You are pretty much done with soliciting valuable feedback from your friends and family and now you believe that your story is complete. After long writing sessions, gluing yourself to the computer, falling asleep with your face inside of the dictionary, and joining tons of writing groups…what could possibly be next?

Your next step is to hire an editor. It is time for them to critique your plot and story elements, and then flush out any spelling or grammatical errors that may hinder the flow of your story. When looking for a qualified editor, please use wisdom and common sense. Double check their website, references, credentials, past work experience, social media presence, etc. Ask tons of questions regarding their availability, expertise, and pricing. If they are genuine and professional, they will answer any posing questions that you may have. Lastly, make sure that they sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement which protects the confidentiality of your work.

Finding the right editor can be very scary for new authors. It’s hard turning over your manuscript to someone in fear that they may actually butcher it.

Here are three things to remember!

Tips for Picking a Great Editor

First, make sure that the editor has a degree in English, a resume, a writing portfolio, and a current client list, all of which show their talent and expertise. Next, search for someone who is great at listening to directives and instructions, but allows their editing genius to turn your manuscript into an award-winning novel. Lastly, hire someone for the long haul. Most likely, you will work with this person on multiple projects so having a good relationship with them will pay off in the end.

Broccoli Chronicles editor Julia Temlyn

After working with the award-winning Lynn Hightower through the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program, I spent about two weeks looking for someone to professionally edit Broccoli Chronicles. I solicited several editors, in which I clearly learned that forming the proper relationship is the only way that this thing could actually work. Shortly after, I stumbled across Julia Temlyn who has become a great fit for me and my company. Through her, I have learned a lot about grammar, word choice, punctuation, and so much more!

In the small time Broccoli Chronicles has been published, it won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award in Children’s Fiction and won Honorable Mention in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 ‪INDIEFAB‬ Book of the Year Awards for Juvenile Fiction! I contribute this success to my whole team! ‬

If I could leave you with anything, it would be this…Remember to do your research, trust your gut, and do not be afraid to ask questions!

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva
Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is a new mom, wife, teacher, writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. She is the author of the new children’s book series, Little Kids, Big Voices. Her first book, Broccoli Chronicles has been selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards! Learn more about Taneeka!