Master Guide to Selecting the Best Book Editor


Choosing a book editor can be stressful. How’s one to know if one editor or editing service is better than the other?

As authors, we can only base our decision on things like their listed testimonials, prices, and if we’re lucky, a recommendation from a friend.

But, are you getting your money’s worth? Is one editor actually worth their asking price or can you get a better return on your investment somewhere else?

Well, that’s what we’re going to cover today with our book editor mastery guide.

I not only want to teach you about the differences in professional editing services–because there are a lot–but I also want to give you a standardized way to test two editors and choose the one who will truly give you the best return on your investment.

This single step has helped me to build the perfect team and was instrumental to my multiple book successes – because there’s nothing that kills sales and reviews more than poor spelling, grammar, and book structure.

Types of Book Editing Services

So what does a book editor do?

It seems simple, there are editors who edit books, right? When I first dug into this topic, however, I was surprised to find it’s super confusing.


Editors, authors, and even professional organizations for editors use different terms to define what editors do. When it’s time for you to connect with a manuscript editor, you absolutely must clarify what is and what is not included in their service.

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

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

Make sure you find the RIGHT editing for what you WRITE. #selfpublishingClick To Tweet

Here is a rundown of common terms for editing services as well as some other terms editors may use to describe them. These are arranged from heaviest editing to lightest editing.

  • Developmental editing (may also be called structural or content) – looks at the book’s big picture and overall structure in nonfiction or plot and characters in fiction. Developmental editors may assess a book idea, outline, or early draft to tell authors what works and what could be better. The big picture questions need to be answered first before an editor ensures your words are polished and used correctly.
  • Line editing (may also be called substantive or stylistic) – goes through each line refining the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences and smooth-transitioning paragraphs. This helps the book “sound good” by polishing the language used to communicate your story.
  • Copyediting – corrects grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Copyediting also includes correcting commonly confused words (e.g., affect and effect) as well as checking for internal consistency of facts and consistency with capitalization, hyphenation, and numerals.
    • Important note: Sometimes Copyediting and Line Editing are the same thing…just depends on that editor's interpretation.  In our list of book editors below, we combined them as “LE and CE” and just made it one.
  • Proofreading – a final check before publication to find missed typos, missing words, repeated words, spacing and formatting consistency. Proofreading should be the very last level of editing.

Wow! That made my head spin.

If you are still not sure which editing service you need, many editors offer a free consultation and are happy to help you figure that out.  Some won't even give you a price until they've seen your work.  So be friendly and send them a request.

Never fear. The red pen is your friend. #editingClick To Tweet

List of Book Editors:

Speaking of book editing services, let's talk about some of the best Editors out there!

The following list comprises of editors that came highly recommended from some of the top self-publishers.

However, in an attempt to ensure their information was organized and uniform, we requested that each editor state which three services they perform (Developmental, Line Editing and Copyediting – LE and CE, and Proofreading), prices for each, and which four genres they specialize in.

In truth, most of the below professional book editors have other services and specialize in other genres as well.  But, I sort of held their toes to the fire so that we could see an organized list of information 😉

So, if you have any questions, check them out:

