My last blog post on editing resulted in an interesting twitter conversation with @anabananabrain who is an editor. She very helpfully answered a number of my questions (and corrected the grammar of my tweets in the process!). In a nutshell Ana gave the following information and advice:
Whilst she has a post-graduate certificate in publishing (as part of which she completed copy editing and proof reading courses), the publishing industry does not have a ‘standard’ qualification which is required to offer services as an editor or proof reader. In other words a post-graduate certificate is an asset, but not a requirement. In effect this means that anyone can offer their services as an editor or proofreader.
Whilst the ‘industry’ have their own ‘in house’ tests for anyone they employ or use freelance, this does not help indie authors. Ana’s advice was therefore to ask for their qualifications, resume and work samples. It is also worth asking if they are a certified by a professional organisation (she gives the Editors’ Association of Canada as an example, but obviously this is only relevant if they are Canadian) – whilst you shouldn’t discount anyone who isn’t a member of a professional organisation it gives them extra gravitas in the industry.
Naturally any professional worth their fee should be happy to provide this information.
It would also help (both sides) if we share resources – so if you have used an editor please leave a comment below (positive or negative I’m not fussed!) so that we can all benefit.
Massive thanks to Ana for the information – any mistakes/misinterpretations of the information given are my fault.
Please note that this post is not an endorsement of Ana’s work as an editor!