Some very good points on an important matter are made here.
I am certain that hundreds, if not thousands, of articles, books, and blog essays have been written to advise authors how to find the perfect editor. Even so, authors continue to ask about finding a good editor, especially if they have already had a bad experience, which tells me that the question of how to find the right editor remains unanswered.
The Plain-English List
There are several recurring problems. The first is that the searching author rarely knows what she wants or needs from an editor and so uses terms like “proofing,” “proofreading,” “light editing,” and “copyediting” with the expectation that the editor’s understanding will equate with the author’s meaning. The two rarely meet.
Rather than using terms like those, it would serve the author better to make a plain-English list of exactly what she wants an editor to do with her manuscript. As detailed a list as possible serves best. When…
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