Book Editing, Writing

How Much Should I Pay to Have My Book Edited? – The Price of Perfection (and It’s Worth It!)

Art of Editing a Book

Hiring a book editor who specializes in the art of editing a book requires time, financial investment, and a healthy dose of humility. If you’re wondering how much it will cost to employ a book editor, you might want to reconsider the question. Rather than asking how much it costs to hire a book editor, consider how much it costs in my storytelling not to. Finding a skilled editor is critical to the success of your manuscript, especially for first-time authors unfamiliar with writing rules and story structures.

In this post, we will focus on the question of how much it costs to hire a book editor by answering the following:

  • What is the average cost of editing a book?
  • How much should I pay to edit my book?
  • Is it worth hiring an editor?
  • Do I need to pay for a book editor?
  • What is the cost of hiring a book editor?
  • Find your editor now.

Let’s get right to it: how much does it cost to hire a book editor?

What Is The Average Cost Of Editing A Book?

You should expect to pay between $1,000 and $10,000 for a professional edit. The cost is mainly determined by the type of editing and the editor’s specialization in the art of editing a book. Experienced editors charge more than new editors. Before selecting an editing method, consult your book editor about the various editing types. The cost of hiring a book editor is determined by the type(s) of editing required.

  • Developmental editing.
  • Line editing
  • Copy editing

A developmental editor’s editing fees are usually substantially more significant than those of a copy editor. A developmental editor concentrates on the big picture, whereas subsequent edits delve into the minor details.

While an editor’s pricing points may differ depending on location, you should expect the same relative average whether your editor lives in New York City or a rural village. But, with that said, how much can you expect to pay?

How Much Should I Pay To Get My Book Edited?

How Much Should I Pay To Get My Book Edited?

The amount you pay is determined by several factors, including the condition of your manuscript when sent to the editor, the type of edit you need, the turnaround time, and the editor’s experience in the art of editing a book. Like other services, authors typically get what they pay for. How much does hiring a book editor cost? It’s worth noting that if you choose traditional publishing, your publisher will hire an editor.

That being stated, for the sake of this article, you fall into one of two categories:

  • Looking for a professional editor as you plan to self-publish.
  • You plan to traditionally publish but want to collaborate with a developmental editor to enhance your story before you begin querying.

Some people find it helpful to pay/charge based on word count rather than hourly rate. This guarantees that both parties clearly understand how much they need to invest/receive in the edit. Consider the table below for reference. For example, I use a manuscript of 70,000 words.

(If you write adult fiction, your story might easily exceed 20 to 30 thousand words. Nonfiction frequently has a word count of 55,000 or more. While these word counts are highly generic, they can serve as a reference point.

So, what is the cost of hiring a book editor? Just put your word count into the equation mentioned below:

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Editor?

Developmental Edit: up to $0.12 per word $0.12 x 70,000 = $8,400
Line Edit: up to $0.09 per word $0.09 x 70,000 = $6,300
Copy Edit: up to $0.04 $0.04 x 70,000 = $2,800

Developmental editors emphasize how to write appealing characters and plotlines. Some editors demand an additional price for specific formatting. It is practically hard to answer the question, “How much does it cost to hire a book editor?” without knowing your manuscript’s word count and condition, but this is a good reference point.

Is it Worth Hiring an Editor?

Yes, it is worth it to engage a book editor because of the knowledge they offer to your pages and their art of editing a book. However, once you know how much it costs to hire a book editor, you may feel overwhelmed by editor charges.

Before asking, “What does it cost to hire a book editor?” Too much!” Consider the following question: How much would it cost you in the long term to not engage a competent editor for your storytelling?
Editors can assist you by:

  • Providing a fresh perspective on your manuscript
  • Identifying inconsistencies that may undermine credibility
  • Identifying typos missed by beta readers
  • Fixing plot holes and character arc issues
  • Providing professional feedback and guidance
  • Sharing writing tips.

Whether you choose traditional or self-publishing, finding the right editor is critical to the success of your story and your career.

Should I Pay A Book Editor?

Yes, you should hire a book editor when self-publishing.

A quick reminder: if you decide to publish conventionally, your publisher will pay your editor on your behalf. If this is the case, you should only hire an editor if you require professional assistance with developmental edits. Please remember that when you submit your book to a traditional publisher, and they grant you a contract, they expect your level of writing to equal the writing they see.

