lunedì 6 maggio 2019

I have a friend who is doing freelace editing. She charges 0.03 per word, before tax. My book is 100000 words (or around), and she told me that the price for her editing would be 3,075 dollars. She told me this was on the low end of editing, is that true? I'm okay with doing my best to edit my own book (which I am I'd just like a second pair of eyes if possible.) But 3,000 dollars is not within my pay range. (Thanked her for going over the prices with me and told her I was sorry I couldn't.)

How Much Does Editing Normally Cost?

Hi there! It really depends on the kind of editing, how experienced (and busy) the editor is, the shape the manuscript is in, and a number of other factors. I’ve seen anything from .005/word for proofreading to .08/word for developmental editing. My own rates start at .015/word for an editorial review and go up to .03/word for a heavy developmental edit (consult + lengthy critique + margin comments + follow up call + email support).

A lot of people experience sticker shock with editing, so you’re not alone there. You can find people to do it for cheap, but it’s usually a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of thing. (At the same time, I always encourage writers to ask editors for a sample of their work before hiring them–don’t assume that because the editor charges a lot you’ll click with their style.)

I might be preaching to the choir here, but I’ve gotten enough asks about editing prices that I think it’s worth pointing out a few things:

  • Editing takes time. You can’t just quickly breeze through a manuscript once and come back with helpful, detailed recommendations. In my case, no matter what kind of editing I do, I carefully read every manuscript twice. Because of the level of focus and attention I give to the story, for a 100,000 word manuscript that could mean almost 20 hours of my time just to read the thing… before I even start writing a critique.
  • Good editors are experienced and often highly educated. If you can find an editor who is willing to work for minimum wage, more power to you (I guess?). Personally, I’m a published fiction writer, and I have a masters degree and years of experience in my field, so I charge accordingly. Most editors I respect (read: that I would hire myself) have rates starting at $80/hr.
  • If you want useful feedback, there’s no such thing as “taking a quick look” at your manuscript. I get a lot of inquiries from writers who hope I can come down on my price if they don’t need as much feedback: “Just take a quick look” or “give me an overall impression.” There are two problems with this. The first (see above) is that even reading the manuscript can take hours of my time. The second is that the only way for me to give “quick” feedback is to give shallow, crappy feedback… which I just can’t bring myself to do.

The bummer, of course, is that all of these factors put editing way outside of a lot of writers’ price range. Every time I get an inquiry from a broke writer and have to turn them down, my heart dies a little. That’s part of the reason I’m working on my self-editing guide The Complete Guide to Self Editing for Fiction Writers. It’s a DIY guide that walks you through doing a story-level, scene-level, and sentence-level edit on your story. Completing it has been slower going than I originally thought (It just keeps getting longer!!), but I hope to have it finished soon.

Thanks for writing! I hope this has been helpful, and good luck to you!


The Literary Architect is a writing advice blog run by me, Bucket Siler. For more writing help, check out my Free Resource Library, peruse my Tumblr Post Guide, or get The Complete Guide to Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. xoxo

Nessun commento :

Posta un commento