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The Write Process: Editors

Editing can not only be expensive but you have to be sure what editing you are getting in the process. Each editor will have their own system and definitions so be sure to check their website to clarify what services they provide and the cost of each.

Professional editing costs range from $300-$5000 depending on what type of editing you choose, the length of your manuscript, and the amount of errors in your work.

Three Main Types of Editing

Copy Editing– Focuses on basic grammar and punctuation. Sometimes called line editing or proofreading. Usually, the cheapest form of editing. Many editors charge by the word with an average cost of $0.34-$0.50 per word.

Content Editing– focuses on plot and story structure. I prefer to do this type of editing on my own but its always a good idea to have an outside pair of eyes take a look. Whether you pay a professional or rely on your Alpha/Beta readers to help with this is up to you. Cost is similar to Copy Editing.

Comprehensive Editing– Both Copy and Content editing, also style editing in some cases. The most expensive type of editing, but worth it if you don’t want to do as much editing on your own.

Finding the Right Editor

Editing is one area you don’t want to cut corners. Finding the right editor for you and your budget is a lengthy but necessary process. While you can find editors on gig sites like Fiverr or smaller independent editors through social media, I highly suggest checking out more reputable sources first. Even if you only get a free test edit from a larger expensive editing firm. It can show you what you need to look for before taking a chance on a smaller operation.

Things to Consider

  • Find an editor in your niche– if the editor you find mostly works with non fiction they may not be a good fit for your high fantasy epic
  • Ask about different payment options– With some services having large price tags, most editors have some sort of payment plan or down payment system. be sure to ask before committing to any editor
  • Get a sample edit!– The editor might look perfect on their website, they may even check all your perceived criteria but until you see how they work with your writing, you can’t be sure they are what you need.
  • Find editors based on books you love– it’s more common for editors to be listed in the copyright section of books. So pick up a few books in your genre and find which ones you absolutely loved. Maybe their editor will be open to new clients.

Editors Associations

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