If you’re an author writing your first book, editing before sending it to a publisher or agent is essential. Trust me. If you’re going to skimp on anything during the publishing process, don’t let it be editing. This stage requires a professional to help you fix errors you might have missed, such as repetitiveness, plot holes, and misspellings. It can make or break your book.
I’ve compiled the 26 best book editors in the USA and Canada for you. These seasoned editors offer high-quality services at affordable prices.
What Does a Book Editor Do?
Book editors prepare any type of writing for publication through their book editing services, whether it’s contemporary fiction or a non-fiction book. Their projects vary according to stories, genre, and style.
When book authors opt for professional editing services, they either need help with spelling, grammar, plot, or arguments. Freelance editing services have specializations that focus on fixing particular errors.
You may also seek help from editing companies instead of freelancers. They have a professional editor that can help you with all levels of editing, from developmental editing to proofreading.
No matter which book editor you hire, ask for their editing samples. You want to get a professional that provides quality editing experience to improve your craft.
Types of Book Editors
Some editors only work with fiction authors, while others only edit technical writing. You might also stumble upon editors who only perform editing for romance. But the primary types of editing are based on the level of editing.
A line editor, stylistic editor, or comprehensive editor performs a line-by-line review of your book. This type of manuscript editing usually requires editing software to check for stylistic errors.
This editing level checks for cliches, grammar mistakes, run-on sentences, tone inconsistencies, and word choice. Heavier line editing considers the entire book’s flow, such as sentence transitions and variety.
Line editors also review the conciseness and simplicity of the book. In other words, they ensure that the basic writing principles are observed regardless of genre. These individual editors may perform fiction, technical, and academic editing.
I believe the developmental editor performs the heaviest editing. This type of editing provides an initial story critique, primarily for indie authors, and provides suggestions about story development and characters.
My developmental editor has been with me for years, checking for things like consistency in my character’s personality, mannerisms, setting, etc. This is especially important if you’re writing a connected series of books.
Developmental editing can be a daunting project because they must perform a comprehensive edit. They work with independent authors to fix the structure, genre, and theme.
For instance, they can provide insightful edits that will create strong characterization and storytelling in the book. They can also help build the climax and resolution of the novel.
Some developmental editors only work with specific genres. Some specialize in non-fiction biographies, while others work in comedy fiction genres.
A proofing editor or proofreader is essential, whether you’re editing for fiction or editing for organizations. Proofreading services include performing an editing assessment of misspellings, incorrect punctuation, and formatting inconsistencies.
This editing skill requires strong attention to detail because they address surface-level issues. You can get a freelance editor at an affordable price so they can improve the readability and clarity of your text.
These affordable editors do their job on the final draft of the document. They do not require much collaboration with the author, and there is a shorter turnaround time.
A proofing editor’s last and most important job is to correct any mistake the other editors missed. They might spot errors in margin sizes, font styles, and inconsistencies in the house style guide.
Reasons to Hire a Book Editor
Quality editing for books creates award-winning writers. Let’s look at the different reasons to hire a book editor.
Increase Your Book Sales
Collaborating with professional book editors will help you with more than just your writing. An editor who has worked with many clients understands what makes a best-selling author.
Whether it’s producing creative writing or publishing books on business, a great editor will get you the best possible product. Some may even help you submit your novel to a publisher. In other words, they provide support beyond the page.
Although these detail-oriented editors may have expensive rates, everything will be worth it once you publish your book.
Improve Reader Experience
A book that has undergone thorough editorial assessment avoids publishing less-than-perfect work. That means content editing services can help you build a community that enjoys and trusts your books.
Book editors will save you from the embarrassment of readers spotting misspellings and misinformation in your work. Award-winning editors also make sure they can catch blind spots that critics might notice.
Although hiring a freelancing editor comes at an extra cost, a clean, edited book will stand out among others. It will encourage positive reviews, better impressions, and more opportunities for you as a writer.
Fresh Eyes on Your Work
A friendly editing service at an affordable price gets a fresh pair of eyes on your work. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own craft that we think it’s perfect. Take it from me; that’s never the case.
