Self-publishing authors are in a constant conversation about the price of book editing. This is fair, considering self-publishing authors are most often footing the bill for all the publication costs associated with having their books produced. And editing your book falls into the production costs of publishing.
How much is editing?
Realistically, you are likely looking at a price of somewhere between $.02–$.049* per word to have your book edited. For example, a 90,000-word book that would equal a total cost range of $1,800–$4,410. This could be the price of a single editor and could increase or decrease depending on many of the factors I list below. Most editors charge per word. However some editors charge per hour or based on project scope and size, but their range should be comparable to those who charge by the word.
Factors that affect your editing costs:
- The length of your book. The longer your book, the more you can expect to pay an editor.
- Your book’s genre. Each genre has varying price expectations, they should still generally fall into the prices above regardless of genre though.
- The type of editing you decide to pursue. Different types of editing delve into your book differently and affect the price you receive.
- How many editors you choose to hire. This also applies if you opt for an editor who offers packages for multiple types of editing.
- Your editor’s experience level. As with all industries, the more experienced your editor the higher the cost. They’re usually in higher demand and can offer you more skill usually at a faster pace.
Why does editing get paid before the book sells?
In short, it’s because editing is part of the book’s production cost. It’s the same as paying for the cover or the formatting. It’s an expense of publishing an industry-standard book. When you work with someone like an audiobook narrator there is at times a profit share, because they get to decide how the book is performed. Therefore, they have a vested interest in their performance because it determines how the audiobook sells.
How can you offset some of the costs of editing?
Start by self-editing and learning from as many free resources as possible. Some authors go so far as to take editing courses. And this isn’t a bad idea. Not only will this improve your writing skills, but it will also give you insight into what kind of editing you’d like to seek for your book. There were authors in all of my copyediting courses.
That being said, you will still need to hire a professional editor. A trained second pair of eyes is an asset authors shouldn’t skip regardless of their experience in writing and editing.
Another way to offset some costs is to do your homework. What I mean by that is to try to find an editor who offers bundle deals on editing services. Many editors specialize in multiple types of editing. E&A Editing offers a hybrid copyediting and line editing service. Concurrently, others offer developmental and copyediting or proofreading in bundles. This can be a great way to get the most for your money. This can help you get several pieces of feedback and have the most cohesive, cost-effective editing experience.
Is professional editing worth it as a self-publishing author?
Look, you’re on an editing website, I’m biased. But, yes, it is.
There isn’t a successful author or writer who hasn’t had their work go through an editor. Books, movies, blogs, businesses, and newspapers all use editors for good reason. They make a big impact on anything that the public is going to consume. Editors fact-check, catch plot holes, create cohesion, keep language consistent, enforce grammar, and help you reach your target audience to name a few.
Readers have an expectation when it comes to the books they consume. They expect their books to have a developed story, grammatically correct sentences, and concise language. Those seem basic, but it is easy to miss some of these when you spend months working on a story. The bottom line is, you can’t know what you don’t know. Editors are there to help you fill in the gaps. We’re here to help elevate your story all while becoming your teammate to put your best foot forward.
If you know you need an editor and aren’t sure where to start, check out my other blogs answering FAQs from authors. If you’re ready to reach out about working with me here, click the button below to submit your sample edit.