Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Editing costs

Joel Palmer is my editor. I heartily recommend him if you need editing services. And, I definitely advise you to get professional editing on your ebooks. It only makes the book better.
My editing costs are listed below:
15,000 words
Total editing costs: $112.50
Editing cost per word: $0.0075
That’s less than 1 cent per word edited. Joel said that the manuscript was very clean and required very little time to edit. I would say this is the best cost you could hope for and you need to make a lot of effort to clean it up before handing off to your editor.
Dead Dwarves Don’t’ Dance
78,000 words
Total editing costs: $1077.50
Editing cost per word: $0.0138
Barely more than 1 cent per word. Still very reasonable, although the total hit for a full length novel is not a small sum of money.

After Joel edited the first 10,000 words, he told me that he was spending more time on the novel than on the short stories. He asked if I wanted him to lighten his edit pass to lower the cost. I thought this was very professional. I told him to maintain his depth of editing, because I liked the results. I just had to increase my editing budget. I’ll have to sell more books to break even, but I don’t want to skimp.
So, I’d say that $0.0075 per word for editing is the low end that you’ll be able to find. Unless you really like the editor’s results, I wouldn’t pay more than 2 cents per word.
Unfortunately, you won’t know the per word editing cost until the editor actually edits some of your work. Many editors provide a free edit sample on your work.


  1. Thanks for another interesting post! Any chance of a follow-up, with some more info on creative input? As in, did your editor suggest any changes? If so, what type of changes and what did you think of them?

  2. Good idea, Stitch. I'll post later about the types of edits Joel made.

  3. Great info ... very timely as I'll be in the market for an editor with a month or two.

    You are right on the mark as for the need of professional editing services. Even experienced authors need editing. Crit partners and groups are helpful, but I think it's better to develop a good relationship with a pro.

  4. I too am interested in Stitchs suggestion.