You don’t notice that some paragraphs don’t support your thesis statement or that you’re using possessive nouns wrong. Sometimes, you use one word too many times that the piece sounds boring.
An experienced editor who practices objectivity and transparency won’t hold back. Their constructive feedback will help you fix your style, structure, syntax, and ability to communicate.
Better Your Craft
Even if you’re already a fantastic writer, there’s still room for improvement. An experienced book editor will give you comprehensive remarks on new writing styles. You might even learn new words and techniques from them.
Hiring a human book editor instead of using editing software will give you more meaningful insights into your work. You can look for online book editors specializing in your genre, then email them for a possible collaboration.
Revising your work takes days, weeks, or months. But hiring a professional editor will help you keep up with deadlines and the target date for publication.
It gets even better when you’re already editing while writing through a developmental editor. The joy of editing in advance is rooted in the idea that you don’t have to suffer from future consequences.
An editor will keep you from getting hung up on character development, themes, research, and arguments.
19 Top Book Editors in the US
Now that you know the importance of hiring a book editor, I’ll show you the best professionals in the country who can help you. These American editors work with different genres of writing and editing levels at affordable rates.
- Kelly Lydick
Kelly Lydick has worked with experienced authors for 15 years in the publishing and writing industry. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, this book editor has worked for organizations like Avalon Travel and Northern Arizona’s Thin Air literary magazine.
She offers developmental editing, proofreading, and copyediting. She also does editorial assessments and query letter reviews.
Some of her editing works include Zero to Sold: How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business by Arvid Kahl and Rick Steve and Ian Watson’s Rick Steves Iceland.
- Chris Evans
Not to be confused with the Captain America actor we all know and love. Chris Evans is an experienced editing professional based in New York. He has worked with hundreds of authors, including New York Times bestsellers in military, history, politics, current conflicts, and memoirs.
He has twenty years of work experience in the industry, editing fantasy, action, and historical fiction. As a former acquisitions editor, Chris Evans worked with Random House, Stackpole Books, and Skyhorse Publishing.
- Stephanie Kawada
Stephanie Kawada has been a self-employed editor since 1995 who has worked in multiple fields. Her academic credentials have proved that she can make relevant and accurate edits to non-fiction.
Kawada has done assessments for writers’ biographies, medicine books, philosophy pieces, and psychology textbooks.
One of her best works includes Strategic Excellence in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industries: How AEC Firms Can Develop and Execute Strategy Using Lean Six Sigma by Gerhard Plenert and Joshua Plenert.
- Heather Pendley
Heather Pendley is a highly qualified copy editor from San Diego, California. She does author coaching and developmental editing for fiction and academic writing at reasonable prices. Pendley is also proud to work with texts written in British, American, and Canadian English.
Heather Pendley has work experience in pieces about business, education, social sciences, finance, and self-improvement. She also earned a certificate in copyediting from UCSD and UC Berkeley’s indexing course.
- Michael Sandlin
Michael Sandlin is a Houston, Texas-based editor who does focus on authors of humanities, political science, and current affairs.
His experience in editorial review, developmental editing, and copyediting can be traced back to 2005. One of his best achievements is working alongside Oxford University Press.
One sample edit of Michael Sandlin is How Should We Live: A Practical Approach to Everyday Morality by John Kekes.
- Elizabeth Copps
If you’re looking for a literary agent with a reputable experience in developmental editing, Elizabeth Copps might be the perfect editor. Her former clients can assure you that she is intelligent, friendly, and detail-oriented.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Copps has experience in contemporary, horror, historical, and women’s fiction. She enjoys timeless plots, provoking thoughts, and eccentric themes. She also has a degree in English Literature and Communications.
- Elizabeth DeNoma
Based in Seattle, Washington State, Elizabeth DeNoma has been a freelance editor and translator since 2012. She edits fiction and non-fiction works of writing through a generous feedback style.
This Fulbright Scholar focuses on copyediting, editorial assessment, and developmental editing. She has provided constructive feedback on historical fiction, LGBTQ fiction, and other fiction novel genres.
Her rates depend on the type of project. For instance, you might need a mixture of translation and developmental editing. Some works of writing only require help with general knowledge and information.
