When looking to hire an editor or writing coach, you’ll want to find more than just someone who is good at what they do. There are many professional editors and writing coaches who are more than qualified to do their work. However, they may not be a good fit for you and your book. I offer on my homepage a PDF of ten questions you can ask any potential editors before you hire them on. Below I have the questions listed as well, with my personal answers.

1. “How do you communicate with your clients?”

I utilize email, text, Zoom, and phone calls. I always want my clients to feel like we are on the same page, and I use the mode of communication that makes sense for the task at hand.  If a client has a preferred method, I am happy to oblige.

2. “Have you done work in my genre before?”

I’ve worked in Middle Grade, YA, fantasy, cozy mysteries, romance, sci-fi, religion, and non-fiction. Many writing principles apply across all genres, so even if I haven’t had a client with your genre before, it’s likely that I can help. If I don’t feel like I will be able to give you the expertise you need, I will communicate that.

3. “What can I expect this process to look like?”

The process will be broken into 3 parts. First, we’ll establish expectations and a timeline, which means you will express goals for your manuscript and I will help determine how to reach those goals. Second, I will begin the hands on editing or coaching process, which will include frequent back-and-forth communication. Lastly, we will evaluate the goals you had at the beginning and ensure that you are satisfied with the progress you’ve made.

4. “Who benefits most from your style of editing?”

Those who’ve benefitted most from working with me are those who are passionate about writing but are feeling stuck and looking for guidance. They’ve found comfort in my optimism and encouragement even when they doubt themselves. While I have worked with experienced authors, first-time authors have benefitted the most.

5. “How do you handle creative differences with your clients?”

This book is your brainchild, not mine. I am here to support you. If we differ in how we think the novel should go, I will not force my opinion on you or expect you to let go of your vision. My ultimate goal is for you to have the best story possible. All of my suggestions are to support you and develop the story.

6. “How can I contact previous clients or read reviews of your work?”

I can connect you with previous clients so you can ask any questions you have. I also have reviews posted on my website, as well as occasionally sent out to my email list. Make sure to join my email list if you’re interested in receiving them that way.

7. “What services do you recommend based on where I’m at in the writing process?”

This will depend on your specific situation, but I will likely recommend either coaching, developmental edits, or outlining. Another option if you are hoping to self-publish quickly is to do basic edits, which won’t require much of your time at all.

8. “What are your qualifications as an editor?”

I received a BA in editing and publishing and my professional training from Brigham Young University. I have attended various writing conferences for years, workshopping my own manuscript as well as providing feedback to others.

9. “Do you have recommendations to help me improve my craft?”

Each writer has to find a process that serves them, and I can support you as you develop yours. I have several book recommendations for clients interested in furthering their understanding of storytelling. If there is an area where you feel stuck, I likely will have a video or writing exercise that could help you move forward. I am continually improving my own craft and have many resources available.

10. “When and how do I pay for your services?”

I offer a first chapter edit for all new clients for $50. If the client wants to continue with the project after the first chapter edit, the $50 payment becomes a deposit for the total project fee. The client will then pay half of the project fee upfront, and the second half once the project is finished. Clients will receive an email when each payment is due, with options to pay with card or PayPal.

Example: $600 (total project fee) – $50 (first chapter edit) = $550

$275 would then be due at the beginning of the project, and $275 would be due at the end of the project.

If you still have questions and would like to connect, fill out the brief form on my website, or send me an email at cynthia@cynthiamerrillediting.com. I’m happy to get to know you and chat about your project. 

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