How to Choose the Right Copy Editor for You

Hiring the wrong editor can be nearly as bad as hiring none at all, but how do you choose the editor appropriate for your title? On the Internet, you can find hundreds of freelance editors claiming to be the very best. It is important to use the same standards when hiring a copy editor as you do when hiring someone to perform any other professional service. Plus, books vary widely, and the perfect editor for a six-volume history of Guatemalan culture is often not the right fit for a romance novel. So how do you choose?

Hiring a company with a reputable background is highly suggested for most, if not all, neophytes looking for quality editorial services. A reputable company will provide the vetting and matching of the individual copy editor-and stand behind the work-taking the guesswork out of the process. In addition to the assignment of an experienced editor with a background appropriate for your subject matter, there are significant advantages to hiring a reputable company to provide copy editing services:

  • Fair and consistent pricing
  • Greater likelihood of on-time delivery of the copy edited manuscript-an individual may be unable to do the work at any given time, but a company is more likely to be able to deal with contingencies
  • Greater flexibility, including the possibility of bundling other services such as typesetting together with the copy edit

When deciding which company you want to hire, you should always obtain a full editorial analysis as well as a sample edit. It may cost you a few dollars up front, but an editorial analysis is the only way to get the full benefit of the copy editing service. Many companies will agree to refund all or part of the cost of the editorial analysis if you choose to hire them for the recommended level of editing, so there really is nothing to lose.

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