Need a good book editor? Top Recommendations

Need a Good Book Editor? Top Up-to-Date Recommendations

Where to Find a Good Book EditorWhere do I find a good book editor? 

This is without doubt the question I receive most frequently from fellow writers. It’s a hard question to answer because, while finding an editor is easy, finding a good book editor is something else again.

I originally published this post a few years ago after asking other writing experts, whose opinions I trust, for their recommendations of freelance book editors. I then suggested readers post their own recommendations in the comments. In the intervening years, the comment section grew tremendously, while a few of the originally published editors went out of business.

So I decided it was high time I update the post.

The following editors are in alphabetical order, with their names linked to their websites, so you can do further research to discover which is best suited to your needs. I’ll continue adding to the list whenever an appropriate new name comes to my attention (you can always find the list on the Start Here! page—accessible from the site’s top toolbar).

If you you’ve personally worked with a good book editor, please feel free to add his or her name and URL in the comments. (If you’re an editor yourself and would like to be included, please ask one of your satisfied clients to nominate you.) The goal is to make this as useful a resource for everyone as possible.

The Top Recommended Freelance Book Editors

Marlene Adelstein 

Services: Developmental Editing, Publishing Consultations, Screenplay Editing.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Commercial Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Memoir, and Screenplay.

Jennifer Blanchard

Services: Developmental Editing.

Rates: $.03 per word.

SpecialtiesFiction and Non-Fiction.

Grace Bridges

Services: Line Editing, Developmental Editing, Proofreading.

Rates: $3–$30 per 1,000 words.

Specialties: Science Fiction, Fantasy.

Averill Buchanan

Services: Development Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Indexing.

Rates: £8–£35 / €12–€45 per 1,000 words or £800–£1,200 / €950–€1,500 per 100,000-word book.

Specialties: Fiction, especially for independent/self-publishing writers.

Kelly Byrd

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Line Editing, Proofreading.

Rates: $12–$27 per 1,000 words.

Specialties: Crime and Mystery, Thriller, Romance, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Memoir.

Sherry Chamblee

Services: Developmental Editing, Proofreading, Transcription.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Christian Fiction, Christian Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction.

Lauren Chasen

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Manuscript Evaluation, Non-Fiction Proposal Editing.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Literary Fiction, Young Adult, Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Memoir.

Dario Ciriello

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading.

Rates: 1.25¢–1.5¢ per word.

Specialties: Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mystery and Crime, Romance, Literary Fiction.

Rochelle Deans

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation, Query Editing, Academic Editing, Non-Fiction Editing.

Rates: Varies by word, 1,000 words, hour, or project.

Specialties: Plot structure.

Harry DeWulf

Services: Developmental Editing, Story Consultation, Editorial Assessment.

Rates: $3,000–$5,000 for full novel edit.

Specialties: Unspecified, but seems to lean toward Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Christy Distler

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Critique.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Unspecified, but seems to lean toward Christian Fiction.

Jill Domschot

Services: Developmental Editing, Proofreading.

Rates: ½¢–1¢ per word.

Specialties: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Literary, Poetry, Non-Fiction.

Joshua Essoe

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Genre Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror.

Elizabeth Evans

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Manuscript Assessment, Proposal Crafting and Editing, Ghostwriting.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Unspecified.

Lorna Fergusson

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Appraisals.

Rates: £275–£1280, depending on service and length of project (could be more).

Specialties: Unspecified.

Savannah Gilbo

Services: Manuscript Evaluation.

Rates: $497-$1,497 depending on length.

Specialties: Story Grid.

Dori Harrell

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading.

Rates: $2 per page–$2,800 per 100,000 words (depending on service).

Specialties: Novel, Novella, Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Memoir, Short Story, Website Content, Newsletter.

Jon Hudspith

Services: Developmental Editing.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Novel, Novella, Short Story, Flash Fiction.

Caroline Kaiser

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Line Editing, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Mystery, Thriller, Historical Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction.

Nicole Klungle

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation.

Rates: $2–$3 per standard page.

Specialties: History, Humor, Writing Instruction, Memoir, Literary Fiction, Paranormal Romance.

Mary Kole

Services: Developmental Editing, Coaching, Outline Evaluation, Manuscript Evaluation.

Rates: $199–$3,999.

Specialties: Children’s Literature.

Ann Kroeker

Services: Coaching.

Rates: $125–$1,025.

Specialties: Unspecified.

C.S. Lakin

Services: Developmental Editing, Proofreading, Coaching.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Fiction, Non-Fiction.

Kurt Lipschutz 

Services: Developmental editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Coaching. 

Rates: Contact for rates

Specialties: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry

Steve Mathisen

Services: Developmental Editing Copyediting, Proofreading.

Rates: $1.75–$5.75 per page.

Specialties: Unspecified.

