How much will a professional editor cost?

moneyThe amount of money an edit will cost depends mostly on three things:

  • how well you’ve polished your manuscript prior to sending it to the editor
  • what level of editing you want
  • the rate charged by the editor

Some editors charge by the hour; others per page or word. Those who charge by the hour will usually give you a per-page or per-word estimate, so you can figure out the approximate cost per page from that.

Freelance editorial rates vary a lot, depending on many factors—including how long an editor has been in business. The generalization is true: “You get what you pay for.” However …

  • If you’re a new writer, a new editor may work well for you.
  • If you’re self-publishing for family/friends, a beginning editor is probably okay.
  • Intermediate writer? Get at least an intermediate editor.
  • Want to get the most out of your experience? Hire the best editor you can afford.

There are ways to keep the cost of editing down. For example, if you start with an overall critique/content edit, you won’t have to pay for line-by-line editing of material that will be substantially revised or deleted. If you start by having just the first few chapters of your manuscript edited, you can implement what you learn from that initial edit into the rest of the chapters before sending more to the editor. That way you’re not paying to have the same mistakes marked over and over.

If you’re ready to hire a freelance editor:

AUTHORS Seeking Editors

PUBLISHERS Seeking Editors


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