Finding and Working With Publishing Services Providers

Tuesday, March 01, 2022 11:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Our SLPA online Vendor Showcase is March 9 where we feature a number of publishing services professionals (editors, designers, coaches, etc.) you can meet with and ask questions. Ruth Thaler-Carter, SLPA member and writer/editor/proofreader, has written a helpful article:

Finding and Working With Publishing Service Providers

Every author — whether well-published or still aspiring, independent or traditional — needs support from professional editors and proofreaders, and sometimes from indexers, graphic artists/illustrators and cover artists, and layout professionals, as well as agents and marketers or publicists. Here are some tips on finding ones who will help smooth your path to publication, and how to work with them. (These are also good resources for colleagues interested in becoming such service providers.)

Organizations (to join or consult)

St. Louis Publishers Association

St. Louis Writers Guild

Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

National Association of Independent Writers and Editors

Editorial Freelancers Association (for finding service providers and seeing common rates charged by members)

ACES: The Society for Editing

American Society for Indexing

Association of Authors’ Representatives

The Writer’s Ally (Allyson Machate)

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)


Writer’s Market

Writer’s Digest

Poets & Writers

The Paper It’s Written On, by Dick Margulis and Karin Cather (about contracts)


Facebook groups

LinkedIn groups




Beware of

Super-cheap providers

Publishing platforms —

-Providers might not be skilled or experienced,

-contact between author and provider often limited

Writing or grammar software programs —

-Often wrong!

How to ask for writing, editing, proofreading services

Provide genre, number of words, timeframe, budget

Request and contact references

Request sample edit/proof — short; ideally paid; same sample for every candidate!

How to pay

By the word, hour, page (1 page = 250 words!), project, image — every provider is different

Advance/deposit; increments by chapter, pages, hours, etc.

What to provide

Full, finished manuscript in Word, 12-point type size, black “ink,” 1-inch margins,

-double-spaced, no fancy formatting or multiple typefaces,

-artwork indicated with captions but not in the manuscript

-(Some editors will accept a manuscript in progress so the author can learn from and correct basic errors as they write more.)

Your contact info

Advance/deposit against fee (It’s OK to pay in increments rather than all at once when done)

Marketing/publicity plan or ideas


Start saving now for services

Learn about levels of editing, difference between editing and proofreading.

Learn about the publishing process

Join a critique group to get feedback on your book before sending it to an editor

Check references

Pay appropriately — you get what you pay for


Send a first draft

Do your own design/layout

Pester the service provider for updates

Rewrite while editing, proofing or design, etc., is underway

- - - - -

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (, is a long-time, award-winning freelance writer/editor/proofreader. She is the owner and creator of Communication Central’s annual Be a Better Freelancer® conference, to be held this year in St. Louis in October at the Moonrise Hotel in U City, and also owns the An American Editor blog and A Flair for Writing publishing company.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software