Quick Links: Looking for a Book Editor? Here’s How Much You Should Expect to Pay

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

If you have never hired a book editor and are curious at how much they cost or want to compare what you have paid, then read on for Blake Atwood’s post at The Write Life. Be warned, you might want to gird your loins for sticker shock. But while these services don’t come cheap they are often necessary to produce a quality (and sellable) book.

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Looking for a Book Editor? Here’s How Much You Should Expect to Pay

I wish I could tell you that proofreading will always cost one cent per word, copyediting two cents per word, and developmental editing three cents per word, but the truth is much hazier than that.

While I will provide hard numbers, you should first know certain essentials about hiring an editor.

This information may help you understand why editing costs seem to vary widely from one editor to the next, but it should also assist you in comparing possible editors.

How much you can expect to pay an editor depends on at least eight variables:

1. What kind of editing are you seeking?

Developmental editing (aka content editing, big picture, or macro editing) costs more than copyediting (aka micro editing), and copyediting costs more than proofreading.

2. What’s your total word count?

Editors charge by word count or page count. Some may charge by the hour, but that’s rare, especially for editing long books.

Knowing your total word count is essential to an editor’s cost estimations for taking on your project.

3. How complex is your book?

Editing academic work to a niche style guide will cost more than editing a novel per the Chicago Manual of Style.

Editing a book with hundreds of footnotes or endnotes should cost more than editing a book without citations.

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