The Desertera Series, Vlog/Video, Writing & Publishing Articles, Writing Updates

Vlog: How and Why I Chose My Editing Service

In my posts Which Kind(s) of Editing Does Your Novel Need? and 10 Ways to Find Editing Services on a Budget, some of you asked which editor/editing service I am using for The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) and how I found them. In this video, I finally answer that question!

For those of you who dislike watching vlogs or who are hearing impaired, here is a summary of this vlog.

In essence, I didn’t really know where to find an editor or editing service. I poked around the internet for a bit until finally one of my author friends suggested Red Adept Editing. After reading his novel to ensure that the editing quality was good as well as browsing the website and checking other authors’ testimonials, I signed up for my editing package of content editing, deluxe line editing, and proofreading.

You can learn more about Red Adept Editing on their site.

And as always, you can view/subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Thanks for watching! Feel free to ask questions and share your own editing experiences in the comments section!

Author Business & Publishing, Writing & Publishing Articles

10 Ways to Find Editing Services on a Budget

Finding the right editor is like finding someone to date. It takes patience, resourcefulness, and sometimes, just plain luck. There are dozens of ways to find editors online, and the first editor you find may not be the right fit for your book, or the two of you may not have good chemistry.

As if sorting through the editing pool were not difficult enough, when you are putting out your book on a budget, things get even tougher. It can take a long time to sort out how to balance your needs with your budget and figure out which editor or editing service best meets that balance.

Again, while there are dozens of ways to find your right editor, here is a short list of ideas to get you started and keep prices low. Please keep in mind, this article is only about finding editing services, not the average costs or what you “should” pay, or even how to choose an editor once you find a few options. Those topics are beyond the scope of this article.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Determine your budget and which kind(s) of editing your book needs

Setting your budget before you begin the search for an editor will help you in several ways. Chiefly, a budget will hold you accountable to a number and make sure that you do not overspend. Also, your budget can help you narrow down which kinds of editing you seek for your novel and prioritize which are most important to pay for. On a practical level, setting a budget whittles down your options. There are literally thousands of editors and editing services that could potentially edit for you. By setting a price range, you shrink the pool and cut your research time way down.

10 Ways to Find an Editor/Editing Service

1. Internet search

This option is fairly obvious and will result in a plethora of options. Try narrowing down your results by being specific about what types of editing you need (copy editing, proofreading, etc.), what your editing project is (novel, nonfiction book, etc.), and who you are (indie author, author seeking editing before querying agents, etc.).

2. Freelance websites

Several websites exist to connect business people (that’s you!) with freelancers. On these websites, you have two options for finding editing services. First, you can create an advertisement for the editing you need and allow editors to bid on your job. Second, you can browse editors’ portfolios and profiles and then offer them the job directly. The most common freelance websites are oDesk and elance, who have merged into Upwork, and Fiverr. The prices on these websites vary widely, but they are known for being rather inexpensive.

3. Blogging network

If you are active in the writing community of a blogging network (ie: WordPress), you might be surprised how many editors are also bloggers. I can think of at least four editors that I have connected with on WordPress, either from them reaching out to me, or me stumbling upon their blogs. Most of the time, these editors will have a page dedicated to their services and provide samples and reviews of their work on a separate page or within their blog content.

4. Ask for referrals

If you have author acquaintances or friends (or read the blogs of friendly authors), ask them who they used and how their experience was. Most authors are happy to share and offer advice to beginning authors. This is what I did, and it not only strengthened my relationship with my fellow author, it also resulted in a fantastic editing experience.

5. Find your own referrals in books

Even if you do not feel comfortable contacting other authors directly, you can find your own referrals by looking through books. For example, think of a book that you like and feel was well-edited. Go to the book (either your copy or in the free sample online) and see if there is an attribution to the editor or editing service. Then, check them out!

6. Find your own referrals in online communities

There are plenty of free, online communities for writers. These are a great way to build connections with other authors and receive assistance. Online forums are also a great place to find resources and reviews of services. One of the most popular for indie authors is KBoards.

7. Social media

Many editors work as freelancers and find clients through social media platforms. Try searching for freelance editors on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can also find many editors through Twitter hashtags, such as #amediting and #amrevising.

8. Barter

Several freelance editors are also authors. If you have skills you can trade in exchange for their editing services, offer them up. For example, if you’re a great proofreader, cover designer, logo designer, book formatter, copy writer, etc., ask if you can work out a deal to trade these services. The more specialized skills you have, the better this will work for you.

9. Look for editing companies with package deals

In my experience, editing companies tend to be cheaper than freelance editors, because they have a steadier stream of income and can share the workload. (Of course, this is not always the case.) Many editing companies also offer editing packages. With these deals, you pay for multiple types of editing in one package, which results in a lower rate than if you bought each editing type separately. This is what I have done for my editing, and it has saved me a lot of money compared to the other options I was considering.

