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How To Choose the Right Editor for Your Writing Project

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By Julia Bashore

how to choose an editor

So you’ve finally finished the very last sentence of your writing project – congratulations!

Whether you’re working on a book, a business presentation, or an academic paper, getting to the finish line is a major accomplishment.

Now that you’ve finished this key first step, you might be wondering what’s next.

Regardless of what kind of writing you’re doing, your work will benefit from being checked over by a professional editor.

Hiring an editor is an essential step if you want to ensure that your writing is the best quality it can be.  A good editor will also make sure that your writing has every chance of reaching your target audience.

Read on to learn more about why an editor is important, and how to find the right one for your work.


What Do Editors Provide?

A Second Set of Eyes

First and foremost, editors provide a much-needed second set of eyes to catch any mistakes in your piece.

They’ll help make sure the tone, message, and style of your writing is consistent and effective.

Editors can help make sure you’ve used the best word choice and structure for your work, too.

An advanced technical manual is going to require very different wording than a beginner’s guide.

A novel aimed at young students may need a different structure than one intended for more mature readers.

A business proposal for subject matter experts might look completely different than one written for the general population.

Editors are pros at helping you figure out the best way to present your content so that your ideas are as effective as possible.

Pointing You in the Right Direction

Editors do more than just surface corrections, however.

Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in our original vision when it comes to writing.  We can’t see beyond what we started out with, whether it’s a story plotline or an academic conclusion.

A professional editor will be able to offer you guidance if they see another, better path for your work.

This can be difficult to hear.  After all, we all like to feel as if our work is just perfect as it is.

But the truth is, a practiced editor with a proven track record may have valuable insights into how to make your work stronger.

Suggestions for how to rewrite and revise will help you strengthen your piece and look at it from a new perspective.

Even if you and your editor don’t agree on everything, simply having someone looking at your work from a critical, unbiased standpoint is helpful.

The best part is, a good editor will work with you on the journey to modify your work.  They’ll be there for you every step of the way as you go back, tinker, revise, and strengthen.

Getting Your Work in the Right Hands

Working with a good editor will also give your work a fighting chance when it comes to reaching the audience you had in mind.

Whether you’re writing a business proposal to drive up sales or a young adult novel aimed at middle schoolers, a savvy editor will help ensure that your work is appealing to the demographic you’re seeking.

You may be hoping to catch the eye of a literary agent, spark interest in a particular high-end client, gain acceptance to a certain program, or receive funding for a grant proposal.

A well-edited piece is much more likely to be accepted by whichever audience you’re aiming to impress.


Editor Options: What’s Right For You?

It’s clear that working with an editor offers big benefits.  Finding the right editor, however, can be tricky.

A Well-Known Editing Company

If you’re blessed with unlimited funds and plenty of connections, you might be able to hire an editor from a reputable company (think Penguin Random House, Knopf, et cetera).

However, most of these editors are already booked with clients.  It can be expensive and time-consuming to secure even a one-time session to have an editor look over your work.

Message Boards or Talent Sites

For this reason, some writers go out on a limb and create posts on message boards or other websites in hopes of connecting with someone who’s a good fit for their project.

This can be risky, though.  There’s no guarantee that someone will accept your offer in a timely fashion.

You also run the risk of wasting time if the person you end up working with turns out to be ineffective at editing.  Revisions and changes will always take time, but if they turn out to be poor suggestions, that’s time you won’t be getting back.

Not to mention, you may risk losing your work entirely if the person with whom you connect turns out not to be trustworthy.  Potential plagiarism is a major downside of working with an unvetted editor online.

Automated Software

Another option many writers are beginning to explore is automated editing software.  In lieu of a living, breathing editor, writers can download editing services to scan their text and correct issues.

AI services can be extremely convenient, but they also pose certain problems.

Automated software can often correct surface mistakes, but there are shades of meaning that it’s impossible for artificial intelligence to convey.

Especially for non-native English speakers, these subtle differences can really make or break the tone of a piece of writing.

These services can also be quite pricey and require downloading a great deal of software per project.