List of Book Editors

EditorServicesRatesGenre Specialty
Elise Gallagher
(My personal editor)
Per Project Basis
Starting rate: $.02 per word
Nonfiction-Business, Self-Help, Health & Fitness
Jennifer BlanchardDevelopmental$.03 per wordNonfiction, Romance, Mystery, Thriller
Chantel HamiltonDevelopmental
LE and CE
Starts at $8000
Starts at $4000
Starts at $1000
Nonfiction-Business, Memoir, Creativity, Lifestyle
George Wilson (Cambridge Proofreading)Developmental LE and CE ProofreadingStart at $20.90 per 1,000 wordsNonfiction, Academic & ESL, Business
Katharine D’SouzaDevelopmental
LE and CE
£26.50 per hour
£26.50 per hour
£4 per 1000 words
Contemporary/Women’s, Thrillers, Historical
Lorraine Reguly (Wording Well)Developmental
LE and CE Proofreading
$.05-0.15 per word (Developmental Editing)
$.025-0.045 per word (LE and CE Proofreading)
Nonfiction, Fiction
Philip AthansDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.03 per word
$.02 per word
Adult & YA Fiction (Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror)
Sarah FoxDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.03 per word
$.02 per word
$.01 per word
Young Adult, Middle Grade, Literary Fiction, Fantasy
Victoria MixonDevelopmental
LE and CE
Mystery, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Thriller
Thelma MarianoDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.01-.03 per word
$.02-.04 per word
Women’s Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy, Suspense
Jessi Rita HoffmanDevelopmental
LE and CE
Contact for ratesNonfiction, Business, Spirituality, Novels
Roz MorrisDevelopmental
LE and CE
£.o45 per word
£26.50 per hour
£26.50 per hour
Contemporary, Literary Historic, Thrillers, Fiction
Leigh HoganDevelopmental
$.010 per word
$.03 per word
Romance, Sci Fi, Horror, Fiction
C. S. LakinDevelopmental
LE and CE
$70 per hourFantasy-Sci-Fi, Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Wendy JanesProofreading£3-£5 per 1000 wordsContemporary, Literary, Romance, Mystery
Cassandra DunnDevelopmental
LE and CE
$60 per hour
$50 per hour
$50 per hour
General Fiction, Women’s, Memoir, Young Adult
Debra HartmannDevelopmental
LE and CE
Contact for Price
$1-5 per 250
$1-3 per 250
Fiction, Most Genres
Judith HenstraDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.01 per wordFiction, Contemporary Fiction, Nonfiction
Maya RockDevelopmental
LE and CE
Young Adult, Romance, Thriller, Literary
Deborah BancroftLE and CE
$50 Flat Rate
Lighter Work-Lighter Rate
Heavier Work-Heavier Rate
Business, Nonfiction, Mystery/Thriller
Derek MurphyDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.02 per word
$.04 per word
$.06 per word
Young Adult, Fantasy, Nonfiction Business, Thrillers
Georgette TaylorDevelopmental
Copy Editing
Request a quoteGeneral Fiction and Non-fiction
Leslie WattsDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.02-.1 per wordSpeculative Fiction, Fantasy, YA, Romance
Katie McCoachDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.025-.03 per word
$.018-.028 per word
$.009-.015 per word
Romance, YA, NA, SFF (YA only)
Liz DexterLE and CE
£7 per 1000 wordsHow-to, Health & fitness, Instruction Manuals, Marketing
Liam CarnahanDevelopmental
LE and CE
$0.004 per word
$.02 per word
$.0085 per word
Fiction, Sci-Fi, Mystery/Horror, Drama
Jenny HuttonDevelopmental
LE and CE
£500 – £700
£400 – £600
Women’s Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Erotica
Maggie LyonsDevelopmental
LE and CE
$.02 per word
$.02-.03 per word
$.015 per word
Business, Self-help, Academic and ESL; Middle-Grade
Michelle Barker, David BrownDevelopmental
LE and CE
$0.007 to $0.02 per wordLiterary Fiction, Historical Fiction, SFF, YA, Mystery/Thriller
The Write PracticeHigh-level Developmental Editing$1000Fiction, Memoir, and Nonfiction
My Two Cents EditingDevelopmental
LE and CE
Starts at $1000
Starts at $.04/word
Fiction, How-To


In addition to the individual editors listed above, the Reedsy marketplace is full of vetted professional editors for every editing level and genre. They screen their editors and only allow the best of the best to be listed on their website. I'm a BIG fan of them because they have made the process easy for me to find the best book editors, book cover designers, and even writers to help me with my projects.  Talk about awesome!


Ebook Launch

Another place to find professional editing service is the team at Ebook Launch. They have a team of professional editors who can polish your book for an affordable price. You can even get a free sample edit of 750 words to help you decide if they're a good fit. The small team at Ebook Launch also provides amazing book cover designs and formatting in addition to their editing service.


