September 9, 2011

Why is Editing Soooo Expensive?!

Please explain that nuclear bomb to me. I just don't get it. Sure, I understand as writers that we have to have a second pair of eyes on our works. It's a simple science that since we have looked at the manuscript for such a long period of time we are not going to catch what a fresh pair of eyes are going to catch. But does it have to be almost 1,000 dollars to get those kind of repairs fixed?

Yes, I've seen editors that cost that high. The lowest I have see so far range in the 200 dollar range. Some even add student discounts, which seems logical but most don't. It's almost like we have to pay extra because we are not in the traditional publishing business and we don't get the hey I know you rate. We get the stick 'em with sticker shock rate.

I just can't believe I would pay the same price for an iPad 2 and for editing services. I know it's worth it, but goodness gracious my pocket book screams at some of the estimates I got as a college student. It's like, "Good Lord, do you want me to move into my apartment next year broke?! Do you want me to just turn off the electricity while I'm at it?!"

I understand that their time and effort is valuable. I totally do. I don't charge for my editing services, but heck if I could make almost a thousand dollars every time I edit something like I do, then good Lord. I would have enough for rent every month plus.

And I know there are reasonable offers out there. Some actually understand that as a college student I can't pay almost a thousand dollars to edit ONE of my books. Maybe if they edited five of my books, I wouldn't be so frustrated, but just for ONE which the book is pretty small. It doesn't even hit the 150's in page numbers.

Do they know that the economical state that we are in right now? As a country of capitalism?

So all of this to say: I want to edit my book. I know it needs work. But I don't think it's worth almost a thousand dollars to just get it straight. Maybe 300, I could see, but not almost a thousand bucks. It just seems ridiculous to me for that amount of money that I would spend on that, I could literally pay for a couple of days in a hotel. Ridiculous.

End of rant. :)


  1. That does seem high. I used to edit for an epublisher and all I got was a percentage of the sales, same as the author (but mine was less). When that publisher went under, I started freelancing, but I never charged that much. I am not an English major, though, so I guess if you have that degree (or something similar), you can get away with charging an arm and leg, but it really doesn't seem fair.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Ricki!

    I thought it was a bit high too. I mean, I'm not asking for a heart transplant! All I'm asking is for some help with my novel. You would think editors would understand that there are teens and young adults who simply can't afford that price. And yet, there it is.

    I wish I could understand it, I really do. If I was asking for a person to edit my whole collection of books, I could see that person asking me for like 1000 bucks plus. But for one book? Really? Um, no. Not on my budget.

  3. It is really expensive, but it is really worth it. I just got it done, and it has def. made me become a better writer. I think that it will help in my next books too because now I know exactly what I'm doing wrong.

    But, like I said, it is expensive. An author who is mentoring my writing paid for I was super lucky to have it done.

    Good Luck!

  4. Hey there!

    Out of curiosity, and please don't feel obliged to answer, but who did you consult for such a budget? More accurately, was it a freelancer?

    I'm just wondering because I've been looking into it for my own book and the standard for the length you're suggesting (around 35K words if it stands at 150 pages, no?) would be 300 bucks for a really comprehensive service... Also, I've found cheaper offers if you want to focus on a particular aspect of the editing, so you can get it for as low as 170!

    Best of lucks with this issue! We all know how tough it is to start out.

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  5. Hello Ron and Christina! I'm glad you could stop on by and add your comments on my blog!

    @Christina-Wow, that is extremely fortunate that you got your mentor to pay for your editor! I'm so jealous! I bet the author is awesome, lol. But I'm so glad you had the experience, and now you're a better writer because of it. That must have been quite some experience.

    But you are so write: Editing is expensive but completely worth it. I just can't afford almost a thousand bucks like that. Especially since I'll be moving soon. So even though it's worth it, I have to think about my future and about being able to afford my lifetime move. So yep.

    @Ron-I don't want to put her name out there, but she's def a freelancer and she's an author. I don't think she realized that I'm a struggling broke college student. :) I simply cannot afford her price and it just seems too high of a sacrifice for me.

    I would think 300 dollars would be a fair amount, but the price she gave me was like pocketbook hiding amount.

    I thought by focusing on simply grammar that it would lower the price. However, most editors who look over my book want to edit it for other content. And it's like, "Can't afford it. Let's stick with grammar!" I can fix the plot problems and some other stuff on my own, so yeah.

    Anyway, thanks for the luck! I might need it. :)

  6. I understand struggling, broke students. If you would like to contact me for a price quote (just to warn you - it has been a few years since I edited anything other than reviews), I would be happy to give you a student-friendly one.

  7. I totally feel your pain. I'm looking for an editor myself and am busy cringing at the price quotes.

  8. Hey all! Thanks for taking the time to post a comment! I guess I should have labeled this one a hot topic! :) It's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem to see the value not equaling the price though.

    @Ricki-That sounds like an offer too good to refuse. I have my short story and poetry collection that def needs some tlc, and I would love to see an acceptable quote for a novelette. So yep, just sent you the email. Hopefully, you should see it shortly. Thanks again for the great offer!

    @G-Don't worry, sweetheart! After the first few shocks, it gets better. I sent you an email too. Btw, I did find an editor with reasonable prices. Just shoot me an email, and I will tell you all about him.

    Thanks once again for your comments!

  9. Very expensive is an understatement. And from experience I've realized that going for the cheap ones is not the best answer, trust me I know. I am currently searching for one now. one that has a lot of testimonies from people. And I have started saving and doing a lot of jobs to reach at least 1500dollars before May of next year.

  10. Hey J.O. Jones! Glad to see a famaliar face on my blog! Thanks for stopping by and adding a comment.

    I have to say though, I personally wouldn't pay an editor that much money. I just couldn't do it. It doesn't sound like an accurate amount for the service that the editor is giving you. In other words, I think they are overcharging you.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be dirt cheap. I think anything around 400 bucks is accurate. It's a lot of time and effort they put into fixing novels, but I can't justify spending my money that I'm going to use to move to put towards fixing my book. And how will I know I'll be getting that much money back?

    Not that it's not worth it, because it is. But 1500 dollars? I can't afford that. If you can and you want to pay top dollar for the same quality that I'm getting, then go for it. I would suggest looking for another edior but it's completely up to you.

  11. Yeah, im in highschool, I wrote a novel, its 120,000 words plus. So I know an editor would annihilate me lol I have a strong mind for grammar and stuff, but I know i could use some polishing up. I have dry edited my book but a fresh pair of eyes would certainly help. If you want some info or want to Exchange books to read, my email is so hit me up guys, lets help each other out :)