Today we’re talking about editors, specifically the average costs for the different types and what sort of general timeline you can expect. If you have not already watched the episode on the different types of editors, I’d recommend watching that first so you understand what sort of work is going on with each of the varieties and how the timelines and pricing reflect that. 

In regards specifically to editors, I’ll be doing an additional episode covering tips to help vet editors so you can hopefully find a service provider that will best suit your needs. 

When it comes to timelines there are going to be a lot of factors and some questions you need answered.

What type of editing are you having done? 

General timelines and pricing will typically drop as we move down the list because at each new phase the manuscript is more and more polished, and should therefore require less work on the part of the editor. 

How much work does your manuscript need? 

If you’re a really strong writer who can put out clean drafts and has a thorough outline then your manuscript might need less work. 

How much experience does your editor have? 

If your editor has years of experience they’re going to be able to work faster, but if they’re newer they may have to take more time understanding what needs to be done, or have to pause to look up various rules before they suggest something to you which can slow down the process. 

Is your editor doing this work as their full time job or as a side hustle?

If your editor is a full time editor then they’ll be able to devote more hours to your work, in most cases. If they’re working a full time job, or they’re a caregiver, or have something else going on that takes up the majority of their day, then that’s fewer hours to devote to editing. In those cases they’re also likely to take on fewer clients, so it may not affect the timeline at all.

The Book Doctor

We’ll start off with the book doctor since that was the first type of editor we discussed in the last editor video. Finding a book doctor is no easy feat since it’s an extra specialized field of editing and from what I can find there are not a lot of them out there. I had originally intended to provide you with a general scale of pricing for the service, but of the few I was able to find initially, only one actually provided any up front information. As such, I’m forced to use that minimal information to help guide you. The book doctor I found was Rose Lark Publishing, which is a company I was already aware of as I know people in the past who have gotten services from them, though I never have myself. The pricing there ranged from $0.022 to $0.032 per word, or $22-32 per thousand words, making the book doctoring of the average 80,000 word novel coming out to between $1,760 to $2,560. This is actually a lot less than I was anticipating for this level of service, so if you find yourself in need of a book doctor I’ll link that company for you to check out, or you can use their pricing comparison when approaching other book doctors you might dig up.

In regards to the timeline for this service, it’s going to be wildly variable because the author is included in that work and there are exchanges and discussions, rather than you just handing over the manuscript and getting it back later. However, I would advise you to account for a full month at the bare minimum for this service for the average novel size. 

The Developmental Edit

Next up is the developmental edit. If you’re having beta readers then you’ll want to get through that and the revisions before you hand the manuscript over to a professional editor. The general range for developmental editing is $0.01 to $0.03 per word, or $10 to $30 per thousand words, making a developmental edit of the average 80,000 word novel between $800 and $2,400. You’re probably looking at a solid month to get feedback, and as I mentioned in the last video this feedback might come in the form of an editorial letter or manuscript evaluation which is going to give you a run down of all of the major issues with the manuscript, and then you need to go fix them. Your developmental edit may contain an additional review once those corrections have been made, which would likely add an extra month onto the timeline for the edit itself, plus however long it takes you to do those revisions.

The Line Edit

Next is the line edit. Once you feel like you’re solid on the developmental side, whether that’s with alpha readers, beta readers, a critique, self-edits, or a professional developmental edit, you can move on to line edits. The general price range is around $0.006 to $0.008 per word or $6-8 per thousand words, which means the cost for the average 80,000 word novel is going to come out around $480 to $640. You’re probably still looking at around a month for line edits since the editor is going line by line through your manuscript. 

The Copy Edit

Next is the copy edit. This is the big polish after all the heavy lifting has been done, and you’re looking at around $0.004 to $0.006 per word or $4-6 per thousand words, bringing the cost of the average 80,000 word novel to around $320 to $480. Timeline is probably two weeks to a month. A manuscript critique is likely to run you along the same costs as a copy edit and will probably also take around a month to complete.

The Proofread

And finally we have the proofread. This should be the fastest and cheapest option of all of the edits because it should only be done on an already polished manuscript. The most common price is around $0.002 per word or $2 per thousand words, which would mean the cost for the average 80,000 word novel is around $160. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to a full month depending on what your editor has going on, so be sure to ask about turnaround time. 

Obviously, you’ll have to adjust your expectations on these numbers if you write short stories or novellas, or if you write really thick books like I do. Communicate with your intended editors to get the most accurate information, I’m merely setting out to give you a general idea so you can plan and also not get robbed. 

You can get all, none, or any combination of these edits depending on what you feel is right for your story and your budget. Please research carefully when selecting service providers. 

That’s all for now. I hope this video was helpful. You can find all of my books and platforms in the description below. If you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, please do let me know. And if you’d like early access to these you can join my Patreon where I share them with people as soon as they’re ready to roll. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you soon for another episode!



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2021 Omegaverse Collection – contains First Heat, First Heat: Second Chances, Heat Play Love, Conference Confidential, and 2 bonus shorts 

Nicky and the Night Owls: Part One – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV 

Nicky and the Night Owls: Part Two – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV – currently on preorder 

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Salacious Salvation – m/f, 3rd person POV 

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