A site where you can hire editors on a freelance basis. Has a range of prices so there is something to suit most budgets. Be sure to take the usual caution when working with a freelancer. Check out their reputation carefully first and communicate carefully with them in order to determine a schedule, payment expectations, methods of communication etc.


Another online editing service is Scribendi, which has over 300 experienced and educated editors. They've been around a long time. With this service, you decide how fast you want the book edited and how extensive the edit should be, then they match you with an editor. You don't ever actually meet the editor, but rather work through their customer service team. Their prices depend on your requested turnaround time and word count. You can get a free quote here.

Cambridge Proofreading and Editing

This is an excellent Chicago-based international agency with over 300 editors. They cover a huge range of genres and specialisms. With both British and American editors on their books, they edit in both UK and US English styles. The price is dependent on the level of editing you require and the speed of your delivery needs.

Book Editing Associates

BEA was formed in 1998 to help writers find professional book editors and proofreaders with experience working for traditional publishing houses. It continues to be a matchmaking service for writers and editors and now includes editors who can assist with the self-publishing process. The network includes award-winning editors and ghostwriters who have worked on best-sellers. Writers work directly with the editors they select. Rates vary by editor. Use the submission form for direct contact and a price quote.

Author Packages

In addition to cover designs and formatting, you can get professional proofreading through Author Packages. They can help you make sure your manuscript is ready for publication.

What to Look for in an Editor

Now that you have a basic understanding of the book editing services, and have access to a list of top editors, ask yourself what you are looking for in an editor.

There are several things to consider when choosing book editors:

  • Recommendations – Is this person recommended by someone you know or other writers who have worked with her? Does she have any references you can contact? This will help you understand the editor’s experience, as well as what it’s like for authors to work with her.
  • Specialty – Do you want a copy editor who will strictly follow the rules in the Chicago Manual of Style? Do you want someone whose specialty is line editing and can write smooth, clear, and creative sentences? Are you looking for someone to make sure you don’t have any glaring grammar or spelling mistakes so as to avoid the brutal grammar police reviews? Or do you want someone to look at the overall structure or plot of your book?
  • Genre – If you’re a nonfiction author, your best bet is to choose editors who understand the structure of good nonfiction books; they know what works and will keep readers happy. If you’re a fiction author, select a fiction editor who is passionate about those stories and knows what readers of your genre are looking for. Choosing an editor within your genre is especially important for developmental editing.
  • Language – Many freelance online editors work internationally. One thing to look for in an editor is someone who speaks the desired language of your book as a first language. Grammar rules and spelling are different in American English and British English, for example.
  • Sample – Most editors will do a sample edit for free or a small fee. Send a few editors the same sample of your book and see how they come back. Every editor edits differently. This will be a chance to find out if they can make your book better, keep your voice, and work well with you.
  • Rates – Most online book editors are freelance editors, which means they set their own rates. Editors may charge per word, hour, or project. Editing is a valuable investment in your book as a good editor can turn your story from meh to amazing! But the highest rates don’t necessarily mean the best editor, and the lowest rates could be wasted money. Definitely take rates into consideration, but don’t select an editor solely on price.
  • Software and Systems – Some of us writers like using certain types of writing tools or software.  I personally love to write my books using Scrivener, and will then switch to Google docs for better tracking systems.  However, I've run into editors who only use Word document.  That's no bueno for me.  So, make sure they are good with whatever writing programs you want to use.

What Do You Do If You Can't Choose?

When we go to select a book editor, how do we know that that person really is a professional?  How do we know that they are worth the price as compared to the other editors out there?

I'm not good enough with grammar to figure it out (as you can see in my Grammarly review).  All I see is that they made corrections…but did they get them all?

So, instead of just ‘hoping' they were the right one, I devised a Standardized Editor test.

Most editors will do a free sample editing. So, instead of just sending them the first couple pages of your book, why not send them a test? This way, you have an answer key and you can see EXACTLY how they did.  Did they do a good job?  Did they miss certain grammar rules?

More importantly, how did they do compared to another editor?

