Clients come to us and ask: so – Emma, Lieze… What do I need to keep in mind when self-publishing a best-seller? And in all honesty – it always comes back to three things: Cover, editing and publishing quality. We have planned blog posts to talk about your book cover and the quality of the typesetting and printing but now we just want to talk about editors.

I am not going to lie:  choosing an editor is though! You want someone that fits your genre and style and gives your book the best shot at becoming a best-seller possible. You want someone who is a great copy-editor AND a great line-editor.

We have known a lot of authors that only wanted line-edits – Which is basically just a pot of narcissistic bull-crap (Sorry Lieze, for swearing on the Blog).  You want someone to look at your writing without pity and helps you polish your rough diamond to a masterpiece.

But how can you do this when there are SO many services available? And what kind of editing does your book need?

There are various levels of editing that range from helping authors with an idea for a book to assisting authors to ensure every typo or missed punctuation is fixed.

Some online book editors provide all levels of editing, while others specialize in one or two. Your choices are:

  1. Structural/developmental editing- A structural or developmental editor looks at the overall structure of your book. They read through your book and look for plotholes, inconsistencies, and the overall pace of your book.
  • Looks at your book overall structures
  • Restructures your content
  • Removes irrelevant and repetitive content
  • Suggests new content
  1. Copyediting- A copyeditor is someone who corrects commonly confused words, as well as checking the consistency of facts and the consistency of capitalization, hyphenation, and numerals. They also rewrite sentences in order to make the story and the writing flow better or better readable.
  • Focuses on readability
  • Reorganises paragraphs
  • Looks at sentence structure
  1. Proofreading- Is someone who does the final check of the book before the publication to find any missing typos, words, spacing, and its formatting.
  • Spelling, grammar, punctuation, typos

Still not sure what kind of editing you need? We offer consultations for all our clients and advise them on our editing services.


Freelance Marketplaces

There are hundreds of websites that will enable you to hire freelance editors as temporary or as long-term employees and pay per hour, per project, or per word basis and more. If we are not a good fit for you, you might want to have a look at these websites and freelance marketplaces. Here are the top sites that I profoundly recommend you to use:

  1. Upwork

Upwork is a freelance marketplace I can highly recommend. I used it for freelance marketing management jobs, Lieze uses it to translate books on the side and Luke freelances as an SEO manager.

There are nearly 60.000 editors on Upwork – but obviously, they highly differ in experience and quality. Quality does not often come cheap on Upwork!

  1. Fiverr

Fiverr is a site where workers offer either standard or more unique services which most services start out at a rate of $5. You get what you pay for on Fiverr…

  1. Guru

Guru is a general-use freelance employment platform which also offers work in proofreading, copywriting and structural editing. It connects and collaborates with freelancers and employers to work through a flexible and secure platform.

  1. Reedsy

Reedsy is full of expert editors for every editing level and genre. They select their editors and only allow the best of the best to be listed on their website. You will have to empty your pockets on this one!

  1. Scribendi

Scribendi is an online editing service which has over 300 experienced editors. You can decide how fast you want your book to be edited and how thorough the edit should be. With that, they will match you the right editor. Not cheap at all!

Give potential editors a test drive

Not sure what editor to choose? Give potential editors a test drive and decide for yourself which editor has the skill and feel to work on your book.

You might want to ask an editor if they would edit 10-15 pages of your book. Obviously, they won’t work for free – but it is a great way to ensure that the editor you will ultimately choose is worth it!

Ask for referrals and references

You can ask other authors for referrals to help you find the right editor for your book. Referrals are an excellent way to find editors who have already proven themselves to have the skill to edit your book.

If that does not work, you could ask potential editors for references. If you’re going to examine an editor by talking about references, you might ask:

  • What type of projects have you worked on?
  • Was there anything you were unhappy with?
  • Did you meet agreed-upon deadlines?
  • Did the final cost match the initial quote?
  • Did the author contact you again for their next book?

Ways to know bad editors and services

Ultimately, there is one last piece of advice that could help you find a good editor and avoid poor service. Some websites gather all the complaints from authors who experienced poor service. They post the list of editors and businesses to warn other writers. This is why you might want to google the name of your editor…

Choosing an editor has never been easier. Hopefully, the things I’ve outlined above will give you an idea to find the right editor in your niche.

Contact me today on emma at to see what we can do for you!


This blog post was written by Emma Green. 
Emma is our PR Princess and Grammar Girl


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