Finding an Editor

Guest Post by Heather Weidner

Congratulations! You finished the first draft of your novel. Now the fun begins with editing, proofreading, and massaging it into shape for professional review and publication.

author Heather Weidner PhotoI am fortunate to be a part of a great critique group. They review all of my novels and short stories after my ten or twenty rounds of self-editing. Each person brings his or her own specialties, and it helps that we are all mystery/thriller writers. For my first novel, I wanted it to be in tip-top shape before agents and publishers read it, so I invested in a line editor. It was not cheap, but for me, it was worth the cost. She was able to help me smooth out some rough edges and consolidate some chapters. Here’s my advice to anyone who is looking to hire an editor.

  • Have an idea of what you are looking for. Some folks are proofreaders. Some are editors who assist with correcting content. Some offer both services.
  • Shop around and get references. Ask for recommendations from other writers. I mentioned at my writing group that I was looking for a good line editor who specialized in mysteries. One of my friends recommended the editor she uses, and it was a perfect match.
  • Know and agree to the costs up front.
  • Agree to the timeframe. When can you expect to get your edits? My editor focuses on one manuscript at a time, and I appreciate her undivided attention.
  • Understand what you are getting for the fee you’re paying. In addition to the detailed document review, my editor provided a style guide of terms/words in my novel. She also created a timeline of the entire novel.
  • Discuss how the edits are going to be presented. My editor ships a paper draft of all the changes. It’s what I prefer, so that was great for me.

Best wishes for your writing and editing. It’s a lot of work (more than I ever imagined), but when you sign that contract for your book, it is an amazing feeling. Happy writing! 

About Author Heather Weidner

Heather Weidner has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. Originally Virginia for Mysteriesfrom Virginia Beach, Heather lives in Central Virginia with her husband and pair of crazy Jack Russell terriers. She is President of the Sisters in Crime, Central Virginia Chapter. Heather’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series. And her debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, will be published in May. Visit Heather at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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About Secret Lives and Private Eyes

Secret Lives and Private Eyes is a fast-paced mystery that will appeal to readers who like a strong, female private investigator who has a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations. Business has been slow for PI, Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star, Johnny Velvet. Could the singer whose life was purportedly cut short in a fiery car crash still be alive? And as if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Chaz Wellington Smith, III, a loud-mouthed strip club owner, hires Delanie to uncover information on the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz is the key suspect. Now Delanie must clear his name and figure out the connection between the two cases before another murder – probably her own – takes place.

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