4 Things to Look for in a Book Editor

Being an author is a challenging endeavor, and one of the things that make it so is finding the right editor to review your work. 

Every author needs an editor. First, because an editor has the expertise to recognize errors in grammar and structure that you may overlook. Second, their job is also to ensure your content is organized for maximum clarity and comprehension. A good book editor will even help keep you motivated throughout the writing process. But whether you’re just starting or have been in the writing game for a while, getting a valuable editor can be difficult. Here are four things you want to look for when choosing one. 

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You want an editor who knows what they’re doing. Imagine you’re getting a check-up from a doctor. Would you look for someone who has just graduated from medical school or someone with years of experience? Most likely the latter. The same goes for book editors; it is best to find an editor who has plenty of experience in editing works similar to yours.

How much experience is enough? That varies based on the editor and the level of expertise they bring. Generally speaking, though, you should look for an editor with at least three years of experience in editing books.


Some editors are experts in non-fiction, while others have a knack for fiction. Look for an editor with experience in the genre of your work or other related specialties that you believe will be beneficial to your project. 

Say you’re writing a textbook on tools necessary for data analysis. It would be ideal to find an editor that specializes in business, statistics, and data analysis as one who specializes in romance stories would not be of much help in this case.


Apart from being able to spot errors and improve the structure of your work, an editor should also have a creative eye for stylistic changes. 

A great book editor will help you find innovative ways to express yourself, as well as recommend how to make your writing more vivid and engaging. For example, if you’re writing about a mysterious character, an editor with a knack for creativity might suggest that you use metaphors to create suspense and keep the readers guessing. 


Finally – and perhaps most importantly – the cost of an editor matters. While it is important to find an editor who can provide quality services at a reasonable rate, be careful not to compromise quality for price.  On the other hand, remember also that price isn’t always an indicator of quality –  an editor may charge more, but that doesn’t always mean they are better. 

A great way to get a general idea of cost is by researching the average rate for book editors in your area. 

Choosing the right book editor is no easy task, but by considering these four factors – experience, specialties, creativity, and rates – you will be well on your way to finding the perfect fit for your writing project. With the right editor in tow, you can be sure that your work will turn out great.

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