How to find an Editor
or a Designer, Illustrator, Photographer, Proofreader, Indexer,
Ghost-writer, Virtual Assistant, Printer, Translator

Virtual Assistants now have their own page: Click HERE.

    Anne Wallingford's website, Freelancer's FAQ, contains an excellent Work for Hire contract to use when you hire an illustrator, designer, photographer, etc.

We are an affiliate of Scribendi, the web's premier editorial services firm, which provides a variety of English language editing and proofreading services to authors, students, academics, business people, and others. In business since 1997, they handle more than 1.5 million words per week.


Many self-published books stand out immediately by an obvious lack of an editor.  It's essential to have
your book professionally edited, and also proofread by at least one other person (in addition to the editor
and you).

If you're close to a medium-size city, go to your local library and ask if they know of local professional editors. While you're there, check to see if they have listings for local chapters of writing or editing organizations, as those groups are good places to find qualified people. In Canada, for example, we have the Professional Writers Association of Canada (many of whose members edit as well as write), and the Editors Association of Canada.

You might also contact the English Department of a local university. Some of those professors might handle editing on the side, or have graduate students capable of doing this, especially since I assume you need copy-editing (checking for spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency, etc.) rather than "substantive" editing (which involves reorganizing parts of the book, cutting, suggesting additions and/or possible rewriting, etc.)

If English isn't your first language, or if you've never written professionally before, you may require substantive editing. It's wise to obtain this from someone familiar with your subject matter. Again, look to professional organizations to find someone capable of doing this.

The Editors' Association of Canada created its certification program to promote and maintain professional standards of excellence, to help editors develop professionally and to enhance the status of editing as a profession in Canada. Find certified editors at:

A few editors I recommend:

            Meghan Negrijn is an editor located in the Ottawa area. Read her blog at:
            and contact her via email at: m.negrijn (at)

            Pandora Ballard, Publicist, Writer, Editor
            After honing her skills as a Journalist and Writer for over 30 years in eastern Canada, Pandora has now  opened her own business as a publicist in B.C.  From press releases to publicity ideas, she offers a range of services at reasonable rates. Initial consultation is always free. She also offers writing and editing 
services.  Go to: 


Many authors make the mistake of thinking they can proofread their own books. This is almost always a mistake. Even with the most careful proofreading, errors can slip through, but hiring a professional proofreader is essential, and it's often wise for that person to be different from your editor. There are two reasons for this. One is that an excellent editor may not be a great proofreader, and it's always a benefit to have another pair of eyes look at the edited copy.

Barbara K. Adamski is a certified proofreader who proofs in a variety of formats and handles manuscripts of all lengths and genres. Contact her via

Sherrill Wark offers proofreading, editing, and document preparation. Contact:

Yvonne Jodoin is a former English teacher who provides proofreading services in English, for books, academic theses, term papers, etc. Her degrees include CTESL, B.A., B.Ed., and M.Ed. Contact her via e-mail at:

You'll find other Certified Proofreaders at The Editors Association of Canada:

       Virtual Assistants now have their own page. Click HERE.


Andrea McKay is a member of   the American Society for Indexing (ASI), the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (CASLIS), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), and the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC)  Reach her at:

Yvette Cunningham specializes in indexing:

Also check out this indexing site:


A designer is crucial. Again, your local university might be a good place to start. Another place to ask is at local galleries. Owners often know graphic designers (who do their posters) or if you think you'd like a photo on the cover, contact professional photographers.

Depending on what kind of book you've written, you might have a photo you (or a friend or family member) has taken, which could make an effective cover in the hands of talented designer, who can manipulate the image, add a border, find a typeface for the title, etc. 

You cannot use a photo taken by someone else, or one with strangers clearly identifiable, without obtaining permission. In some cases, buildings, statues, monuments, and other landmarks might also require permission.

If you hire me as a mentor, I will be happy to advise you about cover design.  Meanwhile, look at books you find appealing, in bookstores and the library, to see what kind of design catches your eye.

Magdalene Carson at New Leaf Publication Design has designed a wide range of covers, including those for the most recent anthologies from Ottawa Independent Writers. She offers elegant interior design, as well as conversion, editing and launching of ebooks.

Heather McKinnon, of Artful Book Cover Designs, offers basic covers, using stock photos, at a very reasonable cost, and also does custom cover designs, including the full "wrap" required for self-publishing, which consists of the front cover, the spine, and the back cover all in one file.

Sherrill Wark has handled print and digital design for a wide variety of clients, and her reasonable rates are quoted on her website: Crowe Creations.

Check out Tamara has designed many beautiful book covers, and also handles designing the inside of your book. She offers free consultations, and will taking your book right through the printing stage, if you wish.

Jennifer at Acapella Book Cover Design is a freelance book cover artist and graphic designer with over 14 years experience in branding, cover design, proofing, pre-press, and manuscript editing. Clients include published authors and publishers whose works are available on Amazon and in major book retailers, as well as first time writers and self-published authors.

