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Writing, Publishing, and Book Marketing Coach at 
Finding an Editor: "Red Pencil, Red Pencil, Let Down Your Hair"
Created By: Todd Rutherford


The relationship between the writer and editor is a special one, and can have a significant impact on the overall shape of the work that is ultimately published. The editor you select will be of profound importance in the success of your writing.

There are many different ways to find potential editors for your work. They can be identified through simple online searches, by searching through the Acknowledgement sections of books, and by attending any of the numerous conferences common to the publishing industry.

Finding an editor, and finding the right editor for you and your work are different issues. There are some guidelines to consider when evaluating the right editor for you. Editors vary in their skills and styles, and the key is to find the right one for you and for your work.

The following are some simple tips for hiring an editor:

Aim for a Specialist: Look for editors that specialize in your type of work, and the more specific you can get the better. If you write books about female detectives, look for fiction editors who specialize in mysteries, and if possible mysteries that center on female detectives.

Read their Work: One of the advantages of the writing world is that you can try before you buy; you can evaluate previous work.

Interview: Editing and writing are acts of collaboration, and it helps as a writer to have an editor who you can work with comfortably. Finding the right mix of skill, talent, and personality will be a personal matter, but it is worthwhile to spend a little time ensuring that a good fit is likely.

Ask for References: Using references is never a guarantee, but it is a step that should be taken. First it gives you the opportunity to help validate the credentials of the editor and secondly, it helps you to get insight into the editor’s working style.

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