30 Jan 2015: What’s a Reasonable Amount of Money to Charge for Editing Services

It occurred to me a while back that I should consider taking on some side jobs as an editor.  When I looked into the possibility of hiring an editor for my first novel, I was shocked at the prices they charged.  I was finding prices of between 1.75 cents per word up to 6 cents per word.  Seriously, if I hired old 6 cents to do my most recent novel, it would have cost me over $14,000!  Seriously!!!  Who on earth would pay that much money!

When I first started, I really could have used an editor, but instead I forged on and basically taught myself how to me my own editor.  Not all writers are good at this, but I think I am.  I think the proof of that was when I got notes on the first half of my book in progress from the lady who reads my final drafts (AKA mom) and she only gave me a sheet of paper with 5 or 6 notes on over 100,000 words read.  I asked why so little and she just shrugged her shoulders and said everything else was fine.  I noted that this was a far cry from the notes she gave me on book one over a year ago.  She sort of laughed in reply and said I was much better now and didn’t have half the mistakes I used to make.

Another family member is writing a book, and when he asked me to take a look at what he’d written so far, I took it as a challenge to see what kind of notes I’d give him if he was a client of mine.   He was a beginner and I had extensive notes, and when we met in person I went over them with him.  He isn’t good at taking criticism, but listened while I patiently explained things to him.   I really enjoyed guiding him through some of his issues and seeing him finally getting what I was trying to say.  He’s now given me a copy of his full manuscript to edit for him, which I’ll be starting today.  I’m looking forward to seeing if he’s made any of the changes I suggested.

So again, this got me to thinking, for the outrageous amount of money editors seem to charge, their services or really needed in the independent writing and publishing crowd.   So the question is … what is a reasonable amount of money to charge for editing services?  I’m not one who could say I’d just offer typo checking, I’d have to give notes on everything, I’m just that kind of person.

Anyone have any thoughts on this??  I’d really love to hear what you think is a reasonable amount of money to charge.  An amount that would be affordable to writers who don’t make a lot of money, but make it worthwhile to the person doing the editing?

-Jennifer

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