10 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Editor

Do you need help with your writing, but you’re not sure how to find the right person? Finding the right editor for the job can be a daunting process.

Here are a few questions that will guide your search. They aren’t in any particular order, and you may need to change the words to suit your specific situation.

  1. What are your formal editing qualifications?
  2. What understanding do you have of my topic?
  3. Are you a member of a professional organisation for editing?
  4. How long have you been editing?
  5. Are you in business, or is editing your hobby?
  6. Which style guides do you work with on a regular basis?
  7. How much do you charge, and how do you accept payment?
  8. What are your terms and conditions?
  9. Do you guarantee deadlines?
  10. What document formats (e.g., Microsoft Word, PDF, LaTeX) do you accept?

If you get the answers you want to all 10 of these questions, you’ve probably found the right person for the job! And remember, if you aren’t satisfied with the answers you receive, professionals are always happy to refer to another editor Referrals are the way we work best.

Why A Professional Editor Is Your Best Friend

Everyone who works for a living also writes for a living. Whether you’re in business, government or academia, you will have to face critique from readers at some stage. Critiques of your writing can be helpful, but they can also be painful if you aren’t prepared.

Many writers are told by their publishers, thesis supervisors, peers and bosses to get help with their writing. This kind of critique is often a personal conversation. Sometimes, it involves rejection. And rejection really hurts.

While editors and proofreaders cannot guarantee publication, acceptance, payment, awards or accolades, we can help you prepare for critique. The benefits of using the services of a proofreader are myriad. Here are a few examples of what we can do, depending on how deeply we dive into your document. Our work:

  • gives you tools to refine your text;
  • helps you place text where it belongs, in the correct chapter or section;
  • addresses your writing weaknesses;
  • introduces consistency to all aspects of your writing, including content and grammar;
  • adds impact to your messages;
  • tightens your delivery and reduces wordiness;
  • weeds our errors and repeated text;
  • prevents incorrect statements;
  • brings to your attention important things you have missed; and
  • suggests better ways of approaching problems.

But the biggest benefit you will get from professional editing is that you appear to your critics — also your audience — as if you got all these things right, by yourself! I don’t know a single reader who reflects on the skills of the editor. Instead, your readers think about how brilliant you, the author, are. The editor stays in the background. That’s what makes the professional editor your best friend. We make you, the writer and author, look good.