What to Know When You’re Searching for an Editor

Finishing my book Promised Land has taught me a lot about the editing process, and apparently, I didn’t know much about it beforehand.

I’m excited to share these tips with you today! The editing process is so crucial for your story (and your future as a writer), but there are many dimensions to this process that you should know ahead of time.

  1. You need to find an editor who reads or writes in your genre (a lot).
    An editor must have a thorough knowledge of your genre before you can trust them with your story. Promised Land is YA fantasy, and I was very fortunate that both of my editors either wrote fantasy or were very familiar with YA.
  2. Know when to accept and reject.
    Especially if you’re self-publishing. My rule of thumb for an editor’s critique is this: Accept almost all the suggestions UNLESS they compromise your voice/style or a central theme of the story. Let’s face it, editors are probably going to know more than we do about certain editorial skills, and they’re also going to be able to look at our work objectively – something we can’t do. It’s usually prudent to accept their critiques and implement them. However, your voice is something that is unique to YOU and to your story. Be wary of changes that might compromise that.
  3. Editors are readers, too.
    So, inevitably, they will occasionally tell you something that is purely an opinion. Don’t be afraid to heed it, but don’t be afraid to reject it, either.
  4. It helps to have more than one editor.
    I had two for Promised Land. The first editor did most of the work (general critique, line edit, and copy edit) while the second did more of a beta reading. However, her work was so thorough, it may as well have been a second critique, and was by far the best one I got. It may seem daunting to have multiple editors, but remember, editors are readers, and it is crucial to get more than one person’s opinion.


I get it. Your book is your baby. Your accomplishment. Your treasure. And you’re afraid to hand it off to someone else. But you can’t get your book to its full potential without outside help. And think of it this way – you’ll probably never meet your editor in person. 😉


Even after your editor is done and you’ve implemented the changes, you need to find at least a few beta readers. It is just that essential to get feedback from multiple people. Plus, if beta readers don’t catch typos, readers will.

I think I’ve covered enough for this post, although I could probably do another one. Let me know your thoughts on this and any experience you’ve had with editors!


Published by Hannah Gaudette

Hannah Gaudette is a home-school graduate living in the hills of New England. When she’s not writing or playing with the dogs, it’s a safe bet you can find her with some other animal, like goats. She is the founder of a sustainable agriculture movement called STEWARDSHIP in central Maine. She's a life-enthusiast and advocate for food allergy awareness, youth ministry, and service dogs.

4 thoughts on “What to Know When You’re Searching for an Editor

      1. Christian adventure/contemporary. Sometimes fantasy and a few other genres on occasion. I’m guessing you like a lot of fantasy according to your “About” page.

        Liked by 1 person

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