Ideal Children’s Book Editors: Nine Important Qualities to Look for

If you are reading this, it means that you have already completed or are about to complete your children’s book manuscript. Only firsthand experience as a children’s book author can make you realise that this path is more challenging than often acknowledged.

On your journey, you may often need help from other professionals with relevant experience and expertise. The first professional you may look for is a children’s book editor.

While several editors claim to have the right skill set to edit children’s books, here are some of the most important qualities you must consider to make the right decision.

1. Inquire About Their Knowledge of Publishing

One of the most important factors that set any children’s book editor apart from their competitors is their knowledge of the publishing industry. You must seek children’s book editors with an understanding of the ins and outs of the publishing industry. 

This knowledge is not just a shining star on their portfolio. In fact, a children’s book editor’s understanding of the publishing industry can pave a smooth path for you by helping you identify potential markets, especially if you are a novice author.

2. Prioritise Strong Communication Skills

When you think about an ideal editor, the image that may come to your mind is someone with their head buried in a pile of papers. However, being meticulous and dedicated are not the only qualities that make an editor worth your consideration.

Effective communication is an important quality that you must consider while hiring a professional editor. They should be not only able to listen to your needs but also provide effective feedback to help you understand their suggestions.

Strong communication skills make it easier for both parties to come together for the shared goal of improving a children’s book by fostering open dialogue.

3. Ask About Attention to Diversity

Diversity and inclusion have become an important part of modern children’s literature. An editor who may overlook such an important part of children’s literature must not be trusted. Therefore, inquiring about an editor’s attention to detail is very important. 

An editor who prioritises diversity and inclusion ensures that the books they work on represent a variety of voices and backgrounds. Their efforts play an important role in allowing every child to resonate with your work.

4. Seek a Good Track Record

When you are considering hiring an editor who will help you succeed, do not only look for the years of experience they have served as an editor. You must also consider what percentage of clients have been satisfied with their services.

For example, you cannot hire an editor just because they have edited hundreds of children’s books. You must consider how many times out of these numbers have their clients been satisfied by their services. If a majority of them were unsatisfied, things will likely not change when it is your turn.

A track record of success speaks volumes about an editor’s abilities. A good track record can make you  feel confident that they have the skills and expertise to help your book succeed in the competitive world of children’s literature.

5. Seek Empathy

One of the most important reasons why children’s books are so demanding to perfectl is because matching the raw and intense emotions of young minds is a challenge on its own. Only someone with deep-rooted empathy and sensitivity can get the job done.

Being empathetic ensures that your editor will be able to help you identify and respect the maturity of your target audience without hindering the integrity of your work. You can work together to bring out the best in your children’s book.

6. Know their Passion

While the primary goal for any editor who wants to work with you may be to make some money, some editors are genuinely passionate about helping children’s book authors bring out the best in their work. Such professionals are exactly who you should look for.

A passionate editor brings enthusiasm and dedication to their work. They put effort into staying updated with the latest trends in children’s literature and developments in the industry. Their genuine love and passion for children’s literature can play an essential role in helping your work stand out.

7. View Their Collaborative Approach

Another important thing you must keep in mind is to consider the collaborative approach of the editor you want to hire. The collaboration between an author and an editor must be balanced to boost the potential of your children’s book.

Neither author should overlook the experience-based recommendations of an editor, nor should editors try to enforce their suggestions on your work. Both parties should be able to collaborate effectively and harmoniously with the unanimous goal of improving the children’s book.

8. Inquire About their Experience

It is always a good idea to hire an editor who has hands-on experience in editing and improving children’s books. After all, your children’s book is not a trial project. You do not have to make compromises, especially when it comes to something as important as an editor’s relevant experience.

An editor’s experience with children’s literature entails more than general editing practice. Experienced editors are well aware of ways to engage and resonate with young minds belonging to different age groups. 

Having an experienced editor by your side becomes even more important if you are a novice children’s book author. You can rely on their expertise to not only improve your work but also to help you navigate through the complicated world of publishing your book.

9. Welcome More Creativity

An important thing to always keep in mind while hiring the right editor for your children’s book is that having more creative people by your side is always a good idea to boost the potential of your work. More creative minds can come together and make great things happen.

Of course, you must already know that children’s literature thrives on imagination and creativity. Having someone by your side to brainstorm with and explore different ideas can provide you comfort and ensure that you win over the interest of your target audience.


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