How to Choose a Book Editor in 2024

Trying to find a book editor? These days, choosing a book editor can be daunting. There are hundreds of editors available, but only a select few are worth choosing. This guide will help you select an editor for your book, updated for 2024. Check back here for annual updates, since especially with the introduction of AI, the editing industry continues to evolve.

Step 1: Determine the Need

Every writer and every book is unique. To decide if editing is needed, consider the nature and current stage of your project. 

If you are planning to work with a publisher, then you might not need a final editor; however, it would behoove you to use an editor earlier in the process. For example, you can hire an editor to review your book proposal, the first chapter, or the entire book — prior to sending it to the publisher. In so doing, you are more likely to impress the publisher.

If you are self-publishing, then you would, in nearly all cases, benefit from a personal editor. A service can assist you in checking the entire text — not only proofreading the grammar but providing developmental feedback. This will help you polish the text and ensure high quality.

Step 2: Understand Your Options

When considering the various services, realize the differences between proofreading, copyediting, and developmental editing. You might need one of these more than another.
PaperBlazer, for example, provides basic, plus, and premium service to address the various needs of writers. Maybe you just need a grammar check. Maybe you want the content examined more in depth. Whatever you need, be sure to consider these when ordering service.

Step 3: Test an Editor

One tip is to place a small order, such as for 3 to 5 pages. This can give you a sense of how a particular editor might approach your text. Often, this is more useful than a free sample, since you get a feel of the actual editing process.

If budget is a constraint, remember that you can even order an individual chapter. Then you can take those tips and apply those to other chapters of your book.

In most cases, you’ll want to keep working with the same editor, which is an option with PaperBlazer. If you are currently writing your book, or if you want to try out different editors, ordering a chapter at a time is one method you might try.

Step 4: Choose Expertise

As you consider proofreading and editing services, remember that not all are the same. Many book writers come to PaperBlazer after having a bad experience elsewhere. 

Believe it or not, but authors often ask for free help on social media or use “cheap” help on overseas websites. The problem is that not only wastes time, but often leads to bigger problems — such as amateur suggestions that leave the writer in a worse position than before.

Instead, choose an expert who specializes in book editing. You will never regret getting expert help. 

As an example of this, PaperBlazer once helped a multibillion-dollar writer avoid a very embarrassing mistake (using a term that is no longer considered acceptable). An amateur might have missed that, causing the writer a severe loss of revenue. That one correction, by itself, was worth the editing fee — not to mention hundreds of other corrections.

Step 5: Expand Your Expectations

Did you know that editors can help with more than just words?

Here is what we mean: Do not settle for an editor who simply checks grammar and spelling. Instead, choose a book editor that cares about things like style, sound, image, meaning, etc.

As a book editor, PaperBlazer reviews all of that and more. In fact, we check things like font sizing, margins, image quality, and more.

For example, did you know that printed images need to be higher quality (300 dpi)? We helped a writer improve dozens of images in a document. They would have printed pixelated without our assistance.

Step 6: Compare Turnaround

While there are many editors in the world, few can offer quick turnaround. Sometimes you’ll send your document to a freelance editor and won’t hear back for weeks, if not months. 

To us, that is unacceptable. PaperBlazer starts reviewing your document on the same day you order. This ensures that you get more effective feedback.

We review short and medium documents within hours. Even short books can be reviewed within a day. Longer documents, such as lengthy books, are usually completed within 1-3 days. 

When you compare turnaround times of book editors, though, consider the price. When you need accelerated service, PaperBlazer will charge less than comparable services — guaranteed.

Step 7: Look for Discounts

Very few book editors offer any discounts on their normal rates, but PaperBlazer differs from other editors in the industry.

If you are looking for a deal, or if you have more time, consider PaperBlazer’s instant discount feature. You can save up to 10% if you have more than 3 days.

Fortunately, authors of books can normally wait a few extra days. The good news is that can save you hundreds of dollars with PaperBlazer.

Once you order with PaperBlazer, you’ll also receive additional discounts which you can apply to future books. 

Step 7: Avoid the Artificial

To begin with, AI options make mistakes, so you should never rely on AI for something like book editing.

As proof of this, Elon Musk’s “Grok” was used for a very simple task of analyzing an X user’s data. In the response, Grok made up a number (in this case, the number of followers) that was far from the correct number. Once the AI was alerted, it admitted that it made a mistake. However, errors like that should be extremely alarming.

More concerning might be relying on unreliable editors, such as on Fiverr, who might enter your entire book into something like ChatGPT. In so doing, they might train the entire text — thus revealing your complete book to OpenAI, before you ever publish it. 

Instead, use an established editor — one who has been editing books far before the advent of ChatGPT — so you can be assured you’re dealing with a real editor. Know that not all AI is the same, and some will misuse your original content. (This is why the NY Times sued OpenAI for copyright infringement.) So you want to work with an editor who knows how to properly edit and to protect your content.

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