Online Editing Services

Due to the potential drawbacks of each of these scenarios, an excellent solution for many writers is to hire a real editor through an online service like Scribendi.

Online editors are real people whose work has been verified.  These are editors with proven backgrounds who are held accountable through their company.

An online editor will provide the attentive detail your work needs without the risk of breaking the bank or losing your time or ideas.


How Do Online Editing Services Keep Your Work Safe?

Scribendi Scribendi

Scribendi offers a full suite of professional editing and proofreading services to academics, students, professionals, authors, and individuals from all around the world. With unmatched quality, exceptional accuracy, and impressive turnaround times, Scribendi has been an industry leader for 20+ years.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Choosing an online option like Scribendi means your writing will be reviewed by a real, live person (not a faceless software bot!) who is confident in fixing syntactical, tonal, and grammatical errors.

Because Scribendi’s editing services come with a service guarantee, you can rest assured your ideas and original content won’t be stolen.  In fact, nothing you submit to your Scribendi editor will ever leave the website.

For security reasons, everything submitted to the site remains entirely confidential.  The platform itself is encrypted to guarantee privacy, so you know third-party hackers won’t be able to lift any of your content.

While many online editing services exist, Scribendi is currently the only one to meet the most recent ISO-certified guidelines.  This means they are the only editing service that is up to date with the most recent global standard for quality.

This means that not only will your work be protected, it will also be placed in experienced hands.  In fact, the Scribendi hiring process is so rigorous that they reported hiring only 5% of applicants to actually edit content.


What Projects Work for Online Editing?

Scribendi tailors to a wide variety of project types.  Whether you’re a business professional writing a proposal or an aspiring author working on a book draft, there’s an editor ready to assist you with your work.

Scribendi is especially useful for papers and articles published in the academic world.  Editors can even ensure that your paper is up-to-date for different citation styles, whether you’re using MLA, Turabian, APA, or Chicago, among others.

For journals requiring proof of professional editing, a Scribendi invoice will provide the convenient documentation you need.

Scribendi also returns 99.5% of work before the assigned deadline, meaning you have the option to make sure your work is perfect long before you have to click that final submission button.

Letting a professional handle these important touches guarantees that your work won’t be flagged simply for not meeting baseline requirements.  No one wants their article, proposal, or piece to be put out of the running simply for a stylistic error.

An online editing service can also be helpful if English is your second language.

Since the majority of academic journals require contributions to be published in English, it can be challenging for non-native speakers to make sure their work is as understandable and clear as possible.

After all, speaking a second language is difficult – writing a grammatically correct, academic-level paper is even moreso!  No one wants their hardwon and carefully researched work to go on the back burner due to language barriers.

Thankfully, Scribendi offers specifically tailored English as a Second Language options to address these challenges and make sure that your writing shows off the content to the best possible advantage.

Of course, these helpful editing options aren’t limited to academic papers.  Scribendi editors are equipped with the skills to polish any type of work and make it shine.


Is an Online Editor Worth It?

Online editing isn’t free.  Just like with any other service, you can expect to pay for high-quality feedback on your work.

While some online editors charge by the hour (and then decide themselves how many hours a project will take), Scribendi bases cost on word count and turnaround time.

The more words you have in your piece, the more it will cost.  Ditto for a speedy turnaround time.  These are important factors to consider at the outset of your project, regardless of which editing option you end up pursuing.

Figuring out how much an editing job will cost isn’t difficult with Scribendi, as they offer instant quotes per job.  Once you know your piece’s word count and how soon you’ll need it returned, you can use their instant online widget to get an estimate on the price.

Scribendi also offers a unique sample option.  They allow you to send a small portion of your work to be edited so you can get an idea for how they will adapt and improve your entire project.

Keep in mind that you’re not only paying for someone to make your work better.  You’re also paying for the security and convenience of the online service.

So instead of worrying about how to track down an editor or gauge whether or not their ideas are reliable, all you need to worry about is what to do next with your well-written, well-edited finished product.

Deciding which journal or publishing house to dazzle with your perfectly polished piece?  That’s a task most writers won’t mind taking on.

Click here to learn more about how Scribendi’s editing services can help with your next writing project.

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