Editor's Credentials

What should you know about an editor's credentials?

First of all, you should know that there is no credential for editing that would compare with a teaching certificate, for example.

People come into editing from many different fields. Some are writers, some are teachers, some are librarians, and some begin in entry-level jobs in publishing houses. The list of starting points is long and varied. Most of us slide into the job while doing something else. One day editing takes over and we call ourselves editors.

Editing is a complex job.

When you hire an editor, you hire much more than technical expertise. The editor's skill in dealing with you as a writer and as a person are at least as important as her skill with your text.

And the truth is, anyone can announce, "I am an editor," and charge you money for what they do.

I think your real question is....

"How do I know if the editor can do this particular job?"

I belong to the Editor's Association of Canada. You might be interested to know that we are grappling with how to create a system that will rate an editor's credentials.

In the mean time, here are some things to do when you are considering an editor:
  1. Get a sample edit. Many editors offer a sample edit. I do. This is a great way to find out if you will be getting your money's worth.

  2. Ask for references. Then check them. Either contact the authors and ask what they think of the editor's work, or check the acknowledgments in the front of the clients' books. When authors are happy with an editor, they usually trip over themselves with thanks. (Those kudos are not formalities. The authors really are thankful that someone cared enough to make their books as good as possible.)

An editor's credentials may not be as important as the editing services offered. Check out the home page to see what Writer's Helper can do for you.

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