- Alyssa Matesic
Alyssa Matesic is one of the most famous book editors in San Francisco, California who has edited for various publishing houses and book editing companies. She has her bachelor of arts in English and American Literature from New York University.
Matesic has also edited for The Book Group, Macmillan, Gibson Square Books, and other organizations. Today, she is a developmental editor specializing in science fiction, contemporary fiction, and similar genres.
Alyssa Matesic’s editing services cost $5,900 for books with a word count of 100,000.
- Constance Renfrow
Constance Renfrow is an award-winning writer and professional editor, so she knows the industry very well. She specializes in LGBTQ fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and short stories.
Renfrow previously worked at Skyhorse Publishing as an assistant editor. Then, she moved to Three Rooms Press as a lead editor.
Contact Constance Renfrow to develop an editorial strategy that will meet your needs. She can help you with developmental, content, copyediting, and proofreading services.
- Lindsay Conner
Lindsay Conner is an experienced developmental book editor from Indianapolis, Indiana who has been editing since 2005. Conner specializes in non-fiction, specifically crafts, DIY, travel, and other niche fields.
She worked at Wiley Publishing as a production editor, then started her own brand as a self-employed editor.
Some of her works include Ashley Niedringhaus’ Frommer’s Thailand and Lee Mylne’s Frommer’s Australia. She also edited her own work, Lazy-Ass Cats. It’s a coloring book for adults who love cats and coloring.
- Alex Thomas
If you’re looking for someone who can edit your book, Alex Thomas is one of the professional editors for books you can look for. His seven years of experience in fiction and non-fiction manuscripts make him understand both the traditional and indie marketplace.
Alex Thomas’s strength is in the fantasy and science fiction genres. He enjoys post-apocalyptic, superhero, space opera, and military sci-fi stories.
Some of his works include Mutants & Masterminds by Steve Kenson and BK Bass’ Kyanite Press.
- Tiffany Tyer
Tiffany Tyer has a focus on authors of fiction. But recently, she’s been expanding her skills in non-fiction, such as comedy and travel. Her services are trustworthy because she’s a successful graduate of UC Berkeley with a certificate in Professional Sequence in Editing.
Her editing experience started in Entangled Publishing. She also started writing for reputable companies like Penguin Random House and Macmillan Publishers.
For Tiffany Tyer, it’s essential to be a reader first and an editor second. She will view your books like a general reader and then give professional advice on your writing.
- Jessica Hatch
Jessica Hatch is a Jacksonville, Florida-based book editor who has worked for Fox Literary LLC, St. Martin’s Press, Writer’s House, and other publishing companies. Her practical, marketable feedback will ensure that your book drives sales and gains readers.
She provided manuscript critique, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading. She also does publicity and marketing assessments for your books. That will help your readers gain interest through personalized marketing solutions.
- Jessica Lee Anderson
Jessica Lee Anderson is all about producing the best books for children. Located in Austin, Texas, this editor has a degree in education that will help create effective textbooks and children’s literature.
She also received several awards, such as the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature, Shirley Henn Memorial Award, and YALSA’s Readers’ Choice Award Nomination.
As a freelancer since 2005, Anderson has worked with dozens of writers. Some of his books include Amy Bearce’s Shortcuts and The Canadian Inuit Dog: Icon of Canada’s North by Kim Han.
- Shelly Davis
Shelly Davis is one of the most affordable book editors in San Jose, California who performs professional developmental edits and copy edits. She is a member of the American Copy Editors Society and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
Her favorite genres are historical fiction, contemporary fiction, suspense, and romance. Davis also promises that she will preserve your personal voice in your work.
Her copyediting rate starts at $40 per hour. She can also give you a sample edit to give you an idea of her expertise.
- Jain Lemos
Jain Lemos has been a self-employed book editor since 2005. As a detail-oriented copy and developmental editor, she has worked with historical fiction, biographies, and self-improvement authors.
Her strategy is to attain excellence in her works through effective communication with the writer. She does line-by-line reading, fixes errors, and practices consistency throughout the text.
Some of her works include Robert Decker’s Not to Reason Why and Deborah Chud’s The Gourmet Prescription: High Flavor Recipes for Lower Carbohydrate Diets.