If you hired an editor and they conducted more than a developmental edit (comments on your overall structure), you should address this with your publication. Be open about any work that is not your own.

Paying a book editor is an essential step in the self-publishing process. Just because you decide to be your publisher does not imply you should scrimp on the editing process. Writers who opt to self-publish must still follow the steps required to bring their publications up to industry standards.

One caveat is short stories. This sort of writing provides a wide range of writing lessons. If you decide to publish a collection of short stories, you’ll need to select the right editor for the job.

How Much Does Hiring A Book Editor Cost?

How Much Does Hiring A Book Editor Cost?

Many writers ask how much it costs to hire a book editor, and it would be best if they answered a few things to get a concrete response. Here are four details to include when contacting an editor to request their services.

  1. Word Count

Editors use word count rather than page count to estimate the scope of your project. When sending your email, add the number of words in your final copy or your expected word count if you are still writing.

  1. Type of Edit

Don’t worry if you’re unsure about the type of edit you require! Submit one or two sentences outlining the present status of your manuscript. For example, “I finished my draft and could benefit from help developing my plot.”

Depending on how much work you’ve done, you could say, “I’ve edited my draft seven times, and it’s already been edited once. “I need help polishing it before I publish.”

  1. Turnaround Time

When do you need the final edit? Many editors are scheduled several weeks or months in advance. If you ask an editor to work on your manuscript and return it to you in two weeks, you will most likely receive a no or up-charge/additional fee for the quick turnaround. At times, editors can collaborate with you to provide a quick edit. Just be aware that requesting a fast turnaround time will result in a higher cost.

A solid rule of thumb is to contact editors before hiring them. This helps to ensure that your timetables match.

  1. Writing Sample

When an editor indicates interest in working with you, they will most likely request a writing sample. This allows the editor to determine whether you require the type of edit you think you do and provide an estimate of how long your edit will take.

You may believe your manuscript is in excellent condition, but the editor can rapidly identify problems you are blind to simply from working so closely with it for so long. When an editor looks at your sample writing, they get a notion of your writing voice or tone. This allows them to assess whether they are the best editor to work on your project.

Find Your Editor Now

Now that you know what to expect and have an answer to the question “How much does it cost to hire a book editor,” you can go to the next step.

As you want the appropriate match for a coaching session, so does editing. When you hunt for an editor, you want to learn a little about the individual you plan to work with. The topic of how much it costs to hire a book editor involves the cost of time.

Contact a couple of editors and ask about their previous projects. To see if your genres are compatible, you might ask for testimonials or look up the writers they deal with. While editors wear many hats, some have a penchant for specific genres and produce their finest work in those categories.

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What elements affect a book's editing costs?

The cost of editing a book is influenced by the length of the manuscript, the kind of editing (developmental, copyediting, or proofreading), and the expertise of the editor. An editor’s art of editing a book involves understanding these aspects in order to give an accurate estimate. Moreover, specialized genres or complex content might incur higher fees due to the expertise required.

2. What should my developmental editing budget be?

The most expensive part of book editing is commonly developmental editing. This editing delves extensively into story, structure, and character development. Rates may vary from $0.03 to $0.10 per word or more, depending on the complexity of the written material and the editing expertise. Enough money set forth for this phase guarantees the general caliber and market readiness of your book.

3. How much is copyediting a book usually?

Correction of grammar, punctuation, and consistency mistakes is the main objective of copyediting. The readability and professionalism of a book at this point depend heavily on the skill of editing it. Per word, average prices might range from $0.02 to $0.05. Though per-word pricing is typical, some editors may charge by the page or by the hour. Planning your editing budget more successfully is made possible by knowing these charges.

4. How can I track out a reliable book editor?

Do your homework and look into the qualifications, expertise, and previous client comments of any potential book editor. A book’s editing success is frequently dependent on an editor’s experience and match with your project.

5. Does hiring a book editor make sense financially?

Ensuring the caliber and viability of your manuscript requires making a professional book editing investment. Editing a book transforms your initial draft into a polished product. Skilled editors improve readability, find mistakes, and offer insightful commentary. For committed authors, this is an investment that will have a big impact on the success of your book.

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