As with every person you choose to work with or hire, be it a lawyer, doctor, life coach, interior decorator, and so on, when hiring an editor, an important element in that decision should be dictated by the rapport you experience in speaking and working with that person.
One element of rapport is an intuitive feeling that you get on first meeting or speaking with a potential editor.
Did you connect?
Did you have a sense that you understood one another?
Did you like the person?
Did they seem knowledgeable?
Another element deals with the reasoning side of the brain which should focus on the kind of work experience they have as it relates to your writing. For example:
Have they primarily worked on non-fiction but you’re writing fiction?
Or even within fiction, what genre are they familiar with and most experienced in?
Do they understand the key elements of writing a mystery or Young Adult novel?
If you’re writing non-fiction, does the editor need to have some basic knowledge of or understanding of your subject matter?
These are just some of the questions you ought to ask your editor before you begin working together. Other important factors include timing (when can they fit you into their schedule and does this meet your needs), cost (are their rates the right ones for you), and references (have you checked how past clients rate them. Are they willing or open to referring you to past clients?).
At Chrysalis, we will give you honest answers to your questions and also feel obligated to let you know whether we feel we are a good fit for your needs. We want you to succeed because your success is ours. Please know that we have referred potential clients to other editors when we felt they could be better served by someone else.