Think something like that would be useful?

editor-book-arrowThen, check out my free Editor Test and start finding out if an editor is worth the price they are asking, and how they compare to others!

  • Compare editors
  • Ensure they're worth the price
  • Don't get scammed!

Download the Test Now!

The truth about grammar is that there are LOTS of different nuances and even varying rules. So, to ensure our test doesn’t lead to arguments or inaccuracy, we designed it with the following in mind:

  • The grammar rules follow American English, which differs from British English.
  • It tests grammar, punctuation, and spelling (things mostly at copyediting and proofreading level of editing). Even though the writing may benefit from heavier line editing, that is not part of this editing assessment.
  • Grammar rules and recommendations vary by style guide. The preferred style guide for this article is the Chicago Manual of Style, a common style guide for book authors. Dictionaries also disagree sometimes. The preferred dictionary for this piece is the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Where Else Can I Look for Book Editors?

Didn’t find the right editor above? No worries. You may have to try several before finding the right one to help make your book better.

Here are a few other methods you can use to the find an editor who fits your writing style:

Word of mouth

  • Friends
  • Authors in your genre
  • Social media groups for writers (e.g., Facebook or LinkedIn)
  • Forums on popular writing websites
  • Sales page of books – some people list their editor on their sales page. Look at the books of authors you respect and see if their editors are listed on the sales page.



A place you can post your job and hire freelance editors. With nearly 60,000 editors on the site, however, it can be a daunting project to find the right editor. To narrow down the candidates, you could make a detailed project description with required skills, language competency, and portfolio requirements. This should help eliminate unqualified editors. You can also include a random requirement like “Respond with ‘Hey, Jedi!’” in to find those detail-oriented editors who actually read your entire post and follow directions.


At first, I didn't want to add Fiverr to this list because there are a LOT of editors on Fiverr that aren't exactly a good investment.  But, that doesn't mean there aren't amazing opportunities out there.  Editors like Kerrie McLoughlin, have done an amazing job with their Editor Fiver gigs.  However, if you do decide to go through Fiverr, then ABSOLUTELY use my test to ensure you aren't hiring someone who isn't qualified.

Proofreading Students

Caitlin Pyle wrote a guest post for us about proofreading. She also shared a list of students who've passed her intense general proofreading course, which included a final exam. If you're looking for someone to help you with that final polish, check out this list of proofreaders.

Ever wondered if you have what it takes to proofread someone else's writing? Check out this article about how to become a proofreader.

Editor Directories

These professional organizations have searchable directories of their members and some allow you to add a job post for free.


A #book #editor should be a teammate because that's what a good editor really is!Click To Tweet

Bad Editors and Services

Finally, there is one last piece of advice that could help you find a good editor and avoid bad service.

Some sites compile complaints from writers of bad or fraudulent service and post the list of people and businesses to warn other writers.

Here are a couple:

  • Preditors & Editors has posted “Not Recommended” next to those in their directory who they’ve received the most complaints about
  • SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) has a “Thumbs Down Agencies List”


Editing Software To Help

While proofreading software can never replace a human book editor, there are several tools and grammar checkers that can help supplement hiring an editor.

Check out my reviews and comparisons below:

So, What Are You Waiting For?

As you can see, picking an editor doesn’t have to be guesswork.

Instead, you can make the right choice from the beginning so as to find that winning team without having to waste oodles of dollars.

editor-book-arrowAlso, to ensure you have the right editor who is worth the price they are asking for, make sure to download my free Editor Test and compare them with others in the market.  This will help take the guesswork out of it and allow you to build the right team around YOUR writing.

You can either choose from our list of professional book editors above or find new ones out there and test them with our free book editing test.

Either way, choosing an editor has never been easier.




  1. Sara on July 28, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    I’m requesting that you remove Mikaela Pederson (A Step up Editing) from your recommended editor list. After reading your recommendation, I used her and regretted it. Here’s what happened:

    I booked with her in October 2019, sent her my full manuscript December 2019. It was due back in February. February came around and she postponed until March. March came around and she postponed until April. April came around and she then cancelled on me (after waiting FOUR MONTHS) and then offered to refund me. She did not refund me immediately. It took another THREE MONTHS to receive a PARTIAL refund.

    This entire process set me back SEVEN MONTHS. Her communication was also terrible throughout the process. It often took her weeks to respond to my emails. I am still waiting on the rest of my refund and she has not returned my emails for nearly a month now.

    She seems like a nice girl, but unreliable. I can not attest to her editing skills since she never sent me the edited manuscript.

    She does not deserve to be on your list and I’d like to spare anyone else the heartache and frustration of this situation.

    • Dave Chesson on July 29, 2020 at 9:37 pm

      Sorry you ran into that and will do. It wasn’t the experience I had, but things do change. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Rohan Yadav on July 11, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I will go through your blog when I write my thesis and also will take help your blog to find the best editor. Your blog is helpful for a person who has no idea about this process, he/she can get wonderful tips and save money to waste on any worst editor.

  3. Stephen on June 22, 2020 at 1:17 am

    Super helpful article, so thank you for that! I’m working on my first book, so this is all completely new to me. Question: Do I have to worry about copy righting my story at all or anything legal before handing it over to an editor? Or is that typically not an issue? Thanks in advance!

  4. Lulu Bowen on January 27, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I have a question… how do software programmes rate in comparison to using an editing service. I ask simply from the point of view as someone with a limited income, who is thinking outside the box for solutions to produce the best polished product I can with the means I have.Will software do a large percentage of the ‘work’ that will then allow an author to use a proof reader or line editor to just do a final check?

    • Dave Chesson on January 27, 2020 at 3:25 pm

      It is not the best option. A program will never beat a good editor. The only thing I suggest is that a writer uses a program to help as they work or write. This helps make your book cleaner and causes less effort on the editor – making them happy and if done well enough, could cause your rates with the editor to stay lower or low. If you have too many issues, an editor may demand more.But if you just cannot afford an editor, then the best way is to use a program, and have you do a full read through, and have someone else (friend) do a full read through…and the more the merrier.

  5. Liv Haggard on June 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    I’m starting out as an editor, and this has helped me so much!

    • Dave Chesson on June 18, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      Awesome and glad that helped!

  6. Joel J. on January 12, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    This is a great article, and your website is designed really well! Awesome! I think PaperBlazer is also worth mentioning. The prices are lower than most listed here, and the service has been around for years. For anyone needing fast and affordable editing, That is probably a good option. Thanks for the awesome article and good list of ideas.

  7. Gopal Sharma on October 19, 2018 at 5:57 am

    This is terrific. I am tempted to be an editor. But in India , an editor for Hindi and other Indian languages is a rarity.

    • Dave Chesson on October 19, 2018 at 10:55 am


  8. Joan Boneb on July 5, 2018 at 9:37 am

    The post is written in very a nice manner and it contains very useful information for me!

    • Dave Chesson on July 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Awesome and glad it helped!

  9. Daniel Potter on April 24, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Great job! Thanks for sharing this list

    • Dave Chesson on April 24, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Thanks and glad to help out.

  10. David Colin Carr on April 23, 2018 at 9:39 pm
    • Dave Chesson on April 24, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Somehow you got it to allow a blank response – bravo

  11. Cynthia Gurin on January 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Food for thought…
    Few people write well.
    Even fewer can tell a good story.IF YOU CAN TELL A GOOD STORY, and you ‘ve been working on a book…but your
    writing skills are a little rusty and maybe you could use a hand…I’m
    Give me a shout.

  12. Cynthia Gurin on January 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Food for thought…
    Few people write well.
    Even fewer can tell a good story.

    IF YOU CAN TELL A GOOD STORY, and you’ve been working on a book…but your
    writing skills are a little rusty and maybe you could use a hand…I’m
    your Editor.

    Give me a shout.

  13. Chris Dodson on November 27, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Rule number one re: your created prose: Never copy edit your own work! Rules number two and three…same as number one.
    What do great authors such as Grisham, King, Demille, Hemingway, Steinbeck, etc have in common? They all have and had proficient copy editors.
    Our soulful, intuitive, sparks of brilliance are all for naught if they’re not sieved through unbiased filters of craft, vis a vis, a good copy editor.
    Trust me on this, do not try and save a buck by going it alone, whether self-publishing or traditional; you’ll waste your time and creative energy.

  14. Linda Yezak on November 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

    New Link for Linda W. Yezak’s Canopy Editing Services (formerly Triple Edge Critique)

  15. Carol Vorvain on October 31, 2017 at 1:55 am is also quite a unique place to find editors and not only. Their editors are also curated and offer a discount on their rates.

  16. Victoria Yin on October 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Has anyone tried Manuscript-Magic ( They’re a group of editors from NY who offer complete editing plus reviews from potential readers (which sounds intriguing!). I spoke with someone there and they’re clearly fluent enough; just not sure about the price?

  17. Dr. Vicky on October 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Has anyone tried Manuscript-Magic ( They’re a group of editors from NY who offer complete editing plus reviews from potential readers (which sounds intriguing!). I spoke with someone there and they’re clearly fluent enough; just not sure about the price?

  18. Jeannie Wilson on October 11, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for this article! I have been freelance editing for several years now, and I have never been able to find something that gives such a succinct and clear summary of the different types of editing services and going rates. I got my start on UpWork, and most of my clients have expressed how difficult it is to find good editors and how thankful they were for my work.

  19. Lorraine Reguly on May 30, 2017 at 7:05 am

    This is a FANTASTIC list of editors and I am pleased to be included among your favorites!
    My latest client saw my name here and mentioned something about me having 5 stars by my name. However, I don’t see that type of rating here. Am I missing something, Dave?

    • Dave Chesson on May 30, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Stars? Nope…dont’ think we ever had those.

      • Lorraine Reguly on May 30, 2017 at 11:08 am

        Maybe she saw my name somewhere else, although I can’t think of where, unless others have been blogging about and rating me without my knowledge! LOL
        Regardless, having 5 stars is a good thing. 😉

        Thanks for you reply.

        P.S. I won’t edit your comment. I’ll let you do that. 😉 I DON’T want to seem pushy. 😉

  20. scmathisen on January 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    You have Leslie Watts listed twice.

    • Dave Chesson on January 6, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Yup…that’s because she has two websites with two different focuses and structure.

  21. Amar Vyas on November 27, 2016 at 2:13 am

    This is a very useful list, and a great post, Dave! Thanks for putting this together.

    • Dave Chesson on November 27, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Glad you liked it. Yeah, I started putting that list together when I was searching for an editor…and figured it would be good to get out there for everyone else. I’ll keep it up-to-date as I go.

  22. Story Season on October 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    The best editor I’ve ever used was right here:

    Cheap, and reliable!

  23. Kerrie McLoughlin on October 17, 2016 at 3:41 am

    I love the mention on Amazon. I think I have only had one author do that for me. I wish more would do that so we know who to hire or avoid!

  24. Mindy Durbin Schoeneman on October 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    You know, I have to say that some of the per-word prices in this post are much lower than what I know to be industry average pricing. Take a look at these rates from the Editorial Freelancers Association (keeping in mind that a manuscript page is typically 250 words):

    Additionally, I think that many GREAT, very reputable editors absolutely will not complete a sample edit for free. They can point you to their work, their testimonials, and their references, though, free of charge. And if you’re curious why editors I know do not offer a free sample edit, check out this video to illustrate the point.

    • Dave Chesson on October 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Well, hopefully, now self published authors can now see that there are a lot of AMAZING editors who can do outstanding work for a LOT cheaper than that list. As for the free editing sample, yeah – so long as the editor has solid proof that they are a legit editor with great credentials, that’s all you need. But if they don’t have that and won’t provide a free sample edit, then there are a lot of fish in the sea and it’s best to move on.

    • Thelma M. on October 17, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Funny video! But as a freelance editor, I want to point out that “proving” my skills is only part of the equation. The bigger reason for me to offer a sample edit is to determine if the writing is READY for an edit. Learning to write fiction is a craft. Beginning authors are often better served by attending workshops or joining a critique group to develop their skills BEFORE submitting their work for editing. I simply cannot take on a new client without seeing any of their work.

  25. Kerrie McLoughlin on October 14, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I’m not sure why you said “ha” after Fiverr. I’ve been a proofreader (more like a line editor/copy editor, really) for 3.5 years and have worked on many book projects there and outside of Fiverr. (writerkerrie) … Yes, some editors on there are crap and I agree, but many of us ROCK! I only charge $5 for 1,500 words of text (I only receive $4) because I LOVE WHAT I DO and I love working from home and being able to homeschool my kids. I am also an author myself and want to help other authors by not overcharging them. I have received MANY book projects from authors who paid the rates you describe above and I ended up finding DOZENS more mistakes and GLARING errors that for $70/hour … well, they should have been caught. Please don’t write off Fiverr. Some of us care about what we do and we do it well and you can tell from my almost-1,600 great reviews that this is true. Don’t hire someone if their gig is written poorly and they barely have any reviews!

    • Margaret Welwood on October 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      I think you have a point. My business contact for my next picture book for children has found someone on Fiverr that I’m pretty excited about.

    • Dave Chesson on October 15, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Hi Kerrie. Thanks for pointing that out. You’re right, there are some good ones on Fiverr. Me personally, I haven’t had good luck with it – actually quite rotten luck with it. However, in a hope to not deter people from Fiverr, but make sure they understand that “anyone” can just sign up to do it, they should be weary of it – but definitely not discard it. So, I’ve made some edits above 😉

      • Kerrie McLoughlin on October 16, 2016 at 7:17 pm

        Thanks for that! I know some great editors on there but they won’t take on book projects. I love taking on custom book projects on Fiverr 🙂

      • Kerrie McLoughlin on February 13, 2017 at 12:42 am

        Also, I think you are brilliant to give a test to potential editors. It’s a decent amount of money to invest in your book project and could be a long-term professional relationship, so checking someone out thoroughly first is the best thing to do! Thanks for the mention 🙂

    • expos9439 on September 25, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Kerrie, are you still on Fiverr? What’s your name on the site? I’m looking for an editor.

      • Kerrie McLoughlin on October 15, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        I am writerkerrie but currently am on vacation then moving to the country … a huge undertaking! I will be available again in November 🙂

      • Savannah Gilbo on October 31, 2017 at 12:18 am

        What kind of editing are you looking for? I do developmental editing. You can find my services on

  26. Ayodeji Awosika on October 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Hey Dave,

    Excellent thoughts here.

    An unedited book is a major turn off to readers. Even worse, they’ll leave bad reviews noting the poor editing.

  27. Joanna on October 14, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    wow, this is an awesome post. Thanks Dave!

    I like the ‘teammate’ approach to editors.

    • Dave Chesson on October 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

      It was the best mind shift I ever had. I used to think of them as the enemy…go figure.

  28. Scott Allan on October 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Amazing post, Dave, and definitely an important topic. My first book I used one of the larger “editorial agencies” you mentioned. The quality wasn’t bad but there was no direct contact with the editor. Just ship it to them and they ship it back. I’ve tried out several editors now and found a very good one who did a great job on my list book. Once you find a good editor, stick with him/her and build a relationship if you can. Thanks for the list provided and this editors test is a great addition.

    • Dave Chesson on October 14, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Scott. Yeah, I completely agree. But the best kind of editing is when the editor knows me, my style and what I want to do. That’s why Val Breit became my teammate in book editing – and it makes life soooo much easier.

    • Kerrie McLoughlin on February 13, 2017 at 12:45 am

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience on Fiverr. I feel like their cheerleader right now but I know there are some terrible sellers there … always have been. You can’t even always tell by the gig description because some sellers simply copy the description of someone else. But reviews do not lie. Hire someone with no fewer than 500 reviews, I would say, and all positive.

Leave a Comment


Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.


Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.