Best Online Editing Services (for Authors/Writers)

When I first started writing, I needed advice on just about everything. I am a good writer but not a good author. That actually takes work and experience. I had to learn from scratch the differences between Beta Reader & Developmental Editor, Proofreading vs Copyediting, and so forth.

When I had writer’s block and simp[ly didn’t know where I was going from a certain point, I joined several forums to get advice. I did get some good ones but no one had time to actually read what I had written. To make a long story short, I went online to hire some editors. My experience varied widely from different sites.

DISCLAIMER: I am not employed nor have I ever work for any of the companies listed below.

Here are a few of my experiences in working with online editors and online editing service providers, including freelancing platforms.

  1. Rank #1: Scribendi
  • I absolutely love this company and their philosophy when it comes to editing and proofing my work. All of their freelancers are hand-vetted by senior staff. Each of their editors has to go through rigorous testing to prove their worth and must have credentials/resume to prove they have the right skills to edit books and articles.

  • The ordering process is really simple, all you have to do is place a word count and it gives you know exactly how much to pay. Your name, email and private information are kept strictly confidential by the company. The editor will not know who you are unless you have it listed in your manuscript or article.

  • You may think that having an anonymous editor sound strange and many will advise you it is critical to be able to exchange information. I found this process to work even better in my favor. When or if you have a question, you ask via email and typically I get a reply back on the same day. There is no awkwardness of disagreement or unhappy work - the staff will intervene and make it right.

  • They actually have the “Customer Satisfaction” as their number one goal. I found every editor on this site to be professional with excellent skills in everything I’ve thrown at them to include fiction, non-fiction, personal letters, awards, articles, blurbs, etc. Just awesome!

Their editing, proofreading, formatting and critiquing packages are top notch.

  • PRO 1: No spam. Yes, you heard right! This company does not and will not spam you with special offers of any kind. I’ve been using them for over 5 years and they have yet to send me a single spam. :smiley:

  • PRO 2: Anonymity for both you and the editor; however, you can request a particular editor by number and if available, they will edit for you. The editors get special perks when they are requested by clients or get great reviews.

  • PRO 3: No hassle about reviews, no endless emails from editors, fast response from customer service 24/7/365! Any issues are quickly resolved!

  • CONs: Occasionally, you may get back editing or proofreading that is way below par, but if you contact the customer support, they will go out of their way to make it right, even if they get another editor to redo it. Also, for full disclosure, I have not used their Query Package.

Overall Grade an A+

  1. Rank #2: Book Editing
  • Another top-notch editing company for freelancers. Unlike Scribindi, this particular site has the buyer and editor interact and work out the details of cost and time. They too have actually hand-vetted and resume checked for accuracy in work ethics and experience. Although the level of communication and quality varies with each freelancer, overall, you will receive exceptional results.

  • With this site, you post a portion of your manuscript such as chapter one and chapter 10 and the freelancers will view and bid directly to you with their qualifications. They are very profeessional and afer emailing back and forth to get a feel, you decide to go with someone else, they will quietly back off.

  • PRO 1: Their developmental editing is 2nd to none. Many of them have exceptional skills at seeing the overall picture of your fiction and non-fiction while pinpointing weaknesses, gaps and asking the big questions. If you ever have a writer’s block or are about a quarter way through, I highly recommend one of the editors here. They can actually help you go in a better direction that you may never have thought of.

  • PRO 2: This company also does not spam. They do not give you that dreaded “reminder” email spam to let you know they still exist. They are proud of the quality editors they have and let their work speak for themselves.

  • PRO 3: Every one of their editors has corporate experience of some sort, either with a publisher, magazine, etc. They bring diversity in experience which they will pass onto you.

  • CON 1 or PRO 4 (depending on how you see it): The cost can be higher than Scribendi but if you are are of those writers that like to interact directly with your editor, this is the site for you. Remember though, you negotiate the cost directly with each editor.

  • CON 2: Not all editors are made from the same cloth. While one may be exceptional at line editing, they may not be so good at proofreading, the awesome developmental editor maybe pretty bad at copy editing, etc. Some are good at everything but most have strengths in just one or two areas, it’s up to you to distinguish between them.

Overall Grade: A+

  1. Varies Freelancing Sites, to include, but not limited:

Individual Freelancers: Upwork, People per Hour, 5bucks, Fiverr, Gigbucks, etc.

  • I have used most of these sites and the quality of editors or proofreaders vary from excellent (professionals) to the “Are You Kidding? Seriously, Are You Kidding?” You can have people who can’t spell having gigs up telling you they are writers and will edit your paper to perfection. :man_facepalming: or you will have those that bid to do your work on an hourly basis - and you know where I’m going with this.

  • You will find sellers who have actually worked at the corporate level with professional level experience giving you great, over the top work at fraction of the price of the sites listed above yet . . . you also get those that spin your work through Grammarly and give you back something 3x worse than what you gave them with incoherent sentences. You just never know what you are going to get.

  • You will be spammed.

Editing Companies: edit247, editage, firstediting, etc..

  • Good for light proofreading for a quick job, article, short story or novella at low cost and quick turnaround. My favorite one is edit247. Their cost is lower than most and the quality of proofreading I received was really good.

  • You will be spammed.

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