Katie McCoach

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Manuscript Evaluation, Coaching.

Rates: $300–$3,200.

Specialties: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance.

Leslie McKee

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Unspecified but seems to favor Romance.

Andrea Merrell

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Mentoring.

Rates: $30–$40 per hour.

Specialties: Unspecified but seems to favor Christian Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Victoria Mixon

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Synopsis Editing.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Novel, Short Story, Narrative Non-Fiction, Memoir.

Ginger Moran

Services: Developmental Editing, Coaching.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction.

Roz Morris

Services: Developmental Editing.

Rates: £60 per 1,000 words.

Specialties: Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Robin Patchen

Services: Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation, Coaching.

Rates: $2–$7 per page.

Specialties: Unspecified but seems to favor Christian Fiction.

Anastasia Poirier

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading.

Rates: 1¢–3¢ per word.

Specialties: Unspecified.

Arlene Prunkl

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Indexing, Fact Checking.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Unspecified.

Lauren I. Pruiz

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation, Coaching.

Rates: 1¢–8¢ per word.

Specialties: Unspecified.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Ghostwriting, Short Story Review.

Rates: $30-$50 per hour.

Specialties: Unspecified but seems to favor Science Fiction.

Crystal Watanabe

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Unspecified but seems to favor Science Fiction.

Lara Willard

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Graphic Novels, Comics, Children’s Fiction, Picture Books, Young Adult.

Ben Wolf

Services: Developmental Editing.

Rates: Contact for rates.

Specialties: Unspecified but seems to favor Science Fiction.

Linda Yezak

Services: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading, Manuscript Evaluation, Coaching.

Rates: $30 per hour.

Specialties: Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Ginny Ytrrup

Services: Developmental Editing, Coaching.

Rates: $8–$18 per page.

Specialties: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Web Content, Devotional, Query or Cover Letter, Book Proposal, Fiction Synopsis.

***

In today’s market, getting feedback from a skilled editor is crucial—especially if you’re planning to publish independently. If you’ve yet to find a good book editor, start with the names here and get ready to transform your story.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! Have you ever worked with a good book editor? Can you add to the recommendations here? Tell me in the comments!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

Comments

  1. Jayne Southern: https://www.bookaholiceditor.com
    She’s a fabulous editor and a joy to work with. Jayne’s comments kept me entertained for the ten years we worked together. She goes above and beyond and I have always had the utmost faith in her skills.

    • Sarah Key says

      Jayne Southern at https://www.bookaholiceditor.com. I have written five psychological thrillers all of which have been edited by Jayne. She is a grammarian with great general knowledge. She is an expert who reviews manuscripts until she is satisfied, well beyond the accepted three or so reviews. She has elevated my writing and taught me much about pace, point of view, showing not telling etc etc. I trust her entirely to improve my novels.

  2. David Nemeth says

    Two freelance editors who specialize in mysteries, thriller, crime fiction, etc.

    Chris Rhatigan -> https://chrisrhatiganediting.com/
    Jim Thomsen -> https://www.jimthomsencreative.com/

  3. I highly recommend Annette M. Irby at AMI Editing. She provides critiques, copy editing, proofreading, and substantive editing. She offers great insight into character development, and I appreciate how she pushes me to take my stories to the next level. Annette has helped me polish all four of my published novels, and I’ll continue to work with her.

    http://www.amiediting.com/

  4. Bina J Carr says

    I’m writing a novel and found Ellen Brock to be very a insightful and supportive developmental editor. I told my husband that all I want for Mothers Day is some of Ellen’s editing time, so please don’t inundate her at once!! 🙂
    https://ellenbrockediting.com/

  5. The rates is the reason why I do my own editing. I may not be perfect but I can afford my rates especially since my one completed work is 36 chapters of approximately 10 pages each. (over 245,000 words)

  6. Kimberly Hunt of Revision Division has been such a tremendous joy to work with! https://revisiondivision.com/

  7. Kelly Bixler is a gifted proofreader and copy-editor with an eye for text continuity and story flow. She runs a proof reading business called http://www.thewriteproofreader.com/

    Rates are $0.014/word and $35-$40/hour. She proofreads all types of documents.

  8. Christine Keleny can be reached at [email protected]. She is the finest editor with whom I have ever worked. I recommend her highly. Professional, knowledgeable and a joy to collaborate with.

