Creating a safer world for all children

How to find the right editorial team?

Johanna Penn shares that finding the right editor is like going on a few dates before finding your perfect match. What titles do they have?

What does your self-publishing editorial team look like?  Finding the right people is essential in producing a book you can be proud to own and share with the world.

  1. The 3 main types of editors to produce a great book: There are others, you may wish to consider.

Developmental Editing
Often called the big picture edit. Developmental Editing looks closely at the structures working within your text, such as themes, style, and tone.   I worked with a developmental editor who helped me work through issues like voice, sentence structure, and dialogue.

This editor is the consistent person. The copy editor reviews, corrects and strengthens your manuscript. They focus on accuracy and formatting.

The Proofreader is your polisher.  This is the final stage editorial process.  Proofreaders will perform a thorough check of punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

  1. If you are looking for an editorial team, go through the process of finding out if they are the right one.

This is your book; your dream. DO:

  • Search writing forums, ask on your social media platforms and places like Reedsy.
  • Look at their portfolios for quality
  • Search on their website for books simular to yours
  • Read blog’s and get a sense of their personality and writing subjects
  • Read testimonies
  • Google them!
  • Ask for sample edits. My proofreader on Reedsy supplied a correction form to show how she edits and a sample of previous edits.   The correction form was the same form my formatter  As a proofreader, Anna had also worked for Harper books.  She provided everything I required and she was a perfect match.
  • Read how they work in partnership. Some editors share a clear outline of what they require and what they do.  If they don’t, ask how the partnership will move forward.
  • Ask about the price and timelines. Be clear with timelines.  Even if you don’t have a deadline, make one.  This will keep you both moving forward.
  • Have a clear idea of your title, subtitle, genre, approximate word count, synopsis, and an example of a chapter. This will give them an idea if they want to work with you.  If they decline your invitation, move on and keep looking for your perfect match.
  • If all of the above work out and you are still unsure, get them to edit a few chapters and take it from there.
  • Skype if you can, the spark and energy will be present or not.

3. The right price may find the perfect match

If you think you have found the right partnership, it’s time to talk about the money:

  • Some editors charge by the page or word count, while others charge by the hour.  Both my development editor and proofreader charged by the word count.  My proofreader charged $300 for 20,000 words.  She found about 175 edits.  I had to renegotiate with my formatter as her price included 50 edits.  I had just a few more than that.
  • If you have found the right editor and their fee for your manuscript is outside your budget, consider asking for paying in installments or negotiate a lower amount.

  1. Keep researching the self-publishing industry:

I researched Jane Friedman’s blog many times when I was looking for answers to questions about publishing.  It’s an excellent resource. https://janefriedman.com/blog

  1. Enjoy the ride!



Christine is based on the sunny coast of Western Australia in the seaside town of Geraldton.