A Guide to Finding an Editor on Fiverr
I recently did an experiment on Fiverr to see if I could get a quality, inexpensive editor that matched my style for my novels. The results are pretty interesting. There are thousands of people offering different editing packages on Fiverr, but most are pretty sketchy.
Fiverr is a site where you can post a job and users will send custom offers to you (like bidding on your project). I’ll do a different post on the book covers I commissioned using this process. The other option is to pick a category and sub-category then browse “gigs” or “offerings/packages.”
Quick tip: If someone offers to edit 10,000 words for $5, run away. You will get what you paid for.
How I pick editors:
1. Look at pictures. Yes, in this case, judge a book by its cover. An important thing for me is appearance. When I’m browsing through Fiverr for someone to do a job for me, at least in editing, I don’t want to see a picture of you in your dorm room. I want to see a good, quality image. I want my editor to be a professional.
Quick tip: Fiverr has a HUGE issue with people using false identities and profile images. People from other countries will have nice stock images of beautiful white people as their profile picture. This is where a closer look and communicating with them will come in handy. You can quickly tell if this person is legit just by sending them a message.
2. Know what kind of editor are you looking for. Age and experience are critical factors in my search. After narrowing my options to professional-looking editors, I read their resume and descriptions of services to see if I think we might be a good fit. This is a good place to look for typos. If they can’t even get their profile right, they probably can’t help you.
Quick tip: Picking older, more experienced editors may not be the best option for everyone. The reason I did these “auditions” is to see if I could find a good style match. Someone young who knows what’s “hot” right now may be a better option for you.
3. Read reviews. Once you’ve narrowed down your options even more, start looking at reviews. Number of reviews and average star count are what I look for. Read a lot of reviews. Specific, personalized ones are the best, while the “outstanding job” posts are not so useful.
Quick tip: Don’t count someone out if they have a 4-star average. Look at the specific complaints. Us writers are a touchy bunch and some advice is harder for us to swallow. This can result in hurt feelings (especially if the whole thing sucked) and an angry review of the service. This is often a good sign that you are looking at a person who can actually help.
4. Contact the Editor. Send them a message, tell them a little about your project and ask if they are available and willing to do the job. They may get back to you with further questions or simply agree to do the job. Some projects require a custom offer if time is limited or if your manuscript needs a lot of work, but just communicating with the editor will help you figure this all out. If there is a simple spelling or grammar mistake in your communications, forgive it. If your correspondence is full of errors, it’s time to pass on this editor. It typically takes an hour or two to get a response, but your experience may differ.
Quick tip: Everyone on Fiverr is really nice. Be really nice.
5. Make the deal. Start the order, fill in the requirements, provide the document, and pay the fee. Then you just sit back and wait for the orders to come in.
Quick tip: TIP! I didn’t know I would be obligated to tip at the reception of my first order, but I was and I did tip. I tip on everything. You don’t have to tip a bunch, but just give them something to show your appreciation. Most jobs only earn them about $5 anyway. They will be much more receptive to you in the future if you tipped.
6. Review the work. Do this before accepting the final order. If it is satisfactory, accept the order and leave your review. This kind of work doesn’t often require “revisions” so don’t get greedy and ask them to do it again unless you have a good reason to.
I picked four editors and paid them each $10 to edit 2000 words of my science fiction manuscript. I paid one an extra $10 because she offered an “in-depth” edit and I wanted to see what that was about.
I got them all back in less than a week. Everyone was really nice, and the work was about what I expected. I got two versions from each person, one with comments and corrections marked up and another with the changes already added.
Quick tip: None of these people are really doing true “edits” in my opinion. You are really hiring a proofreader. Yes, they will fix grammar mistakes and help polish your work, but it’s a very light touch.
I can’t confirm this, but I get the impression (for some) that my 2000 words were sent through a writing tool like Grammarly or Prowritingaid and then sent back to me after adding a few custom comments. Some things I read seem like they don’t belong. Like if my manuscript had actually been read, it wouldn’t have been “corrected.” Contextual things and stylistic things. I have no real complaints about it. This is just an observation.
Here are the results. Judge for yourself.
I’m happy with the results of the experiment and I got what I thought I would get. For me, if I need some extra eyes to do some last minute clean up, any of these editors would be a good value. But if you need someone to do some serious content editing with you, I would look into something a little different.
These editors really helped me put a polish on my work and I’m thankful to all of them.
To see the final result for free on Wattpad, click here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/114850959-chains and if you liked it, don’t forget to vote!
Thanks for reading! You can send me a message through my website http://authormattsullivan.com if you have any questions or would like me to send you these edits for a closer look.