  9. My developmental editor Judy L Mohr is amazing. Every time I send a manuscript to Judy, I not only end up with a much better manuscript, but I learn more about the craft of writing. She doesn’t just email you back a report with no way to ask questions, but schedules a video call with you. This means you can get clarification on any comments you don’t understand or find out the reasoning behind a comment. I love the fact that she has fixed pricing not an hourly rate, this means no surprises billing wise. If you don’t like any of her packages reach out via the contact form and she’ll create a custom offer just for you. I’ve used her for three manuscripts, my husband has used her for his non-fiction papers. https://blackwolfeditorial.com/

  10. I highly recommend Miranda Darrow. She’s an exceptional developmental editor and copyeditor. She’s meticulous and detail-oriented and has that rare ability to identify the existing story threads and help you weave them together, so the story remains your own. I can’t recommend her enough!
    http://www.mirandadarrow.com

  11. Thank you so much for including me in this list again! I work with nearly every genre but do specialize in graphic novels, comics, and children’s literature from picture books to young adult. <3 Lara Willard

  12. Ian Bowley says

    This is really useful, but do you know of any UK editors I could approach?

  13. John Barefield says

    Thanks for this, Katie. If I have the cash I will definitely choose from this list. Is there somewhere that you know of where i can get help with my agent search? Thanks!

  14. David Sofi says

    I highly recommend Lorraine Reguly. Used her for editing, formatting, book blurb and cover design. Tremendous talent and help.
    [email protected]
    https://wordingwell.com/

  15. Jayne Southern edited several projects for me, always with wonderful results. She does fiction and none fiction. She can be reached at http://www.bookaholiceditor.com

  16. flomccahon says

    Kimberly Hunt has a great eye and spotted those inconsistencies which can annoy the reader. She suggested changes to the manuscript which tightened the writing and made the novel a better read.
    Additionally, she finished the project which was on a tight deadline ahead of schedule.
    Kimberly can be reached at [email protected] or http://www.revisiondivision.com

  17. Hi Katie, thank you for the opportunity of listing here other editors, also!
    I can gladly recommend the editor Ann Marie. She is offering a large scale of services such as editing, writing, and consulting on her website: https://www.amseditorial.com/.
    If the text needs to be cleaned by unnecessary information Ann Marie will cut it without mercy, still succeeding in keeping the story’s flow and unity. She can also, if required, to rephrase while maintaining the author’s voice intact.

  18. Debbie Austin says

    Sandra Byrd is a gifted developmental editor. She helped me get my novel from scattered ideas and plot lines into a cohesive story with ramped up tension and complete character arcs. I highly recommend her! http://www.sandrabyrdbookcoach.com/

  19. jeff shaw says

    I recently published a memoir of my career in law enforcement, it is my first attempt at publishing anything and I used Mari Ann Stefanelli as my editor.
    I met Mari Ann at a writers retreat and she became not only my editor but my mentor as well.
    Mari Ann specializes in developmental editing for memoir, narrative nonfiction, historical fiction, mystery, and speculation fiction.
    I found it easy to communicate with her, by phone, online and in person.

    My book, Who I Am: The Man Behind the Badge has received many positive reviews and most of them mention they were unable to put the book down.
    I am a new author, but I know that means the book flows well and I credit Mari Ann Stefanelli for that.

    Mari Ann’s website is, http://thewritershigh.com/

    To the future,
    Jeff Shaw

  20. Thanks for a great list. The bigger question for me right now is: What can you do to recoup from an expensive BAD edit. I paid $1500 for copy edit from a self-publishing house. It was loaded with many, many missed grammar, and spelling issues. I didn’t pick them up, of course–that’s why I paid for an editor. But, good friends pointed out many. It’s embarrassing. Is there any recourse for an author?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Sorry to hear that. But, no, I don’t think there’s any way to get your money back. You could always ask the editor, but they’re unlikely to offer a refund since they did invest time in the project.

    • Keep in mind that one copy or line edit is not enough to expect perfectly clean prose, especially given how much reworking editors do for that service. Publishing houses usually follow a line or copy edit with several proofreads.

  21. Arielle Hadfield is by far the best editor I’ve ever had. She’s worked extensively with many of my novels (fiction) but I know she’s done some non-fiction, self-help books as well. She doesn’t have the rates on her website, but I believe that she’s able and willing to work with the author to get a fair rate for both editor and author. If you want your book in tip-top shape, she’s your gal.
    Ariellehadfield.com

  22. I have a wonderful editor who has taught me so much and been a real collaborator and source of support for me with my three novels. She is a joy to work with and flexible with many aspects of editing. Here is her information.
    Jill Shultz
    Services: Developmental Editing; Copy Editing
    Rates: Contact for rates
    Specialties: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance

  23. Lisa Ahn (https://lisaahn.com) has been a delight to work with. She’s brilliant and insightful and helped me tremendously with character development and story arc.

  24. Donald Anderson says

    Christine Keleny ([email protected]) guided me through two indy publication projects: a 500-page work of literary fiction and a book for kids. She is a meticulous textual editor, thoughtful analyst of plot and character, and highly skilled at solving various design issues. While she was never reluctant to offer an opinion or pose an objection, she did so in a manner that was invariably collegial and interactive–drawing productively upon her own experience as a many-times-published author. I recommend her highly.

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