Fridays with Karen Cioffi

A Guide to Hiring a Freelance Editor
By Karen Cioffi

       Will hiring a freelance editor ensure you pitch the perfect game?
       In writing terms, will it ensure you get published? Do you need an
       There are a number of pros and cons related to whether you
       should hire a freelance editor. Some writers benefit greatly from
       the experience while others have a difficult time and may even get
       Four Points to Examine Before Hiring a Freelance Editor:
       1. One of the most important aspects of hiring someone to critique
       or edit your work is to be open to criticism. If you do not have the
       personality to handle constructive criticism, suggestions, and/or
       edits, then you shouldn’t hire a freelance editor.

       2. Before you contemplate hiring a freelance editor, get your
       manuscript in the best shape possible. What this means is you
       should know your craft or be engaged in learning it. You should
       obviously belong to a critique group that focuses on the genre you
       write. This group should have new and experienced/published
       authors in it. This will help you to hone your craft through the
       critiques you receive and the critiques you give.
       There are also a number of fantastic free online writers’
       conferences such as the Muse Online Writers Conference that will
       help you hone your craft. There are workshops offered covering
       just about every writing genre, plus freelance writing and
       marketing. AND, you will have the opportunity to pitch to
       publishers. Between the networking and learning, it’s not
       something you should lightly pass on.
       Next up on the road to learning your craft is to join a couple of
       writing groups again be sure they have new and experienced
       writers. You can even look into a writing coach or instructor.
       Check out the article, “How do You Learn to Write For Children”
       ( for
       more information.

       3. Hiring a freelance editor to go over your manuscript will not
       guarantee it will get published, even the best in the field can’t
       promise this. What they will do is help you to get it in the best
       shape possible. But, whether or not you take their advice is
       another story.
       This holds true everywhere in the writing world. You may send
       your manuscript out, after it’s polished, to 20 publishers and
       agents and get rejections. Then, you send it to one more and it
       happens . . . this publisher has been looking for what your have.
       But, it’s a sure bet if you’re manuscript isn’t polished you won’t
       ever get that far.
       4. If you did your best to get your manuscript into what you think
       is publishable shape (this means going over all the self-editing
       rules) and you want an editor to give it a final once over, be sure
       to ask for recommendations from other writers.

       5. Never let an editor discourage you from pursuing your writing
       goals. It’s the editor’s job to be honest and do her best to help you
       onto the publishing road. You need to take the constructive
       guidance in the manner it is intended. Don’t get discouraged, view
       the changes your editor is suggesting and try to honestly discern if
       the changes make the manuscript better. Think of the editor as
       your partner.
       Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter (for authors, bloggers, and
       businesses), freelance writer, and acquisitions editor intern for She is
       also on the team of and
the founder and manager of VBT Writers on the Move, as well as co-moderator of a
children’s writing critique group.

       For writing and marketing information visit and sign up
       for her FREE newsletter, A Writer’s World. you”ll get TWO free
       e-books about writing and marketing in the process and two more for
       just stopping by.


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