What Freelance Writers Should Know About Hiring Editors

in advice •  2 months ago

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There are writers who are also editors, and then there are writers who are strictly writers. If you happen to be in the latter group, then chances are you've probably met with some frustration here and there throughout your writing career from clients who send work back due to various grammatical errors that you have to figure out how to fix yourself.

Now, you're striking out on your own, be that in the form of a website/blog, or a book. Sure, word processing software goes a long way in terms of correcting things like spelling, but true professional police can only come in the form of an actual, human editor. There are several things you should take into consideration when it comes to the process of hiring an editor to look over your work.

There's more than one sort of editor.

Hiring someone who does general editing to fix what needs fixing so that you can move on to getting your work seen would certainly be the easiest scenario. Yet (no pun intended) that could still leave a lot of room for error, especially when it comes to book editing. There are several categories withing the editing field:

  • Developmental editing is for when you need the tone and plot evolution critiqued. This might or might not include checking grammar - even if it does, though, it's not meant to be at a detailed level.
  • Line editing, which is more familiarly known as copyediting, is what you'd want if it's detailed content consistency, sentence structure/grammar/spelling/punctuation that you're looking to have corrected.
  • Proofreading means evaluating writing at more of a cursory level for grammar, punctuation, and errors of that nature.

Note that these categories can sometimes overlap each other (with price elevating accordingly), depending on the agreement/contract that you and your chosen editor agree to.

Perfection is difficult to attain.

We've all seen articles and books released for and by major publications that have the occasional typographical error in them. Therefore, hope, but don't expect everything to be noticed and corrected, no matter how professional the editor you hire is. So, you might want to hire an editor initially, and then use a browser extension such as Grammarly for a backup. Newer versions of Microsoft Word also have a grammar check. Whether or not either/both of these methods yield reliable results will be up to your own discernment.

**Finding "the one."

Assuming you've already established your budget, there are a bunch of different ways you could go about the hiring process. You could...

Post an online advertisement via known job boards such as:

Join a platform for the same reasons:

Utilize your social media networks, with the most applicable in this case being LinkedIn.

As to the specifics beyond a resumé, ask for an editing sample - editors should have one to show as part of their portfolios. Also, evaluate their testimonials, even perhaps contact some of them. Be thorough in your research before you make that final hiring decision, reasonable and receptive with your chosen editor throughout the actual process, and the results should speak for themselves.

Content source: my own blog - please click the image below for the link!

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Some great advice on editing content for your blog or site.Its always great to share tips on freelancing with digital nomads becoming a popular option learning from others mistakes and experiences can be really beneficial

I liked you post so much I nominated for this weeks @pifc post of the week. you can find my nomination here and more about the project here. Feel free to join us each week finding new authors like yourself


What a great project! I'll definitely be looking into participating :)

I can imagine how hard is being a human editor, My friend published his 3000 pages novel that he finished it up in 12 years and then the editor should sort everything and cut it into 100 pages only, at the same times the demanding readers keep pushing him to published the book and he made it after several months postponed, through soem discussion of the published books, the editor than decided to re-edit the novel and make it a bit different than the first edition. Grammarly working only for English right? each different language has its own spesific editors I think.

I found your post through @chekohler entry post in the pay it forward contest this week and Thanks a lot for sharing this article with us, Now I know Why it's hard to be a proofreader if you're not good in english or other languages needed.


Editing is definitely a difficult career, especially since there are so many different style guides/ways to look at things! Yes, at this time Grammarly is only for the English language - hopefully they'll include more languages someday! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)