Finding Your Editor by Chloe Adler

Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Chloe Adler as she shares with us “Finding Your Editor” Enjoy!


Writing a Series to Launch – Indy Self Publishing – One Author’s Experience

The process feels overwhelming and that’s because it is or can be. One step at a time, just like everything else in life, I often remind myself.

I’m a new writer, which does not mean I haven’t written my whole life, it means I haven’t published yet. That’s my definition. I am in the learning phase about this process. I decided to hire an editor and cover designer. Could I rely on my critique group and beta readers to help me with what I needed to know concept wise? To help proofread? Sure but why? It’s putting too much pressure on them and more importantly it’s not their job. They are great but they are not experts.

1696721It was clear to me from the beginning that I needed an editor but I didn’t know what that meant or how to find one that I could afford. If you are like me and don’t understand the different types of editors here is a great blog post that explains them.

I started asking around and found several recommended editors from other writer’s in my RWA group. However, they were all out of my budget charging between $1500 and $2000 for a developmental AKA substantive edit per book. I’m sure they’re completely worth it but I don’t have that kind of money. Knowing almost nothing, I researched a lot, determining that I need a developmental edit, a line edit and proofreading. To spend $2K on just the dev edit, I’d have to spend another $500 (or so) on line edits and another $300 to $500 on proofreading – totaling close to $3K before the cover artist and that’s per book. I am planning to release four = $12,000. Not feasible.

When I started asking around I also created an evernote listing all the editors, prices and offerings. Some editors will offer a free sample, for example they will edit 500 words for free so you can see their style. Others offer a sample for a lesser monetary fee, for example they will edit 1,000 words for $100. Obviously budget plays a big part for many people.

  1. Ask other writers, look in writing Facebook or Yahoo groups, ask or search in forums: Goodreads, Romance Divas
  2. Make a list with the name, website, contact info and price of each editor (if you know the price).
  3. Contact each editor
    1. Questions to ask the editor:
      1. What type of editing do you do?
      2. Do you provide a sample edit? If so, how many words, what’s your turn around and what’s the cost?
  • What are your fees for editing (each type of edit)
  1. What is your availability (when you are free to edit my manuscript?) – most editors will be booked at least a month in advance.
  2. What is your turn around? – How long will it take for them to get your manuscript back to you?
  3. How many rounds of editing do you offer? The editor I went with offers 2 rounds of developmental edits included in one fee.

Another suggestion I like from For Love or Money is to look at some of the Amazon reviews of books the editor has already edited to make sure that none of the reviews complain about the book’s structure or plot holes (developmental only), grammar or punctuation (line and proof).

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can think of! Chances are that when you find a great editor, that’s who you’ll stick with for the entirety of your career.



Raina Schell, Chloe AdlerChloe Adler can often be found singing karaoke musical theme songs in dive bars. Her favorite tracks are from Evita and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After thoroughly cleaning her rock collection, Chloe is now ready for prime time.

In the past two years Chloe has written four books and is working on the next two. She is most proud of her Distant Edge Romance Series. Sadie’s Mortal Desire just placed third in the “On the Far Side” Contest.

The one thing that’s remained constant in the past several years is that now Chloe cannot stop writing. In her five minutes of “free time” she’s performing tricks ala aerial circus arts, cuddling with her adorable dog, and cooking.

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