Some writers say they can’t afford an editor, but I say you can’t afford to. No one can.
But if you want options, here are three ideas come to mind:
First, look for an editor who will barter. They edit, and you perform a service of equal value. It might be writing-related or it might not. But since most editors need actual money, this may be hard to pull off unless the editor is a friend or just starting out.
The Beginning Editor
Second, the next option is to seek a beginning editor who wants to edit but has no finished projects to show people. Maybe the first-time editor will edit your work for free or at a reduced rate just to have something in their portfolio. Remember, every editor must have a first project to get a second project. But the first one is hard to get. You can help them as they help you.
A University Connection
Third, contact the writing department at a nearby college. Maybe they have a promising student looking for experience.
These are all long shots, but they’re worth exploring.
The one thing you don’t want to do is find an editor who isn’t qualified, such as a person who majored in English or who likes to read. These people may make good beta readers, but don’t ask them to edit.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.