A Template for Asking for an Editor

by Jeanette the Writer
published in Writing

I’m in a few writers’ groups on Facebook, and at least once a day, I see someone posting that they need an editor. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting writers with qualified editors. And I’m totally an advocate for using it—correctly. Unfortunately, most of the posts asking for editors get bombarded with responses (sometimes over 50) from editors offering samples or saying they can take on the project.

How then does the author wade through 50+ offers to find the right editor? It all starts with putting up a post with the right details.

Why the Right Post Matters

There’s this thing—sometimes called analysis paralysis or the paradox of choice or choice overload— where people sort of short-circuit when they have too many options. Research has also shown that having too many choices reduces the ultimate happiness with the choice made.

Having to wade through 50+ editors means you’re making a HUGE choice. Posting the right post ensures that only the right editors are responding, giving you a narrower and therefore easier, faster, and happier choice.

The right post also sets expectations and provides clarity to the editor. It opens the lines for relevant dialogue and can minimize miscommunications. In the end, it saves everyone time because people are self-selecting out of your project when they aren’t right for it. Which is a good thing!

What You & Your Book Need

In order to post the right post, you need to understand your book and its needs as well as yourself and your needs from the editor. Contemplate aspects such as the following:

  • Whether your book is ready for an editor—Is it finished? Does it need to be finished for the type of editing you’re seeking out? Some editors or types of editing will only be appropriate for finished manuscripts.
  • What your genre/type of book is—Is the book fiction? Nonfiction? Memoir? Where would your book fit on a bookstore shelf? Editors often specialize in certain genres and types of books.
  • Who your target audience is—Are you writing for adults? YA? Middle grade? Knowing your audience can ensure you’re attracting the right editor who works on books for that age group.
  • What the triggers are—Offer an insight into the tropes or themes of your book. Think about the topics that someone might not be comfortable reading about.
  • What type of editing you need—Identify where your manuscript needs help and what type of editing that matches up with.
  • Where your market is—This can determine what type of English your editor needs to be fluent in and the style guide and dictionary they should be familiar with.
  • How much your budget will be—Check average rate charts and your own finances to see how much you can or are willing to spend on an editor.
  • When you need the manuscript by—Have an idea or even a set deadline for when you need the manuscript back. This way, editors can scroll past if they don’t fit your timeline.
  • How you want to work with your editor—Think of any special considerations you may want as part of your service, such as wanting someone who offers Zoom calls.
  • What qualifications/skills the editor should have—Do you want an editor who’s also a formatter? Maybe someone who has a particular certificate or has taken specific training courses?
  • What type of person you prefer to work with—Think of personality traits you might like in an editor. Do you want someone who’s straight-shooting or someone who gives gentle feedback?

Template for Posting

Here’s a simple fill-in-the-blank template using the information you just figured out about your book and your needs:

I am seeking a [type of] editor for help with my [finished/unfinished][word count] [genre/type of book]. It has themes of [topics and triggers]. It needs help with [what you identified your manuscript needs].


I am writing in [type of English] and prefer [style guide/dictionary choice]. My total budget for this project is [$ amount] and I need the work completed by [end date].


It’s important that my editor [special considerations for services] and I would prefer [qualifications requested]. The editor who’s a right fit for me [personality requests].


I am [a little about you]. I plan to [traditionally or self-publish]. My goal from editing is [what you want to get out of it].


Let’s look at an example of this put together for a specific project:

I am seeking a developmental editor for my completed 78K-word, adult-oriented, beach-read romance novel. It follows the trope of enemies-to-lovers and includes some foul language and sex. It needs help with fleshing out the characters and finding the balance between the description and dialogue.


I am writing in American English and prefer the Chicago Manual of Style used with Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. My total budget for this project is $3000 and I need the work completed by November 16th.


It’s important that my editor will include a Zoom discussion or two to review edits, and I would prefer an editor who also copyedits as I may need additional services later. The editor who’s right for me will be gently honest in their assessment without the concern of hurting my feelings.

I am a stay-at-home mom of three and I write in my spare time. I plan to query agents to traditionally publish. My goal from editing is to receive specific feedback on where my novel needs improvement and how I can go about doing that.

Where to Post

Although I mentioned Facebook earlier, this template is good for more than just that. LinkedIn is another great place to find editors. You can even make a TikTok or Instagram Reel with this info asking for inquiries. You can also use this as a query email to a specific editor when asking for help. Same if you’re posting on a job board or going through a professional directory such as the EFA or ACES.

Don’t let an incomplete Facebook post make more work for you when searching for an editor. Give all the information you can so you can find not just AN editor but the PERFECT editor.

Jeanette the Writer is a freelance editor and writer based in Dallas, TX. When not at her computer, you can find her crafting, scuba diving, or posting videos of her cats on Instagram. Visit JeanettetheWriter.com for more info and follow @Jeanettethewriter on Instagram or find her on LinkedIn.

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