How to Find an Editor

Finding a good editor is an important part of the writing process for self-publishing authors. It’s important to find an editor you can work well with. This article will focus just on copyeditors and proofreaders.

Ask your writer friends for recommendations.

Look on professional organizations’ websites. The Editorial Freelancers Association ( in the US has a membership directory where you can search for editors who work on your subject matter. Most other organizations have something similar.

Find somebody who works with your subject matter/genre. You want to find an editor who is knowledgeable about your genre. If you are a non-fiction author, you probably won’t get what you’re looking for in an editor who has only edited fiction books.

Contact several editors. It’s a good idea to contact several editors to see who you would work best with. Not every editor will be a good match for you, and that’s okay.  

Look at websites and social media accounts. If an editor has a website and social media accounts for their business, it’s a good clue that they are professionals and editing isn't just a hobby.

Sample edits. It’s a good idea to contact several editors and get a sample edit. Most will offer a free short sample edit. This will allow you to determine if you like their editing style. The sample will allow the editor to determine the level of edit needed and how long the project would take them and how much it would cost you. You should send the same sample to each editor so you can see the differences in their work. I like to request five pages from the middle of the manuscript since it has usually been worked less than the beginning. This gives me a better idea of the shape of the rest of the manuscript.

Don’t focus only on price. Editing is not cheap. You are paying for the editor’s knowledge and experience. It is not something you should skimp on. There are plenty of editors who charge less but still do quality work.