Lewis Agrell was the Chief Artist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (circ. 130,000), a New York Times subsidiary newspaper in Florida. Prior to that he was the art director for Sarasota Magazine. His company, formed in 1993, handles web design as well as logos, book covers, and many other kinds of graphic design. He quotes individually on projects, but the rates he provided as samples are reasonable. 

Another wonderful designer is Rami Schandall. She does both cover and interior design, illustrations and even some editing. Check out her website:

Darlene Gibbs handles publication design using various platforms, including the Adobe family (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat) and also serves as direct contact with the printer.  Reach her via e-mail.

Jane Denny, the fabulous cartoonist/illustrator mentioned on Terzo's blog (see her award-winning cartoons HERE),  is also a graphic designer who handles book covers, document layout, etc.  See her work at:

Andrew Simmons has a wide-ranging portfolio, including maps, cartoon characters, and detailed drawings:

Wanda Thompson is an artist and photographer, as well as a published author. She offers insight and design skills for those who want help designing a website, business cards, other promotional materials, or book covers. Go to: to see her work and contact her.

CONSIDER A PHOTOGRAPHER  for your book cover.

A versatile Canadian photographer:  
Jo-Anne McArthur, 
Contact her at: 416-892-6925.

See Michael Tuteur's
stunning photographs
on his blog

Young Ottawa photographer, David Johnson, featured on CTV Ottawa's Regional Contact is a versatile photographer of people, animals, sports, nature, and travel, as well as stunning abstracts, including remarkable photos of fireworks transformed into what look like underwater creatures. 
Contact him thorugh his website, or via Facebook (Davey J Photography) or LinkedIn.  


Virginia West is a book cover designer I can recommend. Contact her at:

Dwight Williams is a gifted graphic artist who offers portraiture, courtroom art, comic book illustration, storyboarding, and writing for role-playing games. He can create original drawings or complete assignments for other artists with similar styles. He's also a writer, so can handle both the script and the drawings. His website is:

Cori Solomon is an award winning animal artist, specializing in all types of animals with emphasis on cats and dogs. Focusing in the mediums of pastel drawings, acrylics and Monotypes you can visit her website at :  To see her note cards and other products check out:

Bernadette Kazmarski specializes in animal portraits: The Creative Cat 

Barx Bros. provides client communcation services for animal care professionals. They also create animal portraits and sell greeting cards and other items. Visit their website at:

Award-winning artist Yao Wenkui, a native of Shanghai, China, Wenkui came to Ottawa in 2000. See his work at:

Percival Marcaida is based in Ottawa. You can see several "galleries" of his work on his website:

Brian Finlay is an Illustrator/Animator who has produced artwork for television broadcast and websites. He now  illustrated children's books and is also experienced at designing youth-oriented websites with games and fun interactive interfaces.  Contact him via:

Ray Stone does cartoons and cariacatures. Check out his work at:


Brigitte Aflalo-Calderon handles translation from English into French, French to English, and editorial work in both languages.

GHOST-WRITING:  Ghostwriting of business books:


Standard book lengths:
                                        Book of short stories – under 15,000 words
                                        Novella – 15,000 to 29,999 words
                                        Short novel – 30,000 to 44,999 words
                                        Novel – 45,000 to 69,999 words
                                        Super novel – over 70,000 words

Printers usually set up pages in groups of 8, so make sure the total number of pages in your book (including front and back matter) is devisable  by 8. Ask your printer about this before you submit your pages to him.

Download a PDF Measuring Tool designed by Marko Mikulich to help authors build their self-published Book. The tool is cut out of an 8.5x11-in paper sheet and contains five different measuring rulers (inches, millimeters/centimeters, pica), type-sizing tool for determining lettering size from 6 to 72-points, decimal-fraction equivalent conversion, line widths, etc. This tool is from the Appendix of the new book, ILLUSTRATE YOUR SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK; The Author's Guide for Drawing, Photography, Typesetting & Production


If you hire me to mentor you, I can give you the names of some reliable printers others have used successfully. But I recommend you see if you can find a local printer first. This makes the production so much easier, as you can receive and deliver proofs quickly, shipping books to you is usually included, and it's easier to negotiate a price in person rather than by e-mail or over the phone with someone at a distance.

Imprimerie Gauvin is the local printer of choice for those in the Ottawa region. Hull's first genuine commercial printing business, opened in November 1892, they offer offset printing, high-end digital printing, and a mix of both to offer customers a wide range of options at highly competitive prices. They offer a discount to members of Ottawa Independent Writers.

UPS is now offering digital printing services either sent to them electronically or on CD, DVD, or even floppy disks.  They will also bind, laminate, and even package if you wish. Check or

Dan Poynter recommends Infinity Publishing, who can produce both a  printed book and a CD and package them together. The printer has its own audio division. See:


If you want a small run of about 400 books, contact Peter Geldart at Petra Books: They offer quality POD printing at a reasonable costs, with the risks and benefits shared equally between the author and Petra for a specific duration, after which the author owns the print-ready master file.

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