After working on my book for a few years and pitching several agents, I heard my book was good but not compelling enough. I decided to hire an editor.
- Find a genre editor with a lot of experience
- Find an editor whose work you appreciate
I started with recommendations, my friend had an amazing experience at Girl Friday. They have a lot of editors and they’re friendly and professional. The main reason I didn’t go that route was after searching through their team, I didn’t see anyone with mystery experience. (I didn’t think to ask them who their freelancers were.)
Each genre has its own special tropes. In mystery, why does the policeman accept help from an amateur? Etc. I wanted someone who was deeply familiar with the tropes. Ideally, they would have worked on mysteries set in the 1920s or in England.
Next, I read the acknowledgements sections for historical mysteries set in England to see who the author thanked. Most of these editors were nestled in publishers and not available, except for one editor who had a Reedsy profile.
While he wasn’t doing freelance any longer, I was delighted with Reedsy – they vet all the book professionals (editors, publicists, etc.) on their site. They show you reviews. And – amazing! – they link to the books that these professionals worked on.
After reading samples of the books each professional worked on, I sent a request for quotes to 5 editors. Everyone replied, some asked to see more of the book and others sent samples of their work. The prices ranged from low to high, and I chose the expensive end of the spectrum because of the editor’s historical mystery experience. But there were a ton of great editors at lower price points too.
I would highly recommend Reedsy. Next up, how the editing process went…