There are no truly brilliant writers, only talented editors. Sure, you can do your own editing work or use a cheap freelancer from a low-cost marketplace; and for some authors on a tight budget, that’s the right decision. But if you have money to spend and want to publish the best version of your book, you should consider using an experienced editor.
But, where do you find quality editors?
In this article, we’ll look at five editing services that won’t waste your time.
1. Reedsy: Best Marketplace
Reedsy is one of the more popular ways self-published authors find quality editors. It’s not the cheapest marketplace out there, but you can be sure that your editing will be high quality — which is more you can say for cheaper services like Upwork and Fiverr.
Like other marketplaces, Reedsy aims to connect customers with dedicated freelancers who can help them out. However, unlike most other marketplaces, Reedsy is solely for authors and book publishers. In fact, you can hire the following on Reedsy:
- Web Designers
So no matter where you are in your book publishing journey, you can find help on Reedsy.
As I said before, Reedsy isn’t the most cost-effective solution. However, you do get what you pay for. As someone who has gone cheap on editors before, it usually results in having to pay twice.
With Reedsy, the price can fluctuate from freelancer to freelancer. But, if you want a ball-park figure, they’ve got a handy Pricing Calculator you can use to get a rough idea.
So, yeah, depending on your budget, Reedsy may be a tad too expensive. However, you will notice the difference between a Reedsy editor and other freelancer sites like Upwork.
If you do want to try Reedsy out, here’s the basic process you must take.
- Signup: This one is easy. You need to be registered before you can post a job on the platform.
- Choose Job Requirements: As we discussed earlier, there are different freelancers you can find on Reedsy. Make sure you select that you’re looking for an editor.
- Find Editors: You’ll be shown a selection of editors. Browse through the options and select up to five who you’d like to work with.
- Give Your Job Description: Here you talk about your book and the editing work you’ll need. Make sure you mention genre and everything else an editor may specialize in.
- Negotiate With Your Editor: Your selected editors will each send you a proposal if they’d like to work with you. Look through the proposals and negotiate a price.
2. Scribendi: Most Experienced Editors
Scribendi is another online editing service that has well over 300 experienced and educated editors on hand. Unlike Reedsy, Scribendi isn’t a marketplace, and you’ll work with a customer service team as opposed to communicating directly with an editor.
But does it matter that you don’t meet your editor? Does it mean they’re of lesser quality? Absolutely not. While a lot of freelancers enjoy platforms like Reedsy, some would much rather focus on the job at hand (editing) and not all the customer-focused parts of the job that occur when you’re in a marketplace.
Scribendi has been around a long time and is a trusted editing site. For self-published authors, they offer editing, proofreading, and formatting — a lot of options.
With it comes to price, your quote will come down to the length of your book and how long you want it to take. Obviously, if you want your 60,000 word LitRPG novel edited in a week (instead of three), it’ll cost you.
As you can see, prices are expensive. However, editors on the site have an average fifteen years of experience in the job and are pros.
3. Jericho Writers: Best for Children’s Authors
Jericho Writers is a popular writing site, but did you know that they’ve also got a pretty amazing editing service?
And, it’s not only genre fiction authors who’ll benefit. They even have a dedicated service for children’s books. So, if you’re writing children’s mystery books, for example, you’ll find a lot of value in Jericho Writers. However, it isn’t just children’s authors who’ll get a great deal at Jericho Writers, they have a range of other services too:
- Manuscript editing (fiction and nonfiction)
- Agent submission pack review
- Opening section review
- Children’s book assessment
- Screenplay and script services
- General copyediting
So, as you can see, every author can use Jericho Writers’ service without much hassle.
In a similar fashion to Scribendi, with Jericho Writers, your job will be given to their team of editors, so you won’t have to sort through freelancers yourself. The editors at Jericho are well-versed and many are accomplished authors themselves.
What I love about browsing through the editing team is you’ll see a range of different experiences and specialties. For price, a lot depends on your task. However, for general manuscript editing, there’s a great calculator you can use.
4. NY Book Editors: Best Top-Tier Editors
There’s plenty of outstanding editing services out there. We can’t mention them all here. However, if you want to go to some of the best in the business, you need to go to NY Book Editors.
It isn’t just self-publishers that use the service. Look at their website and you’ll see a range of New York Times Bestsellers that have been edited with NY Book Editors. There are also books that have been turned into feature films and Netflix shows. So you know that there are some top quality authors using the service.
All the editors on NY Book Editors are from the gigantic publishing houses around New York, so you know you’re getting quality. You can’t even apply to become an editor! They build the entire staff around word of mouth and recommendations from inside the industry.
The process to work with NY Book Editors is a little different too. First, you submit your work to the site, and they’ll match you with the editor who best suits your task. Then you go with a short risk-free trial just to make sure they’re the right editor for you.
Once you’ve done that, you and your editor will decide on the type of edit your book will need (either a basic or comprehensive edit) and your editor will get to work.
Regarding price, as you can imagine, NY Book Editors is the most expensive on the list. However, if you have the budget, they come with an incredible pedigree.
5. Bibliocrunch: Another Great Marketplace
Bibliocrunch is another great marketplace for authors to work with talented freelancers. Here, you can post your job descriptions and find the perfect editor for you.
Bibliocrunch’s marketplace has been around since 2011, which makes it older than Reedsy’s service. You’d think the same editors would be on both platforms; however, that isn’t always the case. Yes, some editors will make a profile on every platform, but others will stick to one. So, odds are if you can’t find the perfect editor on Reedsy, you’ll be able to find one on Bibliocrunch (And vice versa).
When it comes to prices, a lot comes down to the freelancer you choose. Marketplaces, by nature, have options all over the pricing board. However, there is a VIP membership plan for authors which makes writing your book, finding freelancers, publishing, and promoting your book as easy as possible.
Bonus: What To Look For In An Editor
Once you’ve had a browse through the different sites to see which platform you want to try, it’s important to know what to look for in an excellent editor. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when choosing an editor to work with.
The editor’s specialty: We all have things we excel at. Odds are, any editor you choose will have their own strengths and weaknesses. I suggest lining up your editor’s strengths to things you struggle with. For example, are you sloppy with your grammar? If so, choose an editor who will do that job well.
Word of mouth: If you have any author-friends, see who they use as editors. Odds are you’ll be able to find plenty of quality editors if you ask around in Facebook groups.
Find genre-specific authors: It is a huge plus if you find an author who knows the genre you’re writing in. Not only can they help with basic line editing, but they can also help with structure and the way you tell the story. This is great for any developmental editing you need to do.
Try to find a sample: Most editors will be happy to organize a brief sample. That way, you can both see if you’re a good match. Each editor has a different process so you need to find one who suits your writing.
Software: I’m a Scrivener guy when it comes to writing. However, I do use Google Docs from time to time. However, if I came across an editor who only worked in Microsoft Word…
You need to make sure your editor is comfortable working with the software you use. Trust me, you don’t want to get a 100,000-word manuscript back with no way to open it.
Finding the right editor is vital to making sure you publish the best version of your book. While it may be tempting to DIY, or go cheap on price, remember this: Quality books lead to a quality audience.
Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur.com and creator of Publisher Rocket, a software that helps authors market their books more effectively.
Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash