Before You Hire an Editor: A Checklist

You write. I edit. You shine.

Before You Hire an Editor: A Checklist

As a freelance editor, I’ve read many requests for proposals that say something like, “I’ve done all I can do, so now it’s your turn. Help!”

If you’ve reached a similar point and you think you’ve done all you can do, here are some points to consider to ensure you–and your manuscript–are ready to cross your editor’s desk.

The basics:

  1. Line spacing: I appreciate something other than single-spaced pages, even if they are spaced only 1.15 lines apart. It’s hard on my eyes if there isn’t a little white space between the lines. The image below shows where the line-space button is located in Word’s home screen.
  2. Graphics, photos, images: Please leave them out. Add them after the editing is complete.
  3. Font (type and size): Simple fonts are best, such as Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri. Stay away from fancy fonts and italics. Font size is best at 12 or something close to that.
Line-spacing button

This button is a shortcut to help you set your line spacing.





The content:

What kind of shape should your manuscript itself be in before submitting it to your editor? Well, that depends a lot on what kind of editing you need/want. On my Services page, I describe the different kinds of editing I perform, so if you’re not sure, check out that page.

Basically, it’s most important to be as clear as possible with your editor about your expectations. I always appreciate it if, before they approach me, my clients take the time to analyze what they’ve written and express to me what they think they’ve done well or what they want me to leave alone, and what they know they have struggled with–where they really want me to focus my attention. That kind of direction is valuable.

There are no right or wrong approaches, only well-structured requests vs. vague ones. I’m going to discuss that issue in another post, soon to come your way.

I always welcome your questions and comments. Leave them below the post in the comment section, or shoot me an email. I’ll respond soon!

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