Where to Find Quality Editors When You’re Self-Publishing

Finding the perfect editor for your manuscript can be overwhelming. Knowing where to locate your publishing professional can get you one step closer to finding your dream editor. This list is a starting point to help in your self-publishing journey. However, there are some questions at the end of this article to help to jumpstart your interview process.  

It’s important to note that editing is an unregulated field, which means anyone can be an editor. It is always up to you as the author to ask questions and vet the person you’re hiring to edit your book. But let’s start with places you can go to find an editor for your book!

Social Media: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Etc.

Editorial Websites: The EFA, ACES, UC San Diego Ext, University of Chicago, etc.

Editorial websites allow you to advertise your book editing needs to large groups of editors. If you wish to have editors to come to you, you can post a job and accept applications. The type of editor you select is going to be based on your budget and the editor’s experience level.

The EFA and ACES are among the most popular editorial associations in the US. This is because they offer continuing education, workshops, and job boards. The University of Chicago and UCSD Ext also have editor training programs for career editors. Both offer programs that take about a year to complete and offer well-trained professional.

These sites list editors, their experience, and their specialties. As a result, it’s easier for you to pull a large number of professional editors to interview within your niche. Editors on these websites have a wide range of experience levels and expertise. This is a place to start if you need editing within a specific niche.

Referrals: Friends, family, or fellow writers.

Statistically, the best relationships start with referrals, especially in business. The reason for that is that the referrer is familiar with both the service and the person they are referring it to. Hearing the experience of those that you know and trust can be an indicator of if a service is right for you. 

If you’re in a writing group, book club, or know fellow authors try asking for recommendations. Ask who they used, what services they received, and what type of experience they had. If you’re not part of these groups, see if the editor has testimonials listed on their website or can put you in contact with any authors they’ve worked with. Let your friends point you in the direction of matching with an editor you’re comfortable with.

Search Engines: Google, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, et.al.

Moreover, when using social media/search engines you will likely have more success the more specific you are with your book’s needs. Specificity they allow you see more about the services offered as well as how up-to-date the editor is with connecting with authors. This is because search engines favor sites that update their content frequently. All of these options have thousands of editors and services for authors to look into.

Local classes: Writing classes, Editing classes, or Library Services

Governments have been loosening restrictions around the country, therefore many local in-person classes are being offered within communities. Professionally led classes allow you to support local businesses, connect with local writers, and potentially learn new tips or skills to apply to your own book.

Don’t underestimate the power of getting to know your local writing community or finding others in your area to connect with. Engaging with your local writing community can help you stand out in your area as an author to watch, alongside supporting local businesses, shows you give back to your community and trust them too. Libraries frequently offer low-cost or free classes to locals looking to develop skills.

Freelance Websites: Reedsy, Upwork, Fiverr, Contra, Freelancer.com

Lastly, I write this one with a warning to be cautious on these sites. Broadly speaking, providers that offer services that are priced very low are a red flag letting you know something is off.

Clearly, that’s not to say you cannot get good services on these sites. Many freelancers utilize these and charge fair prices, but the caution is toward those deals that are much lower than other reputable editors. There are also lots of scams and scammers on these sites as there are very low standards of practice and accounts are free to create.

Nevertheless, sites like Reedsy are well-known for only accepting writing professionals with verified credentials and rates that reflect that experience. On the whole, they provide a higher quality of service for authors looking to self-publish.


If you have other comments or questions, please drop them in the comment section below. Or if you’d like to talk more about my editing services, click the button below.

Questions to ask an editor you’re interviewing:

  • Do you offer a free sample edit?
  • *This can be a sample of differing sizes depending on the editor or the size of your work. Also some editors do charge a small fee as these do take time and if you don’t book with them they aren’t compensated.
  • What is included in a final edit?
  • What type of editing training do you have?
  • Do you read within my genre?
  • Can you clarify how any problems with my manuscript will be handled? Will I be contacted?
  • What program do you use to edit? How will edits be shown?
  • Can you walk me through what it’s like to work with you?
  • How should questions after editing be handled?

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