- Gregory Dobie
Gregory Dobie has helped many writers publish excellent books since 1993. The Texas-based editor had clients from Chronicle Books, Cornell University Press, and the Getty Education Institute for the Arts.
Aside from being a freelance editor, Dobie is also a researcher and writer. His publication background and a degree in bicultural studies and American Studies and History are assets in his work as a teacher. Request a quote on his services now!
- Shana Murph
Shana Murph has a degree in English and 20 years of experience working in book publishing, e-learning, and communications. She has been a developmental editor, copy editor, and project manager for Elsevier, Perseus Books Group, and David C Cook.
Her expertise includes curriculum, devotionals, Christian living, and African American history and culture. She also worked on texts about politics, nursing education, and general history.
Murph’s rates for copyediting start at $800 for a 40,000-word book. Her developmental editing services cost $1200 for a 40,000-word book.
- Caroline Macon Fleischer
If you want a flexible editor who can work on a wide range of subject matters, you can count on Caroline Macon Fleischer. As a writer and editor, she has worked with groups like Rose Metal Press and Curbside Splendor Publishing.
Aside from her work experience, Fleischer also has an impressive academic background. She has an MFA in writing and publishing. She also has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a BFA in playwriting.
Book Editors in Canada
If you’re based in Canada like me, I have even more book editor recommendations for you.
- Amy Butcher
Amy Butcher is a seasoned copy and developmental editor from Montreal, Quebec. She enjoys storytelling, style, and drama, making her an expert in plot and characters. Her academic background in linguistics also makes her a grammar expert.
Amy can help you with the plot, pacing, structure, and dialogue. She can make suggestions for stylistic editing and push you to come up with original ideas.
- Jennifer Ralston
Jennifer Ralston is a Toronto-based editor who has provided respectful edits and proofing for 25 years. She has work experience with publishing companies, non-profit organizations, and independent writers.
Some of her editorial skills include bilingual editing, translations, rewriting, and copyediting. She will help you with marketing materials, newsletters, textbooks, and non-fiction.
- Lesley Cameron
Lesley Cameron works with clients to ensure their style, content, organization, and target readership. They perform developmental and substantive editing, stylistic and copyediting. Cameron also has translation skills to help you with your book.
Some of the clients they have worked with include Arthritis Research Canada, Commonwealth of Learning, and EVA BC.
- Maya Fowler Sutherland
Maya Fowler Sutherland is situated in Revelstoke, British Columbia and has traditional and self-publishing skills. She does copyediting and developmental editing for biography, fiction, and memoir writers.
Sutherland received the Maskew Miller Longman Award for Youth Literature in 2011. She has also worked for the Oxford University Press and Media 24.
- Laura MacAulay
Laura MacAulay is known for being a word choice wizard and sentence strengthener. As a developmental, line, and copy editor, she can help you with your novels, children’s books, and memoirs.
She trained in Toronto Metropolitan University’s Publishing Program and got nominated for the Robert Weaver Award for Excellence in Editing. Fill out her intake form for a free estimate of her firm price quote.
- Ceileigh Mangalam
Ceileigh Mangalam is from Vancouver, British Columbia and has been editing with decades of experience. She does young adult fiction, memoirs, sci-fi, cooking, and historical fiction editing on several books of authors.
She started as an intern at Simon & Schuster Canada and finished the book publishing program at Humber College. Ask for her developmental editing, proofreading, and copyediting rates now.
- Susan Mayse
Susan Mayse will guide you into having a powerful voice in your book. With over twenty years of experience, she has evaluated various fiction and non-fiction books for their dialogues, pacing, settings, and voice.
She’s also a spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation expert. Tell her about your project so she can work one-on-one with you to develop your writing skills.
Hire a Book Editor Now
The challenge of writing a book does not stop once you finish the last chapter. You still need to fix inconsistencies, formatting issues, and grammatical errors.
I hope my list of the best book editors in the US and Canada helps you find a professional who will give comprehensive advice on your book. Everyone on this list has a wide range of skills and experience that will improve your readers’ experience. Any one of them would be a good choice!