5 Things I Learned While Searching for an Editor: Guest Post by Eleora Han, PhD

Please join me in welcoming Eleora Han, PhD, whose book Grieving the Loss of a Love is now available. When I invited her to share some of her story, she was kind enough to write about looking for and finding her editor.


I just published a book about working through grief after loss. Surprisingly, I found that one of the most difficult parts of the process was finding the right editor.

Writing a Book Isn’t Like Other Writing

As a psychologist I’ve written or co-authored many scientific articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. Though I felt confident in my writing abilities, I soon realized that writing a book was different. How best should the material be organized and structured, I wondered. Is this writing too academic, or is it appropriate for general audiences? Is any of this any good?

I decided that I needed a partner of sorts—someone supportive who knew the ropes and the lay of the land—someone to bounce ideas off. I soon learned that in the land of publishing, this partner is sometimes known as an editor.

Searching for My Perfect Editor

Once I had my rough draft in hand, I began my search. I didn’t know much about how to search for an editor, but some sources said to look on Upwork, so I began my search there. I posted a job ad and soon received responses from thirty or so applicants, all with dramatically different qualifications and pricing bids. I reviewed their work samples and asked those who were willing to provide sample edits of the first three pages of my manuscript.

Many of the applicants were nice and provided great feedback, but reviewing their work made me realize several critical things:

  1. Anyone can call themselves an editor.

I received applications from teachers, psychologists, college students, hospitalists, pastors, the unemployed, creative writing instructors with literary magazine publications, and newspaper reporters. The variety surprised me! I wanted to work with an editor with prior experience working at a publishing company, but unfortunately none of them did.

  1. Being an editor means different things to different people.

For most of the people on Upwork, editing seemed to mean sending them my draft and then they would email it back to me with their edits … but I wanted someone who was more of a collaborator of sorts, someone I could exchange ideas with and learn from, someone I could turn to for support and help in understanding how the world of publishing works. Continue reading “5 Things I Learned While Searching for an Editor: Guest Post by Eleora Han, PhD”

Something Good from Something So Heartbreaking

My last blog post, titled Life as We Know It Can Change in an Instant, was written from my heart in response to the death of a beautiful young woman.

I wrote the blog in response to a tragic event; I shared it as an opportunity to appreciate life and to honor the life of a young woman who brought so much joy to the lives of everyone she knew.

Life as We Know It Can Change in an Instant has already been shared more than 8,600 times; I am so honored that my words resonated with so many people. An editor at the Huffington Post saw it and invited me to share it there. Here’s the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/candace-johnson/living-in-the-moment_b_7754246.html

This is a wonderful opportunity for me as a writer, and I’d like to invite you to read and share this article with your own network. And if you’re so inclined, I’d be grateful if you’d become my “fan” on Huffington Post by clicking the link “Become a Fan.” After doing so, you will automatically get an email letting you know when I’ve published something.

Thank you again for your support; I’m grateful.


Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.

Life as We Know It Can Change in an Instant

Last night, as I was happily texting with a good friend, another text came in, this one from my daughter:


I watched the bouncing bubble that told me my daughter was still typing, and then this:

Britni died

I gasped. I burst into tears. And through my tears, I speed dialed my daughter.

The heartbreak in her voice sent me over the edge. We sobbed together for a long time as we tried to comprehend the reality that this beautiful young woman, her dear friend and personal cheerleader who was only 27, was gone forever.

And now my daughter’s life is changed forever too. Continue reading “Life as We Know It Can Change in an Instant”

Remembering My Mother’s Hands

When I was a little girl, I loved playing with my mother’s rings. I would beg her to take them off so I could place them on my stubby fingers and imagine what my own bejeweled hands would look like someday.

I remember the first time I noticed how different her hands were from mine. No longer smooth and vein-free, the skin of my mother’s hands contrasted starkly with the smooth, barely-lived-in skin that covered my own.

From the Mouths of Babes

“Look how old your hands are compared to mine!” I announced triumphantly, as though I’d discovered some previously unknown fact of human existence. And then, just to throw a bit of salt on the wound, I mused, “I wonder if my hands will look like yours when I’m old.”

Years later that conversation was repeated, only this time I was the mother, and my own daughter was announcing her own revelation. Continue reading “Remembering My Mother’s Hands”