WOW Blog Tour for “From Promising to Published”: Guest Post by Melanie Faith

I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for  Melanie Faith’s book “From Promising to Published”.

Today Melanie is visiting my blog to share her thoughts on findin a good-fit freelance editor.

Welcome Melanie!

GPS: Tips for Finding a Good-Fit Freelance Editor

We all want our writing to connect with readers, and the best shot we have of writing clear, entertaining
projects is to get a fresh set of eyes on our work.
It can be invaluable to get an impartial view on our writing with the in-depth, personalized feedback a
freelance editor provides. Editors catch inconsistencies, scope for grammar and structural problems,
note unintended repetition and filler words, red-flag plot holes, mark underdeveloped dialogue or
characterization, and much more.

Where do you find a freelance editor anyway?
Ask a librarian. Many libraries host readings or writing groups as part of their community
outreach. Plus, librarians dig a good information search and have a wide network.

Do an online search. Start by checking the classifieds. Yes, they do still exist. Many literary
magazines and craft magazines for writers offer listings or ads of freelance professionals; one of
my favorite is Poets & Writers Classified sections, both in the print magazine and online: .

Check your favorite indie author’s website. A sizable portion of authors take on editing

Check the Acknowledgments section of your favorite recently published books. One of my new
clients emailed me out of the blue this year—you guessed it, after reading my name in the
Acknowledgments for another author’s book I edited. This is a favorite way to meet new clients.
As with any time you approach a professional: inquire politely about possible interest in your
book, and have either an outline, a one- or two-paragraph description of your project, or a few
sample pages of your work prepared to share.

Ask an English teacher or college professor near you. As with librarians, educators tend to have
a wide network (of current and former students) who may freelance edit.

To increase your chances of having a wonderful interaction with a freelance editor, consider these three
elements when choosing a professional.

Genre: If you hire an editor who specializes in offering feedback for creative nonfiction but
you’ve written a picture book, that might be a mismatch.
Some editors, like myself, love to work within several genres, but don’t assume that your
preferred editor enjoys or has the skills to edit multiple genres of writing—many specialize in
just two or three favorites. Take the time to ask or to check at their website for the genres of
projects they’ve worked on recently.

Price point: politely check into rates and payment policies before you spend a lot of time
writing back and forth.

Some freelancers post the rates on their website. (Often listed per word, per page, or per hour.)
Many others send an individual list of several options/price-points based on different types of
edits and how many pages your project is and/or what would be the best fit for your project.

Be aware that editing slows down around the holidays and in the summer.
Also, some editors take partial payments (such as initial deposits) while others want paid up
front. Check the editor’s website or inquire.

Know that there are different types of editing and pick the specific type you
need—developmental editing is a deep-dive into the manuscript’s big-picture elements from
structure, plot, and form to characterization, and tends to cost the most and take more time for
the editor, while copy editing focuses mostly on grammar and other errors the author didn’t
catch, and proofreading is a final polish right before submitting or publishing.

Ask about the editor’s work-flow style to see if it fits your needs/expectations. By that I mean:
some editors communicate frequently while editing and encourage the author to contact them
at any time while other editors want to receive the manuscript and then be on their own with
the project until the feedback is delivered.

Some editors do conference calls online, will meet at a café in person, or make phone calls to
give feedback while others only communicate strictly via text or email. If you want a blend of
both real-time and written feedback, inquire with the editor to see if they offer both.
Some editors will answer specific follow-up questions while other editors won’t. Ask if a round
of follow-up questions after feedback delivery is included in the fee or if it’s an additional

Don’t assume that the editor has time for your manuscript right away; it’s often weeks or
months before freelancers fit in projects, depending on the number of projects they currently
have underway.

Also, if an editor turns down your project, it’s not personal; editors have to turn away a lot of
meaningful projects because we simply don’t have enough time or energy or we’re already
committed to other projects.

If it’s a no, please do ask others—there are many editors who would jump at the chance to work
with you. Consider hiring a grad student or just-starting-out editor as well—they often have
great skills, passion for literature, and more immediate openings for clients.

Feedback turn-around time also varies by editor. In general, expect weeks or months, rather
than days. It’s great to inquire for an estimated return time, just be aware that a lot of variables
go into scheduling (like unexpected life events that pop up) that may extend the turn-around
estimate in actuality.

We all want a well-rested eye on our work, so be respectful, courteous, and open-hearted when
inquiring and working with any editor. If in doubt about anything, politely ask.

A great writer-editor relationship is one where both professionals communicate openly on behalf of the
writer’s manuscript so that it resonates with its target audience. May you use these tips to find your
perfect-fit editor for your latest project and many, many more!

A great writer-editor relationship is one where both professionals communicate openly on behalf of the
writer’s manuscript so that it resonates with its target audience. May you use these tips to find your
perfect-fit editor for your latest project and many, many more!

Thank you Melanie. What a comprehensive guide to finding an editor! I’ll definitely use it when I need one in the new year.

Be sure to follow all the stops along the WOW blog tour for Melanie’s informative book.

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