I was pretty intimidated at the idea of searching for an editor for my book of fables, but was able to avoid that mostly because I got lucky, and sort of took a different approach.
Firstly, I knew I wanted a short story editor, not necessarily a novel editor, because I’m working on a collection of short stories rather than a novel. As part of my short story reading, I had subscribed to a bunch of short story journals (I’ve lost count of how many lol), and one of them was Carve Magazine (named after Raymond Carver). They happened to be offering a 12-week short story editing program, where the publisher of the zine provides individual feedback on 5 stories (first developmental, then line edit), with the eventual goal of submitting to journals.
I reached out to him and asked, “Can you give me developmental feedback on my 7 stories, do fewer line edits, and advise me on publishing the book rather than journals?” He said yes, as he offers editing services separately anyway. I’ve been really happy with the feedback because it is very precisely focused on making each story as good as it can possibly be, but he’s also aware of my goal to make it a collection, and gave overall structural feedback such as what I described in the last post.
One thing I’ve noticed is that many journals and small presses offer editing services as well. And so if they print the kind of work you’re writing, they’re likely a good bet for editors.