The Best Editor for You


4/28/20242 min read

You've decided to hire an editor.

You've even found some good options in some Facebook groups and subreddits. But, aside from expertise or experience, what exactly should you be looking for?


A good editor could be in your life for years to come, so don't make the mistake ignoring the personal side of things.

You don't want to have to drop and search anew for an editor because of a bad match.

More than just being able to get along, it's worth finding someone who shares your beliefs and values—someone who can get excited about your vision and understand where you're coming from.

Not to mention someone who can explain things in a way that makes sense to YOU. 

As your searching for editors, check out their social profiles. Look at how they present themselves and how they interact with others in Facebook groups or other forums.

Are they courteous? Generous?

Are they competing and combative with other editors, or are they trying to build everybody up? 

On their website (they should have one), you'll likely be able to see a bit more of how they think and speak.


This one's important: a good editor will want you to succeed—the key word being "you."

This might seem obvious, but editors don't have an equal desire for each and every book out there to succeed. Who does? Some stories excite your audience, others not so much. We all have different tastes and beliefs, so you need to find an editor who understands and supports your vision for your story.

This means they read and enjoy the type of book you're writing—genre, themes, content. This will help you avoid having someone edit out your voice or make useless or harmful suggestions (especially in worldbuilding-heavy genres like fantasy and sci-fi).

I would not recommend an editor who advertises services for "any genre."

I specialize in fantasy and sci-fi. I can probably do a good job with some nonfiction genres, but I'd be a lying fool to market myself toward historical romance novelists, even if I were desperate. I'd be in very unfamiliar territory, and I wouldn't be able to edit on a big-picture or line level with the same enthusiasm and intuition I would an epic fantasy.

Though it goes without saying, there are a great deal of differences between the two genres concerning POV, setting, pacing, etc.

At the end of the day, you don't want to feel about your editor the way you do about ARC reviews starting with "This isn't really my genre, but..."