10. Ask for non-professional help on certain portions

As many authors indicated in the comments section on my previous editing post, beta readers and critique partners can often take the place of a content editor. Ask well-read individuals and other authors to read your novel and help you find any plot holes, character development issues, etc. For more on finding/using beta readers, see this post. Likewise, if you know someone who is very skilled at catching errors, you could ask him/her to proofread your novel for you. Note: I do not necessarily advise skipping a professional proofread, but it is an option if you are on a tight budget, and I do not ever advise skipping a professional line/copy edit.

For more cost-saving book production strategies, check out Simon Whistler’s fantastic (AND FREE) book, Bootstrapping for Indies.

Authors, what methods do/did you use to find editing services? What other tactics do you encourage for new authors?

Author Business & Publishing, Writing & Publishing Articles, Writing Craft & Tips

Which Kind(s) of Editing Does Your Novel Need?

Notice the title of this post is not Does your novel need editing? The answer to that question is YES. Always. I don’t care if you wrote The Great Gatsby of the modern day; your novel needs to be edited.

For those of you going the traditional publishing route, this question is a little less important. Personally, I would advise paying for a professional edit or two to give your novel a leg up when it reaches potential agents and/or publishers. However, once you sign on the dotted line, your publishing company will hook you up with editing and everything will be hunky dory. More on the traditional publishing process here.

For those of you going the independent route (like me!), editing is crucial. Selecting which type — or, more commonly, type— of editing you need is one of the many “sell or sink” decisions you will make during the book creation process. This is especially difficult to do if you have little-to-no experience with editing and/or are on a tight budget. Let’s face it: the editing world is filled with varying verbiage and even more varying prices.

Here are the five most common types of editing indie authors utilize: from most intensive/large scale and most expensive to least intensive/micro scale and cheapest.

Developmental Editing

Typically, developmental editing takes place while the author is still drafting the novel. In this type of editing, the editor will work with the author to help develop the plot, subplots, characters, story arc, etc. To an extent, the editor acts like a co-author or counselor, helping the author bring his ideas to fruition. A developmental edit does not address style, grammar, and/or punctuation. Because of the intense time commitment and amount of work this requires, this is often the most expensive form of editing. Developmental editing is the least common form of editing and not usually recommended unless the author is having major issues during the book’s drafting.

Content Editing

Content editing is similar to developmental editing, only it occurs after the novel is drafted. During a content edit, the editor will examine all elements of the novel: plot, subplot, character development, story structure, narration/description, word repetition, stylistic details, etc. Essentially, anything related to the novel’s content is addressed at this stage. Depending on the content editor, she may point out issues related to grammar, but that is not the primary focus of a content edit. Again, because of the time and large-scale criticism this type of content editing involves, it is usually rather expensive. Content editing is recommended mainly for first time or new authors who are still learning the basics of writing craft.

Edit: As many authors noted in the comments, beta readers can provide content editing (for free). Read this post for more on finding/using beta readers.

Line Editing

Line editing and copy editing are rather similar. Some editors consider them synonymous; others differentiate between them. In essence, line editing is the form of editing in which grammar becomes involved. A line editor will address a novel’s grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation. Typically, a line editor will also offer advice on the author’s writing style, and at his discretion, may comment on a few larger scale issues, such as story line or character development. This is an extremely common form of editing for indie authors to utilize and comes with a middle range price tag.

Copy Editing

Again, copy editing is similar to line editing. A copy editor will correct grammar and punctuation errors. However, a copy editor does not typically advise on sentence (re-)structuring or writing style. Of course, at her discretion, a copy editor may comment on broader issues with the novel, but this is not likely. Like line editing, this is a common form of editing for indie authors and comes with a middle range price tag.


Proofreading is the most “basic” form of editing. A proofreader corrects typographical errors related to capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and basic grammar. Most of the time, a proofreader will not comment on anything outside of these errors, but again, more intensive editing is at her discretion. Proofreading is generally the cheapest form of editing.

Because of its “basic” nature, proofreading is very dangerous. Many indie authors feel that they can skip over proofreading, in favor of doing it themselves. After all, why pay someone to do what spell check can do? Industry professionals (and even amateurs like me) strongly advise against this. It is extremely difficult to see one’s one errors, especially after one has already written, read, revised, edited, re-written, re-read one’s book so many times. At the very least find a friend or fellow writer with strong grammar skills and who is an avid reader to do the proofreading for you.

Of course, as with any industry, there are other forms of editing and other definitions of these five types. However, these are the most common types of editing and, in my opinion, good stock-standard definitions of them. Indie authors, feel free to chime in below with the types of editing you recommend to your peers and any other forms I may have missed.

For more on how to find an editor or editing company (including how I found mine), read 10 Ways to Find Editing Services on a Budget.